*The event is free to attend, but there is limited capacity.
If interested, contact leah@onepercentfortheplanet.
*The event is free to attend, but there is limited capacity.
If interested, contact leah@onepercentfortheplanet.
Making the 1% commitment with your business is about more than growing the bottom line; it’s about investing in a world that you want to live in. With each donation, our members are helping to create a more sustainable world that our children and grandchildren will get to enjoy. Two of the most recent businesses to make this pledge are EcoTaxFile and Ozone Global.
Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, EcoTaxFile provides personalized accounting services to businesses and individuals who want exemplary accounting services combined combined with environmental assessments. The experienced tax professionals will maximize your tax refund and take the stress out of tax time – all while providing advice on how to reduce your carbon footprint and live more sustainably.
You can use EcoTaxFile’s Free carbon calculator to discover the impact of your carbon footprint and get a personalized EcoReport with over 150 sustainability tips.
EcoTaxFile: Accounting that can change your life.
If you haven’t done so already, it’s well worth taking the time to take a look at this free tool. You might be amazed at your own footprint and the suggestions provided to minimize your impact. Thanks EcoTaxFile for making this available and welcome!
Australia based Ozone Global invests in a variety of business sectors / environments throughout the world with a focus on working together with people and their vision. They especially enjoy being involved from the ground floor up with new and exciting business ideas, until such stage that the founders are able to take their vision and business model to the table of a larger audience.
What inspired Ozone Global to join 1% for the Planet was no doubt the same reason that inspired many others to join. To stand up and do something positive to Protect the Planet for future generations. According to the owner, “this really hit home last winter when my 7-year old Daughter was sitting in in a cold room and shivering with the heating turned off. When I asked her why she doesn’t turn on the heat she answered, if I turn on the heater the planet it will get too hot and the Polar Bears home will melt. I felt ashamed to be a so called grown up. Why does a 7 year old get it and the educated world doesn’t. From this point forward I start a new road to Respect & Protect Our Planet and promote this in all areas of my life.”
Sometimes inspiration comes form the least expected places. We’re thrilled to have Ozone Global in the network!
John Caletti, the owner of 1% for the Planet member Caletti Cycles, sent along this great post about his 1% commitment… thanks for Loving Blue, John!
I value and respect our natural world, and I understand that running a business takes a toll on the environment . It’s important to reduce and offset the damage as much as possible. 1% FTP is a good structure for my business and has the added value of being a movement in partnership with others with similar values. I’m a cyclist and I build custom bicycles, so the bulk of my donations went to “Bikes Belong” to get more people on bikes for cleaner and simpler transportation.
Additionally I gave to Shark Savers, as I live on the coast and have a fascination and appreciation for sharks as an important part of our ecosystem who are endangered and misunderstood. Maybe they’ll be even nicer to me when I’m out in the water paddling, surfing or diving.
The following post was featured on Ascenta’s blog yesterday, in honor of Earth Day. We appreciate Ascenta’s continued support and for sharing their founder’s kind words with us- thanks for Loving Blue, Marc!
Established in June of 2003 the Ascenta story is nearing a decade. It seems like an appropriate stage of a company’s life cycle to reflect back on what you set out to accomplish and what you’ve achieved since. Being that it’s Earth Day this reflection is centered on Ascenta’s long term vision of sustainability and ecological prosperity.
Back in 2003 I have to admit that I had yet to fully define what my vision was for Ascenta. I naively followed my passion for natural health and a belief that we could transform lives with omega-3, the “missing” ingredient. After contemplating the broader meaning of health the story of Ascenta began to evolve. The goal of creating health became a goal of building prosperity and a notion that everything is interconnected.
As we began to shift our thinking we soon realised there were so many areas within our business that needed attention. The challenge was that we were still a relatively small growing company, resources were scarce, and seemingly never enough time to get everything done. The prospect of adding new tasks and a different way of thinking was a bit daunting.
This is typically the juncture where most companies adopt a “good enough” mentality and shift their primary focus towards fiscal responsibility. A good analogy would be a student graduating from university and excited to take on the world. As they take those first steps into a brave new world they quickly realise their goals and dreams don’t line up that well with how society defines success. You therefore let go of your dreams or at least give them a hard pruning.
