I was introduced to 1% for the Planet while reading the book Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman, written by Yvon Chouinard. 1% for the Planet is a global alliance of companies that contribute at least 1% of their annual sales to environmental organizations worldwide.
1% for The Planet – Keep Earth in Business
Visitors to the 1% for the Planet website can learn about its history, the people behind it, member companies, approved non-profit recipients, ambassadors, check out their blog and find out how to make a donation.
In 2001, 1% for the Planet was founded by Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Craig Mathews, owner of Blue Ribbon Flies.
Business members range from adventure outfitters to yoga studios and span the globe. Companies agree to contribute at least 1% of their annual sales to a large list of approved environmental non-profits. These could be small regional concerns to international organizations and must have clear environmental objectives and a proven track record.
I enjoyed reading about the board of directors, the people who run the organization and ambassadors who work to spread the message. They include outdoor enthusiasts, business people, marketers, musicians, and activists to name a few.
It’s easy to make a donation, learn about participating companies and environmental news on the blog, or check out a video.
1% for the Planet was founded by two guys whose businesses depend on the environment in more ways than one. First of all, who would buy Patagonia clothing or purchase fishing gear from Blue Ribbon Flies if there was no place to climb or fish? Second, without environmental resources, they could not make, sell, and distribute their products. To me, they are not only outdoor enthusiasts and environmentalists, but smart businesspeople too.
The “Keep Earth In Business” tagline succinctly states the connection between a healthy planet and a healthy business. I like the following quote attributed to Senator Gaylord Nelson,
“The Economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment, not the other way around.” —Gaylord Nelson
Keep an eye out for the 1% for the Planet logo and consider giving your business to companies that put their money where their mouth is.