Posted on April 29th, 2013 by gaelan
By Grant Davis from Entrepreneur:
Ask 10 people to describe a sustainable business, and you’ll get a variety of answers. A banker or shareholder would call it an established business with regular, uninterrupted profits. A college student may point to a company’s commitment to zero out its environmental impact. According to Karen Martinsen Fleming, director of Green Mountain College’s sustainable business MBA program in Vermont, both are correct. She would also add “people” to the definition to create what’s known as running a business with a triple bottom line (TBL).
Specifically, TBL refers to “profit, planet, people,” and it’s a term often connected to companies that are actively engaged in eco-friendly policies or community outreach (think Toms shoes). And it usually gets a bad rap from the business community.
“A banker or investor might feel that a startup’s good intentions are incompatible with success or [are] going to hurt profitability,” Fleming says. “But there’s enough evidence now that operating a company with an altruistic bent offers considerable strategic advantages, the kind that don’t always show up instantly on the books.”
When a startup inserts TBL principles into its mission–and makes that mission widely known–Fleming says what it’s doing will matter to a niche in the market, whether it’s eco-friendly practices or a commitment to support and give back to the community. Ideally, that niche could sustain a new business through those lean first years until it reaches a bigger audience and scale.
To illustrate the people side of TBL, Fleming points to Ted Castle’s Burlington, Vt.-based Rhino Foods, maker of the cookie dough for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. “Rhino makes a point of hiring recent legal immigrants to work in the plant to help get them established in their new country,” she says. “But these people were having trouble getting to work on time, or at all, and it was affecting the company’s bottom line. Their cars would break down, or they didn’t have a reliable ride to the plant. After looking into the issue, Castle discovered that his employees had no credit–they couldn’t take out a loan or get a credit card to help pay for a car or repairs or sign a lease on a home closer to the plant. So he went to his bank and guaranteed a $1,000 line of credit for every employee.”
With that, Castle established Rhino’s Income Advance Program, designed to help staff deal with financial hardships or emergencies that arise–no questions asked. “Two hundred employees took him up on it, and no one’s ever defaulted. Now he has an incredibly loyal work force that shows up on time,” Fleming says.
And the best part, she adds: “It didn’t cost him a penny.”
Successful case studies aside, effectively implementing TBL into a startup’s mission is not easy. “It’s so complex,” Fleming says. “Unfortunately there’s no cookie-cutter approach to making it work, not even within the same industry or product market. Each company has to figure out what works for them on a trial-and-error basis.”
However, there is a silver lining to this unknown, and that’s the quality of the employees inside many TBL companies; they are resources an owner can tap to determine what the company’s mission should be. “Generation Y and X, in particular, are very motivated to work for a bigger mission than simple profits,” Fleming says, adding that companies that follow sustainable business practices “tend to attract the highest-quality candidates, who then turn into passionate employees who share the business owner’s drive to see the company grow.”
For the members of 1% for the Planet, an organization of TBL-minded companies that turn over 1 percent of their sales to environmental organizations, the practice pays off. From 2009 to 2011, member companies’ revenue grew by more than 20 percent, beating the less than 2 percent growth of the U.S. GDP.
Or put it this way: The good guys are winning.
Read more: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/225948#ixzz2Rs5MKaOB
Posted on March 11th, 2013 by gaelan
Long-standing 1%FTP member Alf Alderson has just launched a new digital magazine Church of the Open Sky
, featuring eclectic outdoor adventures from around the world along with great imagery and video footage.
“I should point out for anyone who is alarmed by the title that’s there’s absolutely no religious content!” says Alf. “The title was inspired by the description of our outdoor playground by pioneering Hawaiian surfer Tom Blake, and we’ll be featuring everything from ski touring in Iceland to surfing in Oz and mountain biking in Wales, plus gear reviews, hotel and book reviews and lots more”.
The magazine is only available to iPad owners at the moment and both the app and the magazine are free. “So we can’t really offer any special deals to 1 Per Cent members right now, but we eventually plan to start charging and when we do we’ll be happy to give members a good rate on subscriptions,” says Alf. Find out more at www.churchoftheopensky.co.uk
Posted on March 11th, 2013 by gaelan
Environmental activist and race car driver Leilani Münter has partnered with 1% for the Planet, VegNews Magazine, and Wildlife Works to get a “VegNation” race car on the track, encouraging millions of race fans to adopt a more plant-based diet.
While most people associate their carbon footprint with their car, the United Nations found that more greenhouse gas emissions come from animal agriculture than from all the world’s planes, trains, ships, cars and trucks combined. The goal of the VegNation race car is to show America that a plant based diet is a win-win for human health, animals, and our planet.
Leilani is actively seeking partners who support the ideas behind a more plant based diet in the food and beverage industry, environmental organizations, animal advocacy groups and health education organizations – to join them in this historic VegNation awareness campaign. Once fully-funded, Leilani will drive the car in a major 2013 ARCA race to be televised on SPEED Channel, available in 80 million North American homes.
“By adopting a more plant-based diet, we can each help curb climate change while also doing something good for our health, for animals, and for our taste buds,” said Leilani. “With more meat-free meals than ever being eaten today, we’re on the right track toward a more sustainable diet.”
