1% for the planet – an organisation worth reading about.

A community placing responsible business practice at the forefront of their priorities.

In this era of technological distraction, it is imperative to retain a sense of focus directed towards the improvement the conditions of society and the environment. Operating through membership schemes for both businesses and individuals, 1% for the Planet is a communal philanthropic fund whos contributors exchange advice about enterprise and how to keep it alligned with a sense of morality.

It was founded by Yvon Chouinard who was inspired by his experiences of starting, scaling and then running Patagonia. It’s ethos subverts the ideas of competitive capitalism by encouraging businesses and individuals to share knowledge and support each other.

As the name suggests, members donate 1% or more of their profits/wage to social or environmental causes which they personally select from over 400 partner non-for-profit organisations. Considering how littered society currently is with greenwashing , this sort of transparency that 1% for the Planet offers their members is of significant value.

Own a business that uses a lot of paper? then commit 1% of your profits to re-forresting. Own an indulgent street food business? then commit 1% of your profits to improving food systems. Being ‘sustainable’ is about creating a symbiotic relationship with the planet – rather than parasitic. Whilst this sort of action seems so rational, this sort of self awareness is seldom apparent in companies spending. However, increasing the accesiblity to organisations who help offset their environmental impact is sure to bolster the liklihood of them acting in a responsible manner.

Kleen Kanteen

The 5000 strong list of member businesses is assorted and impressive. An great example is friend of the mag Kleen Kanteen who have committed over $3.6 million to the organisation so far. In the UK their main partner is Frank Water who provide safe water and sanitation to marginalised communities in India and Nepal, illustrating the global nature of their work. There are currently 80 businesses invloved in 1% that are based in the North of England , could it be time to increase that?

Going forward, involvement in organisations such as 1% for the Planet will be a form of leverage in fortifing relationships with increasingly environmentally and socially aware customers. It’s membership scheme also opens up the opportunity for dialogue amonst businesses in different industries who previously lacked a reason to communicate. Being part of a community of like minded people brings a sense of hope to a state of affairs that can feel rather morbid at times.

Yvon Chouinard by Ian Allen

Chouinard’s book The Responsible Company should be mandatory reading for all entrepreneurs. It’s a no frills guide to using good business practices to improve the lives of the owners, staff and customers of any type of enterprise. The world would be a better place if more people subscribed to the ideas articulated in his book. In one of the final chapters succinctly summaries the purpose of 1% for the planet.

“This is not philanthropy. This should be a cost of doing business.

It’s paying rent for our use of the planet.”

Find out more about the organisation here

Find out more about Kleen Kanteen’s relationship with 1% here

Write A Comment