Companies do the same thing. The thrill and excitement of a start-up company is undeniable. It’s a platform system for ideas and imagination. The socially oriented entrepreneur however will soon face the reality that the model you are trying to build does not yet exist thereby requiring you to become a pioneer and navigate uncharted waters. Adhering to your vision and values will be constantly challenged and you even risk alienating yourself. While loosening your grip on your original intentions can relieve some of the pressure this becomes a slippery slope and could ultimately compromise the vision.
All these challenges facing the social entrepreneur I have lived first hand and admit that I have made decisions in the past that were heavily influenced by internal and external pressures. In those cases I did what was expected of me, not what I wanted to do. The greatest gift for navigating through life is self awareness. It monitors in real-time the choices you make and its impact on your life. Ultimately it helps you identify when you make poor decisions and lets you learn and improve.
While many companies aspire to become sustainable the truth is that today there is no such thing as a sustainable company. Our current economy does not follow a cyclical flow. It’s a linear mathematical model that believes natural resources are inexhaustible and the planet has infinite storage capacity for waste and toxic debris. Therefore most of the resources a company requires to operate (power, construction materials, office supplies, electronics, etc) are scarcely available as fully eco-friendly alternatives.
While the vision is to be sustainable the process to get there is about reducing your ecological footprint. Making the best possible decisions based on ecological impact requires a solid understanding of the product or ingredient supply chain. One of the best examples I can highlight would be the garment and textile industry. While most would regard a simple t-shirt as having a relatively low ecological impact the reality is a very different story. The cotton for this t-shirt is grown in a field where heavy pesticides and herbicides are applied to the extent that no other life forms can be supported including other plants, insects, and wildlife. These chemicals eventually leach into the groundwater and are no longer localised.
Next the cotton is likely to be processed in a developing country where the factories discharge the toxic effluent from the dyes into the nearby river thereby impacting biological life over a vast geography. It should be noted that this practice also occurs in developed countries. Furthermore the employees in these factories work for unfair wages and statistically present with cancer rates 40x higher than the normal population. The matter of fact is that in business we often focus only on our own activities and discount the impact of the entire supply chain from which we depend. Supply chain management is probably the most challenging and time consuming aspect of the “sustainable” company.
It wasn’t until 2006 that we intently began examining the impact of our business beyond our own activities. Because the primary resource for our products is fish we needed to first and foremost better understand fisheries management. To help us do that we developed a relationship with a marine biologist working in the area of fisheries management and conservation. It’s a well known fact that our global fish supplies have been depleted by overfishing. It was therefore extremely important that we audit the fisheries we were sourcing from as well as audit any fishery we planned to source from in the future.
Greenwashing has become a very sophisticated practice in the world of commerce so applying scientific rigor to the process of supply chain management is critical. We witnessed this first hand in our assessment of the Antarctic krill industry. The story behind krill oil sounds too good to be true. Multiple internet sources promote it as being an almost inexhaustible resource and claim that it provides omega-3 with up to 10x the potency of omega-3 from fish. After conducting thorough research on this potential source the findings clearly indicated the krill fishery was a poor ecological choice at this time and the benefits of krill omega-3 over fish omega-3 were not significant. Today consumers pay upwards of 10x as much for krill oil vs. fish oil due to savvy marketing not scientific validation. Despite the potential for increased profits krill is not on our list of approved omega-3 sources.
As an entrepreneur one of my greatest mentors is Yvon Chouinard, founder of the outdoor apparel company Patagonia. In 2012 Yvon published the book entitled The Responsible Company. In this book he discusses the importance of supply chain management and coined the phrase “an examined life”. The process of examining your life, or business, means making conscious decisions about everything you do to ensure it aligns with your values and leads to the change you want to create in this world. Becoming a responsible company means understanding all the issues, researching all the viable options, and making decisions aligned with your values. This philosophy must be applied throughout your organisation.
How far is a company willing to go to push those boundaries and pioneer a path towards sustainability? For a company like Patagonia they will go as far as they possibly can. Yvon is considered one of the great social entrepreneurs of our era and has leveraged business success to create global change. He may even argue that the change he created was responsible for his business success. Either way the story of Patagonia is a North Star for companies like Ascenta.