1% for the Planet (1%FTP), a global network of businesses committed to giving at least 1% of their sales to environmental causes, is hosting a web page at onepercentfortheplanet.org/leilani seeking tax deductible donations that 1%FTP will use to sponsor the VegNation race car. Leilani is an Ambassador for 1%FTP.
“1% for the Planet is all about inspiring business leaders, consumers and activists to support important environmental work,” said 1% for the Planet CEO Terry Kellogg. “Leilani’s concept is a great way to spread that message and engage the public on ways to solve key environmental issues.”
Wildlife Works, based in Mill Valley, CA is also a partner in the project; the organization will be donating 100% of the profits from its Kukanga line to the VegNation race car.
“We are honored to be supporting Leilani and her VegNation race car,” said Joyce Hu, Wildlife Works’ creative director. “She’s a brave, sexy advocate for the earth – our kind of girl!”
VegNews Magazine, based out of San Francisco, CA, has also come on board as a partner of Leilani and her VegNation race car.
“A vegan-themed race car that educates NASCAR fans about the global-warming effects of a meat-based diet deserves the full-blown support of the green community,” said VegNews founder and publisher Joseph Connelly. “Leilani has shown that she is the real deal, both walking — and driving — her talk. She’s a committed vegan, a dedicated environmental activist, and unafraid to take risks both on and off the track. VegNews is honored to be part of her crew.”
Individuals can show their support for the VegNation race car bymaking a direct donation or by purchasing from the Kukhanga clothing line.
Gaelan Brown, 802-496-5408, Gaelan@OnePercentforthePlanet.org
Leilani Münter is a biology-graduate-turned-race-car-driver and environmental leader. She has been named the world’s #1 Eco Athlete by Discovery’s Planet Green, is a recipient of ELLE Magazine’s 2012 Genius Award, has been featured on the front page of CNN, in the New York Times, and was named as one of the top ten female race car drivers in the world by Sports Illustrated. She is the fourth woman in history to race in the Indy Pro Series, holds the record for the highest finish for a female stock car driver at Texas Motor Speedway (4th in 2006), and was the first woman in the 45 year history to qualify for the Bettenhausen Classic late model race. An almost-lifelong vegetarian, and now vegan, Leilani’s motto is “Never underestimate a vegetarian hippie chick with a race car.” On the web at carbonfreegirl.com
About 1% for the Planet
Started in 2002 by Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Craig Mathews, owner of Blue Ribbon Files, 1% for the Planet is a platform of credibility and engagement for environmentally conscious brands that are truly committed to making a positive impact with their business. This global movement of more than 1000 member companies in 45 countries donate one percent of annual sales directly to approved environmental programs worldwide, and new members join on a daily basis. 1%FTP annually reviews financial records to certify that member businesses meet their commitment. On the web at onepercentfortheplanet.org
The premier vegan lifestyle magazine, VegNews serves up the latest in news, food, travel, politics, and buzz to this growing segment. Named one of the “Best 50 Magazines” by the Chicago Tribune (#18) and the country’s “Best Lifestyle Magazine” in 2008, 2009, and 2010, VegNews is read by more than 240,000 people in 38 countries. In addition to it’s flagship publication, the vegetarian media company also produces the award-winning VegNews.com along with a collection of popular e-newsletters, cookbooks, events, and vacations. On the web at vegnews.com
About Wildlife Works
Wildlife Works is the world’s leading REDD project development and management company with a unique approach to applying innovative market based solutions to the conservation of biodiversity. The company established a successful model that uses the emerging marketplace for REDD carbon offsets as a sustainable and scalable funding mechanism for biodiverse forest protection and to help local landowners in the developing world monetize their forest and biodiversity assets whether they are indigenous peoples, governments, communities, ownership groups or private individuals. Wildlife Works’ flagship “Kasigau Corridor REDD project” in SE Kenya was the first REDD project to achieve validation, verification, and issuance of REDD carbon credits under both the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard (CCB). On the web at wildlifeworks.com
Posted on February 11th, 2013 by gaelan
See page 68 of the Winter issue of Inside Outdoor Magazine for an article at about financial success of the companies in the 1% for the Planet network:
What goes around comes around. The Golden Rule. Karma. This basic tenant of the world’s religions and philosophers has translated into a business strategy that is driving strong financial success for more than 1000 companies that are members of 1% for the Planet.
Members of the global 1% for the Planet network commit to investing at least 1% of annual revenue with non profit organizations focused on environmental stewardship and sustainability.
“A key pillar of the Patagonia Footwear brand is our commitment to sustainability,” said Sue Harvey Brown, Marketing Manager for Patagonia Footwear. “We’ve taken our membership in 1% for the Planet to another level by also creating the Advocate collection of 1% for the Planet co-branded footwear which has been very successful. Our Advocate Weeks program empowers the employees of our retailers to select local environmental organizations that receive funding from the program, which in turn has helped to engage consumers and help our participating retail partners achieve significant sales increases over comparable periods. It’s clear that our 1% for the Planet commitment resonates with the consumers and employees that we reach through these programs.”
Between 2009 and 2011 companies that were members of 1% for the Planet saw a combined revenue growth above 20%, compared to less than 2% growth of US GDP over that same period.
