Sustainability, Jan. 29, 2020, 6:20 p.m.



1% for the Planet has called for companies to put sustainability and supporting the planet at the heart of their business by contributing to environmental nonprofits.

Members of 1% for the Planet commit to giving one per cent of their revenues to certified NGOs, in money or in kind, or both.

James Bidwell, Co-founder of Re_Set and Chair of Springwise, launched 1% for the Planet’s drive for more UK members at a conference in central London this week. He said, “We all know about the existential crisis facing our planet. But what can we do about it in our everyday lives?

“Only three per cent of charitable giving currently goes to the planet. We need to significantly increase that number by providing a clarity of purpose focused on the environment and sustainability. And the only way to make that happen is to put sustainability at the heart of the business model. 1% for the Planet membership is the answer.”

1% for the Planet helps members find the right nonprofits to support, ensuring they are fully audited. To date, members have donated over $225 million to environment-focused organizations.

One of the charities Re_Set supports is WeForest, which has planted 25.5 million trees in the past 11 years. Bill Liao, co-founder and Chair of the Board, said, “Trees make clouds. Clouds make rain. And rain makes things grow. The best way to achieve this virtuous circle is to plant valuable trees that produce things people can eat and sell: avocados, nuts, papayas and so on. This provides perhaps the most important aspect of the circle: we use trees to help bring people out of poverty.”

Yvon Chouinard founded Patagonia and co-founded 1% for the Planet. Alex Beasley, UK and Ireland country manager for Patagonia, spoke at the conference. He said, “We are in business to save our home planet. Fundamentally, we are an activist company that funds its work through its products. To date, we have donated more than $110 million to nonprofits working on environmental problems facing communities and the planet.”

Georgia Phillips, Global Partnerships Lead at Pukka, also spoke. She said, “We believe in the critical link between healthy people and a healthy planet and seek to achieve conservation through commerce. In practice, this means we give over one percent of sales to environmental causes around the world every year through 1% for the Planet. Half of the funds go to paying additional fair premiums for ingredients, which directly support our growers’ local communities. The other half goes to environmental NGOs in our markets across the world to inspire and educate our consumers with the power of organic plants for healthier, happier people.”

James Bidwell concluded, “Membership of 1% for the Planet is open to businesses and individuals alike. It provides an easy and immediate way to take action to help our planet. The more members we have, the more we can do to preserve the world for future generations. Our aim is to welcome 500 new members in the UK by the end of 2020.”