While the story of Patagonia and The Responsible Company have contributed greatly to my beliefs Yvon’s greatest influence has been the result of an initiative he gave birth to in 2002. Discouraged by the amount of greenwashing and the continued degradation of the natural world Yvon, along with his good friend Craig Mathews, created 1% for the Planet. With a commitment to donate at least 1% of total sales to environmental non-profits 1% for the Planet companies represent a new level of environmental responsibility and transparency. Unlike most corporations where environmental giving is considered “charitable”, 1% for the Planet companies view it as a cost of doing business. Some refer to it as “keeping the Earth in business”.
Since its inception in 2002, the network of 1% for the Planet companies has grown to over 1000 companies worldwide, representing the largest source of environmental giving in the world having reached over $70 million in 2012. Back in 2007, I was exploring several ideas in an attempt to start closing the sustainability loop including establishing university grants for the purpose of funding research in ocean conservation. To my surprise the university board of directors turned down the idea citing concerns it may appear that the university was endorsing the company’s products. While this left me scratching my head I reminded myself that sometimes things happen for a reason.
Not long after, I was at home relaxing to a new CD by one of my favorite music artists Jack Johnson. While reading the back cover of the eco-friendly CD sleeve I noticed for the first time the 1% for the Planet logo. Jack Johnson has always been a point source of inspiration for me, so I decided to look further into this logo. That became the light bulb moment as if fate brought us together.
Philosophically everything about 1% for the Planet resonated and I was eager to present this idea internally at Ascenta. While there were natural hesitations around the financial risk of the commitment, we all decided this embodied our vision and values. Entrepreneurs and business leaders know that as a growing business there will be times when finances are constrained and years where profits will not be realized. The idea behind 1% for the Planet is that companies have an ecological impact regardless of their profitability therefore environmental giving should always be linked to sales not profits.
At Ascenta we see this as a long term investment in our future. Without healthy productive natural ecosystems there would be no business. Since joining this movement in 2007, Ascenta has donated over a half million dollars to environmental non-profits including the David Suzuki Foundation, Environmental Defence, Nova Scotia Nature Trust, Ecology Action Centre, and Heal the Bay. Being associated with 1% for the Planet has enriched our culture at Ascenta, increased our awareness of key environmental issues, and connected us with some of the most inspiring and dedicated people trying to build a better world for all of us.
While 1% for the Planet is our most significant endeavor thus far, continuing to apply the idea of leading an “examined life” has lead to other key initiatives. In the province of Nova Scotia we have been subjected to an archaic energy industry fed primarily by dirty coal. Nova Scotia Power Inc is consistently listed as one of the top greenhouse gas emitters in Canada and reluctant to move the region away from cheap fossil fuels.
Then came along Bullfrog Power, a green certified renewable energy provider founded by eco-entrepreneurs Tom Heintzman and Greg Kiessling. Established in 2004, this Canadian green energy start-up gradually expanded out from their Ontario roots and today bring green energy alternatives to commercial and residential customers from coast to coast. When green energy came knocking in Nova Scotia we were excited to sign up and take this critical next step along our path towards sustainability.
While it’s easy to overlook the small things, we know when you multiply small changes you can generate big results. Based on that we’ve implemented some things at Ascenta worth noting such as eco-transportation rebates for employees, eco-purchasing policies for food, office supplies, and electronics, community garbage sweeps, and eco-themed staff presentations. Last year Ascenta was recognised as one of Canada’s greenest workplaces.
The next big adventure for Ascenta will be a new facility slated for 2015. Building our new home is an exciting chance to ask ourselves “imagine if…?” While our imaginations may not represent what’s possible today, it will surely help us breakthrough the status quos and push the boundaries of what is possible.
As individuals as well as businesses, it’s important to remember that the brain and the heart have different reward systems. The brain’s reward system is primarily based on receiving while the heart’s reward system is primarily based on giving. Conventional businesses think with their brains. Socially oriented businesses think with their brains and act with their hearts.
On this Earth Day 2013 I want to express my deepest gratitude to the entire Ascenta team and to all our supporters. Without you none of this would be possible. We are excited about what’s to come and hope you come along for the journey.
If you want to be happy then chose to be happy. If you want to be successful then chose to be happy. If you want to make others happy then chose to be happy.