“As 1% for the Planet enters its 10th year and celebrates more than $100 million given to environmental causes by member businesses, we are also celebrating the financial success of our member companies,” said 1% for the Planet CEO Terry Kellogg. “Our global business movement is proving that giving back to the environment is a sound business strategy that inspires consumers and employees while addressing critical environmental issues.”
Why does giving money away to environmental causes drive financial success for a company? There’s no single answer, as every company approaches sustainability in different ways. Many companies focus on cleaning up their internal operations and supply chain, others focus on supporting community organizations that their employees and customers care about. The best follow both of these paths.
“Klean Kanteen was founded in response to an environmental issue, namely pollution from single use plastic food and beverage containers, so it was a natural fit for us to join the 1% for the Planet movement as a way to ensure our stakeholders of our level of commitment,” said co-owner of Klean Kanteen Jeff Cresswell. “We know that consumers are skeptical of environmental claims with so much green-washing in the marketplace, but we also know that consumers are looking for the business world to provide real solutions to environmental issues. Our membership in 1% for the Planet is one of the ways we inspire our employees and consumers to be the change they wish to see in the world. We’re convinced that we’re on the right path, and the success of our company and the 1% for the Planet movement are strong testaments to that.”
But whether a company focuses their sustainability investments internally or externally, a critical factor is credibility. If the customers and employees are convinced that a company’s environmental commitment is solid, instead of an attempt at green-washing, consumer and employee loyalty and engagement can become fundamental drivers of business success.
“A consumer is smart enough to know that when he buys a bottle of tropical fruit juice and on it is says a percentage of the price of this product will go to saving the rainforest, what does that mean?” said 1% for the Planet co-founder Yvon Chouinard. “What does a percentage mean? It means nothing. And they know that. But when you say 1% of sales, you can’t fake it.”
Posted on December 12th, 2012 by gaelan
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE–For more information, contact:
Dean Zatkowsky, Orfalea, Dean@Orfalea.org, (805) 565-7550 x108
Gaelan Brown, 1% for the Planet, Gaelan@onepercentfortheplanet.org, (802) 496-5408
December 12, 2012 – Santa Barbara, CA – 1% for the Planet (1%FTP) in partnership with the Orfalea Foundation (Orfalea), has launched a multi-year effort to increase environmental stewardship through expansion of the 1% FTP network in California.
Founded in 2002 by Yvon Chouinard of Ventura-based Patagonia and Craig Mathews of Blue Ribbon Flies, 1%FTP is an alliance of businesses that donate at least 1% of revenue to non-profit organizations focused on sustainability. The Orfalea Foundation and 1% for the Planet share an interest in promoting long-term, thoughtful stewardship of California’s unique environmental resources, and invite like-minded businesses to join in the effort.
California is home to more than 300 1%FTP member companies, including Clif Bar, Paramount Citrus, Planet Petco and Wonderful Pistachios. Central Coast members include Patagonia (Ventura), and Vapur (Westlake Village). Non-profit partner organizations include Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, Community Environmental Council, Environmental Defense Center, Surfrider Foundation, the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition, and Los Padres ForestWatch.
“California is home to successful businesses founded and staffed by people with a commitment to social and environmental responsibility and supported by customers who appreciate those values,” said 1%FTP Vice President of Development and Partnerships Rebecca Calahan Klein. “We see unique opportunities to grow the 1% FTP network in the Central Coast and other regions with significant concentrations of high-growth entrepreneurial businesses that value healthy communities and a healthy planet.”
“When businesses align their purpose with their consumers’ concerns, they collectively increase the bottom line,” said Orfalea Foundation Strategic Partnerships Director Barbara Andersen. “That increased bottom line makes giving easier, which in turn results in more productive communities and a healthier ecosystem.”
This initiative will raise awareness in the business community of key sustainability challenges in California and create opportunities for businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals to work together to address these challenges. “This effort will bring a new level of financial resources, human capital and innovation to the critical tasks of protecting California’s unique environmental resources, and producing food, water, shelter, transportation and energy in a more sustainable manner,” adds Klein.
“This partnership reflects the entrepreneurial spirit of our founders and our foundation, and our dedication to convening diverse organizations and individuals to solve big problems,” said Lois Mitchell, President of the Orfalea Foundation. “Moreover, it helps provide a platform for collaboration with the business community to further our work in areas such as school food reform, school garden programs, community disaster resiliency and food security, outdoor education and leadership development.”
“1% for the Planet applauds companies that invest in organizations working to create a more sustainable world. We are excited about the opportunity to grow our California network and to work closely with the Orfalea Foundation on initiatives in the Central Coast region that will contribute to sustainability in the region, and inspire change around the globe,” said Terry Kellogg, 1% FTP CEO.
About 1% for the Planet
Started in 2002 by Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Craig Mathews, owner of Blue Ribbon Flies, 1% for the Planet is a platform of credibility and engagement for environmentally conscious brands that are truly committed to making a positive impact with their business. This global movement of more than 1000 member companies in 45 countries donate one percent of annual sales directly to approved environmental organizations worldwide, and new members join on a daily basis. 1%FTP annually reviews financial records to certify that member businesses meet their commitment. The 1% FTP brand receives more than 150 million annual media impressions and an estimated 1 billion annual impressions through logo placement on member products. To learn more go to: www.onepercentfortheplanet.org.
