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Icelandic fjord sailing escapades, arctic fox sightings and responsible business — does it get any better!?

It’s springtime in Vermont.  Rivers are running high, grass is growing vigorously, fowls, calves, goat kids and lambs teeter about trying to find their coordination, our fourth year intern, Danny, is back in the haus (welcome back, Kuz!), strawberries are ripe, and the backlog of donation receipts from late April is finally winding down.   April 30th is the due date for the majority of our member companies to send in their certifying documents to show that they donated a full 1% of sales from their most recent fiscal year.  While this can be a tedious process sifting through lots of paperwork, the pay off lies in learning about all of the great recipient organizations supported by our members this past year.

One partnership that exquisitely exemplifies just how deeply a company’s philanthropic commitment can be integrated into their business model is that between 1% member company,  Borea Adventures, and nonprofit partner, The Arctic Fox Center.  Borea Adventures joined 1% for the Planet back in the fall of 2009 and from the get-go they knew they would put their 1% donation toward a local Icelandic nonprofit organization, the Arctic Fox Center.  The Arctic Fox Center works to protect the only native terrestrial mammal in Iceland, focusing on research, education and sustainable tourism.

The partnership between Borea Adventures and the Arctic Fox Center has been a pleasure to watch as it continues to deepen and strengthen over the years.  While it began with a simple (yet significant!) donation of 1% of sales from Borea Adventures to the Arctic Fox Center, the support now extends far beyond the monetary donation.  Borea Adventure’s support now includes a Borea Adventure trip specific to promoting further education about the Arctic Foxes.  The trip is led by the director of the Arctic Fox Center, Ester Rut, and sails its guests around the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve in the West Fjords of Iceland — a region that is home to the foxes.  In addition to this new trip offer, Sigurdur, of Borea Adventures, has collaborated with Ester to develop a new project, The Wild North, which focuses on creating a more streamlined dialogue between scientists and tourists to develop and promote sustainable wildlife tours with the Arctic fox as the main attraction.

The relationship between Borea Adventures and The Arctic Fox Center is a remarkable example of how a growing business can really integrate the 1% commitment into their business model.  Sigurdur informed us that in the year ahead, Borea Adventures hopes to be able to share their equipment and boats with the Arctic Fox Center for their research and field trips.  That is what this alliance is about – spreading the wealth, working cooperatively, and creating a greater, more lasting impact than any one of us can accomplish on our own.  Thank you to both these groups for reminding us how philanthropy can be intrinsic to a company’s triple bottom line, leaving us all — business, people, planet, and arctic foxes — better off at the end of the day.

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