- Marc St. Onge
When funds are limited and challenges are great, environmental nonprofits must find innovative solutions to solve global issues. One of 1% for the Planet’s newest partners, Organic Perspectives, is working diligently to promote environmental sustainability in Uganda. Organic Perspectives protects the environment, promotes food security, and helps to enhance smallholder farmers’ incomes through sustainable and economically-viable agriculture. Most recently, the organization is promoting responsible eco-tourism in the region as a means to fund these important efforts.
Over the last few decades, deforestation has produced widespread land degradation in most of Uganda’s rural areas. As an effect, smallholder farmers in the countryside face a series of social and environmental challenges including nutrient depleted soils and a sharp decline in fuel wood—the only source of household energy for cooking and heating.
Since 2007, Organic Perspectives has used a ‘three-pronged’ approach integrating community forestry, sustainable household energy, and organic gardening to help farmers in the heavily deforested areas of the Kamuli and Buyende districts. The approach is intended to reverse deforestation through agroforestry and cleaner alternative fuels, and to implement more resilient organic agricultural practices.
Collaboration & Success:
- In collaboration with our key partner ‘Trees for the Future’ (USA), Organic Perspectives has provided over 200,000 free saplings of multipurpose, fast-growing leguminous trees
- Over 700 households have planted trees from our community nurseries
- Agroforestry training is being provided to more than 30 schools
- Over 100 households have acquired a fixed dome biogas digester
- 200 more efficient, cleaner burning woodstoves have been disseminated with the help of Envirofit International
- The two current target districts are categorized by Uganda’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development as being among the 10 most deforested (charcoal producing) regions out of 112 districts in Uganda.
- Rural farmers in Uganda depend on subsistence agriculture. With the degradation of soils, agricultural production is continuing to decline—constraining incomes and causing frequent food shortages.
How can Eco-tourism help:
In response to growing challenges, Organic Perspectives recently launched ‘EcoTours & Travel Uganda’ specifically for the purpose of involving travelers in expanding our work. Uganda’s tourism industry is directly dependent on our planet’s natural resources—and, as such, travelers are key stakeholders in environmental sustainability.
- EcoTours & Travel Uganda is developing a ‘Travel CO2 Offsets’ initiative designed to create personal, real-life connections between travelers and environmental causes in the local destinations they are visiting.
- EcoTours & Travel Uganda will enable Organic Perspectives to scale its much-needed efforts faster. Programs like the “Sustainability Travelers’ Trip” will take eco-minded travelers to Uganda’s little-discovered natural places for the purpose of promoting ecotourism in these areas and reflecting on the challenges to local ecosystems. Proceeds will be used in our reforestation efforts.
Call to Action
You can learn about Organic Perspectives here and donate through GlobalGiving or using additional donation options on the website. Donations will be used primarily for creating new Community Reforestation Centers, as these will become hubs for informing farmers about Organic Perspectives overall work.
In the long-run, Organic Perspectives hopes to use the passion of Uganda’s travel industry to promote environmental sustainability. Through this innovative approach, they will be able to restore forests, create a more sustainable food system, and transition local households to healthier, more environmentally sensitive sources of fuel.
Please contact Anthony Kalulu, email@example.com, for additional information.
Today, on Earth Day, we are celebrating our amazing members who give back to our big blue planet everyday by supporting our nonprofit partners who are keeping our Planet beautiful.
We are thrilled to be jumping into our second decade of existence with our new Love Blue campaign. We encourage all of our members and nonprofits to check out our new brand guidelines and adopt the use of our new logos! Please get in touch if you have any questions about the Love Blue campaign, or want more information on how you can best use these materials- we’re here to chat!
Caudalie, a French natural skincare company who joined 1% for the Planet last year, has done a great job of showing how they Love Blue in this short film….
We are proud of the partnerships they have created with Coeur de Forêt, WWF and Nordesta Reforestation & Éducation. We thank them for giving back to our big blue planet and look forward to seeing the great work that comes from these partnerships!
Vermont Land Trust’s Bragg Farm initiative is an effort to protect the agricultural heritage and the vitality of farming in the Mad River Valley. With incomparable views of the Green Mountains, the Bragg Farm showcases the beauty and agricultural productivity of the Valley’s working landscapes.