About the Orfalea Foundation
Devoted to “Strengthening Communities by Empowering Individuals,” the Orfalea Foundation works on diverse initiatives in a singularly entrepreneurial way. With a bias for action, the foundation invests in initiatives focused on community disaster preparedness and recovery, school food reform, early childhood education, youth development, and lifelong learning. Learn more at www.OrfaleaFoundation.org
Posted on December 11th, 2012 by gaelan
By Kat Schuett (photo by Darren Miller Photography)
For more than four months now, I have been living out of a Volkswagen camper wrapped in the Proposition 37 “Right to Know” logo, traveling up and down the state of California to rally support for the mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Now that the election has come and gone, my impossible-to-miss blue and orange van has become a reminder to myself and to many others that there still is a lot of work to be done, and the fight is not over. Every day, people come up to me and say two things: “I can’t believe it didn’t pass” and “What’s next?”
My response usually begins with something like this: “Yes, we came so close to winning, but we needed more fighters on the front lines. We still do. Please join us.”
Reflecting on this historic battle, along with others who were in the trenches, I can see there were victories despite the loss and many lessons learned. Most importantly, while the battle of Prop. 37 may be over, the war to get GMO labeling and to take back our food system has just begun. It’s critical to build on the momentum from Prop. 37 and to take action—from asking Congress to keep pro-GMO riders out of the 2012 Farm Bill and offering support for other statewide and federal labeling initiatives, to joining up with consumer campaigns such as the newly-launched GMOinside.org and bringing change through the marketplace.
The Victories: Grassroots Empowerment and a National Awakening
While California’s Secretary of State has up until Dec 14 to count all the votes, the most recent tally for Prop. 37 is amazingly close, with 48.5 percent yes and 51.5 no; a difference of just a few percentage points. Some groups are even suggesting a recount.
No matter what, the fact that we came so close to winning says many things. First and foremost, it’s an amazing testament to the power of the grassroots movement that led Prop. 37. There are so many heroes in this fight—from the dedicated volunteers who donated their time, some working 20–60 hours a week for over a year, to many organizations and conscious, mission-driven businesses who reached out to their communities and dug deep into their pockets to donate funds to get the truth out.
Prop. 37 is proof that a group of dedicated, passionate people can stand up against greed, corruption, and blatant mistruths and hold its own. Despite a barrage of more than $46 million in propaganda from the world’s largest pesticide and junk food companies, more than 5.9 million Californians saw past the lies and voted yes.
Whether it was won or lost, California’s Prop. 37 also dramatically elevated awareness throughout the nation about the GMO issue in a way that has never been done before.
“Long before November 6, I knew that we had already won. When we launched this effort, most people in California and the US didn’t even know what a GMO was, and now because of Prop. 37’s outreach and media coverage, millions of people are paying attention to the issue,” says “head rabble-rouser” Pamm Larry, the grandmother from Chico who launched LabelGMOs.org and the Prop. 37 effort.
Currently, more than 30 states are working on GMO labeling efforts, and on the national level the attention from Prop. 37 has resulted in tens of thousands of people signing the petition to support Just Label It (JustLabelIt.org), the federal GMO labeling initiative.
Prop. 37 is also driving changes in the marketplace. “We now have empirical evidence that over 48 percent of Californians want the right to know if their food is genetically engineered,” adds Bob Meadow, political consultant for Prop. 37. “If you are a food manufacturer, you better start listening.”
And brands are indeed paying attention. During the month of October, the Non-GMO Project, which provides third-party non-GMO verification, saw inquiries almost double, and they have remained steady since the election. “This momentum is not going to go away,” says Megan Westgate, executive director. “People are waking up to the issue and demanding non-GMO. Now that they know about it, they aren’t going to let up—they’re going to keep voting with their wallets, and those votes are going to change the future of our food.”
The Big Lesson Learned: We Cannot Afford to Sit on the Sidelines
From a campaign standpoint, there are many lessons we can learn from Prop. 37: join forces with allies earlier, respond to the lies with truth sooner in the game, keep the ballot wording as simple as possible to avoid any confusion, etc.
All these are minor details, though, in comparison to the big picture lesson: if we want change, we are all going to have to work together to fight for it. Or as Prop 37’s fearless leader, Pamm Larry, says, “We won’t get labeling until enough people care enough to do enough.”
Several organizations were amazing warriors for our right to know, including One Percent for the Planet and American Sustainable Business Counsel, which hosted several webinars and reached out to its membership throughout the campaign. 1% for the Planet members Nature’s Path, Patagonia and Clif Bar also contributed significant funds the Right to Know campaign and several others were active on social media. However, many others sat on the sidelines.
The reality is that we are in a food fight against some of the biggest corporate giants in the world and we all need actively join the fight in some meaningful way if we want to get labeling and start creating a truly sustainable food system.
In an email, Trudy Bialic, one of the leaders of Washington’s I-522 GMO labeling initiative, said it best: “We need to think like street fighters and work as hard as farmers.” Put on your overalls and get ready to do some work, folks!
From politics to marketplace activism, there are several ways to get involved both as an individual or a company/organization.
