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Crash Course: 1% For The Planet

When the founder of Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard, met the founder of Blue Ribbon Flies, Craig Mathews, they discovered a shared love of nature and a shared belief that business has the power to protect the environment. And not only did they think businesses were capable of positively impacting the environment, they felt it was their responsibility.

Together, they pledged to each give 1% of Patagonia’s and Blue Ribbon Flies’ sales to environmental causes, regardless of their profitability. Other businesses took interest in this pledge, so Chouinard and Mathews opened up 1% For The Planet in 2002.

1% For The Planet is now a global organization with a community of thousands of brands committed to its cause. If you have a passion for the environment or if you just want a way to do good, 1% For The Planet could be a potential path for your business.

What is 1% For The Planet?

1% For The Planet is a unique community of businesses and individuals who each contribute 1% of their yearly income to environmental causes. Each dollar committed to 1% For The Planet is then spread among other organizations actively promoting environmental solutions.

Six core issue areas guide how 1% For The Planet organizations give their funding—climate, food, land, pollution, water and wildlife. In each of these categories, 1% For The Planet funds education, research, activism, public policy development and much more. Everything the organization and its partners do funds solutions to the most pressing environmental issues of the time with the pledged donations of businesses and individuals.

What are the advantages of joining 1%?

Sometimes it can feel like protecting the environment is too big of a task for any one person to make a significant impact. While we can all live lives conscious of the environment, it can seem difficult to control the environmental impact of our businesses and industries. Organizations participating in 1% live by the belief that they can and should give back to the planet their business gets its resources from. And with the combined power of thousands of other contributors, 1% For The Planet amplifies the impact of everyone—helping all businesses do more to protect their planet.

Each member of 1% also receives an advisor to help them determine the best way to spend their donation funds. That advisor helps businesses get to the heart of what they want to change in the world and then shows them ways they can donate to promote that change. You never walk alone with 1%. Their advisors and partnerships create a community of like-minded businesses that is just as essential to their mission as donating funds.

How does my company join 1%?

Luckily, joining the cause is simple. You can go to their website and complete a quick questionnaire to start the process. They’ll help you join at any point in the fiscal or calendar year. Once you or your business has pledged to give one percent of your income to environmental causes, 1% will curate nonprofits you can choose to partner with that align with your goals.

Once you meet the obligations of membership, you can then pursue certification, which gives a boost to your business’s credibility. Certification from 1% shows the world that your business is actively working to make the planet a better place. It’s third-party verified proof that you are willing to take action. And it will make you a part of the community of 1% certified businesses who are each deeply committed to helping the Earth.

1% For The Planet offers a simple yet powerful way to give your company purpose—and can easily work in tandem with your Certified B Corporation® status or membership to Conscious Capitalism. If giving back to the world that gave us so much is important to you or your business, 1% is the perfect path to purpose.
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