“This project exemplifies the spirit of the Mad River Valley, both in that it preserves and protects our open spaces but also by keeping this land in agricultural use,” said Win Smith, President of Sugarbush Resort. “It was our intent at the onset of joining 1% for the Planet to support local environmental initiatives and the Bragg Farm project combines so many of our values into one project.”
Through a competitive process Vermont Land Trust has chosen an experienced farmer to purchase the land. Marisa Mauro, owner of Ploughgate Creamery, plans to craft artisanal butter and cheeses from a small milking herd. The conservation and sale of the Bragg Farm advances the goals of the Vermont Land Trust’s Farmland Access Program, which helps experienced farmers gain access to productive, affordable farmland.
“Timbers Restaurant has always supported local agricultural and Vermont’s working landscapes by purchasing and serving the produce, meats and cheeses from our neighbors’ farms.” continued Smith “Perhaps in the future you may see Ploughgate Creamery products on the menu at Timbers.”
Overlooking the Mad River Valley the Bragg Farm is perched on one of the Valley’s finest pieces of real estate. The iconic and over one-hundred year old barn and farm boasts views that overlook Mt. Ellen at Sugarbush and has been seen on the cover of Vermont Life magazine among other publications, including Sugarbush’s marketing material.
For more information contact Patrick Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Despite the tragic events at the Boston Marathon New Generation Energy will still be hosting the Mint Party on April 20th at Trade. NGE’s mission has always revolved around strengthening our city. Boston is at its strongest when we come together as a community, in times of joy or in times of crisis. The Mint Party is a celebration of Boston and all of the things that Boston does best – it’s a celebration of a city that gets better every day. In light of Monday’s tragedy, New Generation Energy will be donating 50% of every ticket purchased from now until Saturday, April 20th, to the American Red Cross. We want to continue to help Boston and think this is the best way to do it.
Also, if anyone is interested in helping out but does not live in Boston, they should feel free to purchase a ticket in honor of a friend or community member. 50% of the proceeds will still be sent to the American Red Cross, and the ticket can be given to someone in our community who may not be able to purchase a ticket themselves. Buying a ticket allows us to invite members of our community, of the nonprofits we work with, to the event. It is a great way to give back right now.
Beyond monetary donations to the Red Cross, NGE is exploring other ways we can be involved with the healing process of Boston. As we’ve already seen since Monday’s horrible events, the people of Boston are giving back to their fellow citizens in record numbers. Giving blood, offering shelter, providing food, etc. NGE feels it is incredibly important to do our part. We are currently exploring volunteer projects to help the City of Boston. If anyone is looking for a way to help during this time, they should feel free to reach out to our staff at Joffe@newgenerationenergy.org or sign up to receive our e-mails here: http://newgenerationenergy.org/.
NGE’s mission has always been two-fold. First, and most obviously, we are helping build energy efficient, sustainable nonprofits. What is sometimes initially overlooked is that an equally important part of our work is community building. We hold a fundamental belief that strong nonprofits, strong organizations in general, build great communities. Community development and involvement is a core value of ours, and that is what the Marathon represents to us. The Marathon is Boston at its best – a perfect example of our community. It represents strength, togetherness, camaraderie, achieving a seemingly impossible dream. These things are what make the Marathon great; these things are what make Boston great. When we decided to still host the Mint Party on Saturday, we thought about all of these things. We want Saturday to be a place for our community to come together. NGE thinks it is so important to stand strong as a community right now. We don’t want this event to be exclusionary because of a price tag. So, if anyone is interested in coming to the event, but is not sure if they can afford it, they should reach out to us at Joffe@newgenerationenergy.org.
The other 50% of proceeds from this event go directly to Local & Green, NGE’s new program to help nonprofits raise impact by reducing their carbon footprint. Local & Green provides hands-on support for energy efficiency projects in our community. For one year, NGE helps selected regional nonprofits become more sustainable, designing and implementing projects to help nonprofits save money and increase their impact. From project design to 100% funding, Local & Green is our 360° approach to powering sustainable communities.