The Political Route to Labeling
California has certainly not given up the fight and there are discussions about introducing a bill through the legislature and/or following up with another ballot initiative during the next election. Based on anomalies found by a group of independent statisticians, some are even suggesting that there may be cause for a recount, says Dave Murphy founder of Food Democracy Now and co-chair of the Prop. 37 campaign. To follow this issue, sign up for updates at www.fooddemocracynow.org.
A Coalition of States for GMO Labeling is also being formed. Out of the many state GMO labeling efforts, the one that probably needs the most support right now is Washington (LabelItWA.org), which is currently garnering signatures for its December 31, 2012, deadline. Like California, Washington could greatly benefit from the support of the rest of the nation, both through getting the word out but even more so through donations.
Support is needed immediately at the national level as well. With less than a month left before Congress is supposed to pass the 2012 Farm Bill, Just Label It and several others including Center for Food Safety (www.centerforfoodsafety.org), and Food Democracy Now are focused on making sure that several pro-GMO riders hidden deep within this bill don’t make it to the final draft. Together these riders would eliminate much of the USDA’s oversight, create backdoor approvals for GMO crops, and legalize levels of transgenic pollution.
The House could vote on this soon, so we need more Representatives on our side. In addition, Senator Daniel Inouye, Chair of the Appropriation Committee, is the key to blocking passage in the Senate. To speak out on the Farm Bill go to JustLabelIt.org or centerforfoodsafety.org and click on “Tell Congress: Dump Biotech Riders” which will send an email to 1) your Representative asking them to sign the “DeFazio letter” opposing the biotech rider, and 2) your Senator, asking him or her to tell Senator Inouye to stop the biotech rider.
In 2013, Just Label It’s focus will be on getting a response from FDA on the petition for federal GMO labeling which they submitted last March with over 1.1 million signatures.
“We’ve held our fire on the Obama administration during the election. Now it’s time to see some action,” says David Bancroft, executive director of JLI.
Since March, 200,000 signatures have been added, and when the total reaches 2 million, the petition will be resubmitted to the FDA. In the meantime, JLI will be working many angles to get the FDA to address this issue, including a reaching out to Congress and possibly even launching a lawsuit, adds Bancroft.
“We are 20 years behind in DC. In that time the biotech industry has spent over $580 million on lobbying.” says Gary Hirshberg, JLI’s chair and co-founder of Stonyfield Farm. “It might take some time, but we’re in it for the long haul.”
“To win this, it will take large numbers of voters, especially those in the middle class, contacting Washington and letting them know there are real people behind this issue,” Hirshberg says. “We also need some courageous companies who realize that it’s not a good long term strategy to be against the consumer to crossover and stand up for federal labeling. Lastly, we need a cadre of both democrat and republican Senators to indicate to the White House that they support labeling. But this is all doable. Politicians and companies are well aware that Prop 37 was polling 72 percent in favor, and that it took 46 million to shut it down. This should put them in a position to support federal labeling. The question is not if we will get labeling, it is when.”
To support federal labeling, go justlabelit.org and click on “Tell the FDA and Congress. Also click on “Partners” to join over 600 other companies and organizations who are fighting for Federal GMO Labeling.
Although working through the government to get labeling may be a slow process, we can start driving change in the marketplace right now.
This was the inspiration for “GMO Inside,” a new consumer activism and education project from Green America, the same organization that recently pushed Hershey’s to change its policies on child labor through Green America’s “Raise the Bar” campaign.
One key part of the project is to use stickers and shelf talkers at grocery stores to identify products that likely contain GMOs and then share images of these with the masses via social media. “If corporations won’t label GMOs, then we the people will” is the campaign’s rallying cry. GMO Inside is also aiming to get hundreds of thousands of consumers, or “GMO Insiders,” to do one big action a month and participate in “GMO Free Fridays.”
“The only way that corporations will change what they are doing is if it affects their market share, so consumers have to stop giving money to corporations that sell GMOs,” says John Roulac, CEO of Nutiva, and a founder and steering committee member of GMO Inside. Roulac says that GMO Inside is actively seeking other organizations and companies to help support this effort. In the short time since the election that the GMO inside Facebook page has been up, it’s already at over 13,000 “Likes.”
Lastly, look at ways you can your company or organization can reach out to your community. Be a social media activist—“Like” Just Label It, GMO Inside, Label GMOs, Non-GMO Project, Food Democracy Now, Center for Food Safety and other organizations that are fighting for our right to know, and share posts from these groups. Donate to groups that are fighting for our right to know and ask your members or consumers to donate and spread the word about GMO labeling initiatives.
If there is one thing we should all take away from Prop. 37, it is that we have the power to change the world for the better when we come together, work like hell, and raise our collective voice. While we all can’t hit the road and live in a VW camper, each person, company or organization can get involved in some way, so get off the sidelines and join the fight. We need you.
Kat Schuett is an international health and sustainability journalist, the former editor of Organic Processing magazine, and was an organic outreach partner for Yes on 37. You can reach her at email@example.com.
Posted on December 3rd, 2012 by gaelan
|Thought Leaders to discuss how to create a better form of Capitalism: Capitalism 2.0
In order to change the business model leaders must break free from the pack and take a stand. They must find partners who share their vision. They must showcase the benefits of a more sustainable approach to business. They must chart the pathway to Capitalism 2.0.
