Architect Michael Green Opens 1% for the Planet Vancouver Member Meet ups
On May 28, 2013, 1% for the Planet held the first in a series of member-focused networking events in Vancouver, BC at East of Main Café. The series was designed by Junxion Strategy in an effort to build collaborative relationships between 1% member companies and the nonprofits they support.
Twenty-five people attended the first Vancouver Member meetup, including a solid mix of 1% for the Planet member companies and the nonprofit partners who benefit from their donations. Member companies present included Alexander Whitehead, Boldt Communications, EcoTaxFile, Greenster, Michael Green Architecture, Mountain Equipment Co-op, Salt Spring Coffee and Saul Good Gift Co.
While the two-hour event was mostly focused on networking, the group was treated to a brief talk by one of 1% FTP’s newest members, architect Michael Green, who paid homage to Patagonia founder — and 1% for the Planet co-founder — Yvon Chouinard. Using pitons as props, Green used the evolution of Chouinard’s business as a metaphor for designing buildings using practices that don’t permanently scar the landscape.
“The desire of how we choose to do good and contribute in the world comes from people whose core values are pure,” said Michael. “It’s hard to find that integrity in the business world, but Yvon has always been a great symbol of integrity – from the way he was a great climber and wilderness adventurer, to the way he ran Patagonia.”
When Michael started his company, he deliberately worked to infuse integrity into the workplace culture. “We build, but we also serve that planet,” he said, acknowledging that the built environment is one of the biggest contributors to climate change. As a champion of wood construction, he said his company depends on conservation-based NGOs to hold them to a high standard.
Having his firm join 1% for the Planet was “completing the story,” Michael recalls. “It says, we will ‘do good’ through our company, and at the same time, we’ll fund those organizations who are ensuring the environment, especially the forests, are protected.” For Michael, being a member of 1% for the Planet “affirms our commitment, both to the staff and to the outside world — and to me, that’s the power of 1%.”