To learn more, visit http://newgenerationenergy.org/
There’s no doubt that having the courage to do what is right has an amazing effect on others. More often than not, we hear from new members that it is interactions with sustainable businesses and environmental nonprofits that ultimately helped encourage them to give back to the environment. Leaders of sustainability set an example that inspires others to make a more serious effort. Two new members, Color by Amber and Lifetime Legal, recently came to us with great stories of inspiration.
Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, Color by Amber is in the business of making amazing eco-friendly jewelry. According to the website, Amber is the concept of creating gorgeous materials from the natural world and encapsulating them in stunning eco-resin. Hand-spun silks, exquisite mohair, artisan-crafted fossil leaves: each piece of Amber is a beautiful expression of style, sustainability, and social responsibility.
CEO Talley Goodson was inspired to join 1% for the Planet after a meeting with Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard. “Some time ago I had the chance to spend a couple of days surfing with with Yvon Chouinard, at his place north of Santa Barbara, California. Yvon’s house was built from dry-stacked recycled sidewalks and as we talked, I couldn’t help but be impressed by his deep commitment to the environment both personally and as the spiritual leader of Patagonia. Over the years, I have sought to incorporate similar principles of sustainability into my business ventures. I love the idea that private enterprise can have a positive impact on the planet. I am proud that Color by Amber is a member of 1% for the planet!”
We’re so happy to have Color by Amber in the network. In the years to come, hopefully their efforts will help to encourage additional businesses to adopt similar values and practices.
Based in Camarillo, California, Lifetime Legal provides a variety of services to its clients including estate planning, living trust packages, charitable planning, estate administration, wills, and advanced healthcare directives and durable powers of attorney for financial matters. Owner and attorney Eric Smith pays particular attention to his clients’ values, concerns, needs, and what can be done to protect those you care about.
Through his involvement with the Ventura Hillsides Conservancy, Eric was inspired to have Lifetime Legal join 1% for the Planet. He learned about 1% for the Planet from a short clip at the Wild and Scenic film festival in Ventura and was impressed that so many business owners had made such a commitment to work for the common good of our planet. While his new law firm, Lifetime Legal, is still in its growing stages, he decided to make the environmental commitment as well. While estate planning, which is the firm’s focus, has little to do with the environment directly, Eric believes that any business can help do its part and every business should. Eric would love to meet other local business owners and 1% members who share this concern and commitment.
Lifetime Legal is the perfect example of a business that is making its commitment to the environment an integral priority. Hopefully other 1% members and nonprofits will have a chance to meet Eric at an upcoming California meet up.
Hug On A Rug is a company created around one product and one idea. We designed and had manufactured a rug just for hugging. It is a little rug with a big purpose – healing the world one hug at a time. The rug is intended to serve as a reminder of our relationship to each other and to the planet we all share.
We at Hug On A Rug have a deep and abiding interest in the environment and the health of the planet that is home to us all. As folks hug each other they may be reminded that we are all in this together, breathing the same air and fishing in the same seas. This care for the environment led us to 1% For The Planet – a natural partnership!
Tom first wrote his senator asking for support for the first Wilderness Bill in 1960. Tom was 14. He is a founding member of the former High Peaks Audubon in the Adirondacks of NY and participated in three Breeding Bird Atlases. Jean has been a long-time supporter of wildlife through the National Wildlife Federation and Defenders of Wildlife. It was she who designed the rug.
Our connection with Keeping Track began when Tom took Sue Morse’s (founder of Keeping Track) training nearly 10 years ago. He served for two years as a member of its board of directors. Keeping Track trains and educates both citizen scientists and professionals in methods of data collection that can lead to better decisions involving wildlife and land use. Sue’s efforts, along with those who work with her, have helped directly in the preservation of over 30,000 acres of sensitive wildlife habitat. We at Hug On A Rug will continue to support Keeping Track and it’s mission.
Huge thanks to Hug on a Rug‘s Tom Barber for sending us this story and for completing his 2012 certification early with support of Keeping Track. We’re so proud of our Vermont network- thanks for keeping it local Tom!
Other CSR News
Three Squares Inc. Named Sustainability Certification Partner for Sustainable Brands® 2013
UPS Mobilizes Its Disaster Relief Program To Support Oklahoma Recovery Efforts
CSRwire CEO Receives 2013 Listen Learn Care Award for Outstanding Service to Mankind