DATE: Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012
TIME: 4:30-6:30 EST (snacks and networking from 6:30-7:30)
LOCATION: Bennett Jones, 1st Canadian Pl., 100 King St. W. (King/Bay), 34th Floor, Toronto
LIVE WEBCAST & TWITTER CHAT #tssschat from 5:00 – 6:30 EST
Click here to register for the free webcast.
Director of Sustainability and Community
Mountain Equipment Co-op
Chief Executive Officer
1% For The Planet
During the discussion you will learn:
- How despite its “medium size” a company like MEC can be a catalyst for driving so much positive change
- What metrics must be embedded into the capitalist model to ensure that change goes beyond words
- How being part of the 1% network (1400 companies in 45 countries) leverages a company’s ability to drive change
- What changes are necessary to fix our broken form of Capitalism
4:30 – 5:00 pm: Registration, snacks and networking
5:00 – 5:10 pm: Introductions and special announcements
5:10 – 5:45 pm: Co-Presentations from Esther Speck and Terry Kellogg
5:45 – 6:05 pm: Breakout session*
6:05 – 6:15 pm: Groups report back to main audience – “idea harvesting”
6:15 – 6:30 pm: General Q and A
6:30 – 7:30 pm: Networking and snacks
* Group breakout session to discuss: Capitalism 1.0 is broken – What specific changes are necessary to develop a better system – Capitalism 2.0?
Posted on November 13th, 2012 by gaelan
Power Plant is a unique gathering bringing together sustainable business leaders, social entrepreneurs, eco-adventurers, green artists and media activists for socializing and learning about great ideas. The event takes place every few months at different venues around the city, offering an innovative and casual approach to networking with the aim of celebrating success, sharing ideas and knowledge, creating strategic partnerships and promoting the growth of Vancouver’s green economy.
This first-time “Special Edition” of Power Plant was focused exclusively on 1% for the Planet, a global movement of more than 1,000 member companies in 45 countries that donate one percent of annual sales directly to approved environmental organizations worldwide. Representatives from 1% for the Planet were on hand to mix and mingle with the sold-out crowd of 185 people, Power Plant’s largest event to date.
After an hour of purposeful connecting in the foyer (while snacking on delicious appetizers and sipping local wine and beer), the group moved into the theatre’s auditorium, where Melody Badgett, Senior Vice President of 1% for the Planet, kicked off the presentations by giving a high energy overview of the benefits businesses gain from joining 1% for the Planet.
Each presenter followed the Power Plant format, giving a three-minute and 20 second presentation accompanied by 10 slides appearing on screen for exactly 20 seconds each, lending a snappy tone to the presentation portion of the evening.
Other speakers included:
-Devon Page, Executive Director of Ecojustice, a charity made up of some of Canada’s leading lawyers and scientists who work to fulfill their mission of using the law and to protect and restore Canada’s environment. Devon talked about Ecojustice’s conservation work, funded in part by 1% for the Planet member Mountain Equipment Co-op, consisting of law suits representing animals such as the caribou and the orca, fighting against the federal government for not following their own regulations around species protection.
-Monica Pearson, a biologist who discussed her work conserving Oregon spotted frog habitats in the Fraser Valley through the BC Conservation Foundation, a non-profit supported by 1% for the Planet member Frogbox. She pointed out that 67 animal species in the Fraser Valley are currently under threat of extinction, and how the work she and her colleagues are doing in riparian restoration is making a difference in stopping that momentum.
-Michael Ableman, an acclaimed farmer, author and founder of SOLEfood Farm, who spoke about this innovative social enterprise that provides urban agriculture employment and training opportunities for Vancouver’s inner-city residents.
-Kris Holm, a mountain unicyclist, who spoke about what inspired him to make his business the first Canadian company, and internationally the first cycling brand, to become a member of 1% for the Planet. Kris is also a 1% for the Planet Ambassador.
Sponsors of the event included prominent members of the 1% for the Planet in Canada: Mountain Equipment Co-op, Salt Spring Coffee,Nature’s Path/EnviroKidz, and Frogbox. Each sponsor had an information table for attendees to visit during the networking portion of the evening, highlighting the work of the nonprofit organizations they partner with and support through their 1% for the Planet commitment.
MEC’s table hosted information from Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society about their joint Dare to be Deep campaign, calling for 12 new marine protected areas. Salt Spring Coffee’s table was dedicated to the work of LOCO BC, an alliance of local companies working to strengthen communities, grow the local economy and build strong, sustainable businesses.
In 2013, Junxion will continue its work with 1% for the Planet to expand the breadth and depth of its network in Canada, bringing more organizations into this strong and growing movement.
(This article was written by Hilary Mandel and published in the Vancouver Observer on November 9, 2012. Thanks Hilary!)
Posted on November 7th, 2012 by gaelan
A Q&A with 1% for the Planet’s Rebecca Calahan Klein
When Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard and Blue Ribbon Flies founder Craig Mathews got together for some fly fishing on the Madison River in 2001, talk about fishing quickly turned to talk about business, and, more importantly, about how their businesses survive when the environment does. With this goal of protecting the natural resources that kept them in business, the pair founded 1% for the Planet, the nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging businesses to donate 1% of their annual sales to environmental groups.
What started out as a dream on the Madison River is now a successful reality and a growing network of businesses financially committed to creating a healthy planet. Today, 1% for the Planet has grown from their two companies to more than 1,400 companies and 2,800 nonprofits, with combined contributions of more than $100 million donated to environmental groups worldwide.
“In our business, if the environment is not healthy, then business is not healthy,” says Rebecca Calahan Klein, Vice President of Organizational Development for 1%. “Companies see value by following the dollars—what matters gets investment. The motto for 1% says, ‘Let’s put our money in places that matter most to our business, and let’s do it year after year.’”
And year after year, they do. 1% acts as a watchdog to ensure financial investment in the earth. Although a lot of companies say they donate a percentage of their profit or make contributions to environmental causes, often they promise more than they deliver. 1% follows through, making sure donations are fulfilled. Companies in the network donate at least 1% of their sales to the nonprofit of their choice. The 1% model makes sure there’s steady funding flowing to the nonprofit community.
The deal is mutually beneficial—companies work with nonprofits to make donations to specific causes, and in return the nonprofits and companies have an exchange of knowledge and project-sharing. Companies that follow through with donations of 1% every year also have exclusive access to the 1% logo, which is currently featured on more than 1 billion products, and growing. The 1% brand has worldwide recognition and provides credibility for consumers, which influences people’s willingness to buy a product.
Where do proceeds from 1% donations go?
Over 20% of proceeds go into environment education, sustainability education, and literacy, Rebecca says.
“People need to know that they’re connected to the environment, and in particular kids, so that they can start to value it. Climate change has been, and continues to be, an area where people are giving. They want to see something done.”
Generally, the environmental groups receiving donations work directly on climate change with policy reform, clean energy generation, sustainable energy—things that have substantial footprints.
“We have a lot of companies that give to, for example, a whole variety of bike alliances around the country. These alliances are focused on getting people out of their cars with alternative methods of transportation, and promoting bike sharing across metropolitan areas.”
So what are some of the companies in the network?
Companies in the network are varied—from apparel to eco-tourism to restaurants; from health and wellness to the movie and music industries—including singer/songwriter Jack Johnson, who has produced songs that directly benefit the cause.
Meanwhile the number of supporters continues to grow.
“Once you start a hub, then that hub grows,” Rebecca says. In addition to founding companies Patagonia and Blue Ribbon Flies, other well-known companies include PETCO, Clif Bar, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Trailblazers, FIJI Water, and more.
“When you go into 1% companies, it’s not that they all live off the grid, but…these companies aren’t turning a blind eye to the cause and saying they have no environmental impact. And yet they aren’t creating what I think of sort of as a ‘perfectionist immobility,’ where you always say you can’t do anything until you get it totally right… then you’ll never do anything. We have a lot of companies that care about these [environmental] values. I think about companies like Klean Kanteen that, say, want their employees to ride to work. Their [and other company’s] understanding of that connectedness of their company to the earth and the climate, and supporting and giving to groups that actually can do things that help people change the way that they live and also create possibilities to build you as a business. You know it all goes around.”
Many of the companies in the 1% network are less than 10 years old, with outdoor-loving founders who really know the environment; they are connected to the environment, and, as Rebecca sums it up, “They get it.”
Additionally, 1% has 50 media partners who donate 1% of annual sales in terms of ad space for marketing campaigns. This year’s current campaign focuses around talking to people about things they can do in their ordinary daily lives to help the planet.
What can be done to get people more involved in helping the planet?
Four years ago the climate had a prominent role in the presidential debates. This year there’s not been a peep about climate change and global warming. Asked why and what we can do to get people to be forward-thinking about the long-term problems of climate change, Rebecca surmised:
“Climate change solutions require people to step out of the box, and with this campaign being so close, the candidates are sticking to the traditional topics….A full 80 percent of all people today believe that climate change is a reality, which is up significantly from four years ago. The reason for this is because people are not just hearing about actual solutions but are starting to see them, from the windmills to the hybrid cars, from the solar panels on rooftops to bike lanes in major metropolitan areas. It’s starting to make it more real for people. And, even though the candidates aren’t talking about it, other people are.”
And people are talking. Patagonia’s “Vote the Environment” campaign (#BecauseILove) encourages people to share what it is that they value most about the environment because that’s what matters most. The campaign focuses on getting people to open a dialog (regardless of party lines), and to talk about the environment—not just during the political season but all year long. And 1% has been working with other companies in their network to join the campaign, to get more people to think about the environment and to ask about it in this campaign.
“It’s interesting to see in the last eight weeks the exploding conversation,” Rebecca says. 1% has contributed to the campaign by adding widgets on its site, as well as getting members and nonprofits to add widgets to their sites, to tweet, and to share the message.
What are some sustainability practices that other businesses can use to help affect climate change?
Rebecca stresses that all companies should look into their business practices. They should ask themselves: Where are there environmental impacts, both good and bad, in the business? How can we not only tweak our procedures to have less of an environmental impact, but how can we get our employees to take up the cause, as well?
1% member Clif Bar, for example, recently led a “2-mile challenge” campaign within its workplace. Employees were encouraged to get rid of just one 2-mile trip by vehicle and instead to walk (or bike) it to their location. This small change, when compounded, can make a huge climate impact.
“Companies should be aware of where they’ve been doing well, and where there’s a need for change and innovation. There’s always room for improving your model and procedures to rein in your environmental footprint.”
That’s where BCorps, or benefit corporations, come in. In addition to focusing on the three biggies of climate impact and sustainability—energy, water, and waste—companies can become registered B Corporations. “Certified BCorps“ are corporations that “meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.” Backed by the nonprofit B Lab, which works with businesses to solve social and economical problems, BCorp-certified leaders, such as Patagonia and Ben & Jerry’s, have worked to pass legislation in more than 11 states (more states are reviewing the legislation) to create a new type of corporation that “best meets the needs of entrepreneurs and investors seeking to use business to solve social and environmental problems.”
“So therefore,” Rebecca explains, “when the company is set up, you can say that you’re here to help protect the environment and to help build communities. Putting it in the legal [contract] of a company allows that company to do different things that it wouldn’t do otherwise.”
BCorp offers a free assessment tool to help companies see where they can do well for the environment and where they can improve. Because doing well for the environment, as 1% founders Yvon and Craig first noted more than 10 years ago, not only benefits the companies, but also helps ensure a healthy planet for generations to come.
Photos courtesy 1% for the Planet.
Posted on October 26th, 2012 by gaelan
Robbyn Scott and Mickey McLeod try to contribute nothing to the world that cannot be reused, repurposed or recycled.
My wife Robbyn Scott and I are in business to make money.
And that is a very good thing for ourselves, our families, Salt Spring Coffee employees, our partners, the communities we work in and serve and, ultimately, our customers.
In short, we are profit proud and have never suggested otherwise.
Still, as a company that strives to balance profit with protecting the planet, we are in the minority.
We are baffled that relatively few others are doing the same because, once you get started, it’s not that difficult.
And, as we have found since we founded the company on Saltspring Island in 1996, doing good for the planet is good for the bottom line.
The core of our business is caring about where the coffee comes from, its origin, and the people who grow it.
We cultivate partnerships with farmers and co-operatives and go beyond traditional trade methods to improve their communities. And we visit those farms regularly because we value those personal relationships.
We strive to contribute nothing to the world that cannot be reused, repurposed or recycled.
We compost absolutely everything we can at our office headquarters, roasting facilities and our three cafes.
Similarly, we recycle cardboard, paper, soft plastic, milk jugs, and hard plastics, and electronics.
Our burlap coffee sacks can be used as anti-weed liners or storage sacks and they are very popular with farmers and backyard gardeners.
We package our coffees in non-standard size cardboard boxes to ensure our shipments are as compact as possible.
And our fleet of low-emission Honda Fits goes easy on the environment.
Through the use of an afterburner, smoke produced from roasting is rendered invisible and odourless, which maintains air quality and happy neighbours.
Our Viking Roasting Centre in Richmond is powered with 100-per-cent green electricity and 100-per-cent green natural gas through Bullfrog Power. We also have enough space to store green beans on site therefore reducing transportation.
I could go on because I am pretty passionate about our initiatives. But I’m even more excited about inviting more of my fellow entrepreneurs to do likewise.
Our story goes something like this.
We started small, and we pursued growth without straying from our core beliefs, which extend to all hires and business practices. And our fair to farmer practices — we pay above-market rates to farmer-owned coffee co-operatives because they do not harm the environment with their production methods. These co-operatives have attracted a loyal following in B.C. and Alberta. At the end of the day, it helps us build loyalty that is good for business.
Salt Spring Coffee is now one of Canada’s largest micro-roasters and our coffee can be found at most major grocery stores in Western Canada. We employ 65 people, roast about 3,500 pounds of coffee a day, and generate sales of almost $10 million annually.
We have always been committed to sustainable business practices and understand that sometimes that means improving the way we do things takes time.
For example, in 2006 the company moved beyond the traditional trade relationship with coffee growers and established a direct trade model. This evolved into the Fair to Farmer program in 2010. And on several fronts we’re still working to get better because, as far as we’ve come, we appreciate that in business, as in life, there is always much to learn.
Think the coffee business isn’t a big deal? Coffee is the second largest traded commodity in the world behind oil. We know that improvements, from farmer to barista, have the potential to boost social, economic and environmental standards worldwide.
One significant move we recently made toward our goal was to join 1% for the Planet, a global movement of companies donating at least one per cent of their annual revenues to environmental organizations worldwide.
Being a 1% member gives us access to a global group of like-minded businesses.
It also streamlines the giving process and helps us be more strategic about the organizations to which we give and more clear about how we communicate our story.
Our giving reflects what we stand for and helps us support the communities in which we operate. That means a lot to us, to our growers, to our customers. Furthermore, our non-profit partners, like LOCO BC (locobc.com), have also benefited from becoming approved non-profit partners and instantly plugging into other 1% for the Planet members.
Today there are nearly 1400 companies in 45 countries that, along with us, are member businesses of 1% for the Planet. We challenge other entrepreneurs to join this innovative organization. They’ll find it will make their businesses better and that, as part of a network of like-minded leaders, that we can do together what we cannot do alone.
Start small, align all business practices with your core values, think long-term and know that being profitable and socially responsible can go hand in hand.
Mickey McLeod co-founded Salt Spring Coffee with his wife, Robbyn Scott, in 1996. Salt Spring Coffee joined 1% for the Planet earlier this year.