The movement was started in 2002 by Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard (wikipedia), and owner of Blue Ribbon Flies Craig Mathews. It was created to encourage businesses to donate 1% of their annual sales, rather than 1% of their profits, back to the environment.
The movement was started to combat greenwashing — the appearance of doing good by the environment to improve a business's public image. Certification is only given to companies that commit to annual donations of at least 1% of annual sales.
Only 3% of total philanthropic donations go to environmental causes. By encouraging businesses to donate every year, and not just when they are profitable, the 1% movement is committed to driving long-term positive change, not just when your business does well.
1% for the Planet operates on an annual membership and provides support, advice and guidance regarding giving back to environmental issues. They don’t act as a middleman for donations. Instead, you’ll pay a small annual membership fee to become part of the movement and commit to donating the equivalent of 1% of gross sales directly to the causes you care about.
After your join, 1% for the Planet provides partnership advising by pairing you with Environmental partners that are making an impact and align with your business and your values.
You’ll support these partners by donating directly to the cause. 1% of the Planet certifies all member donations, legitimising your commitment by reviewing and confirming contributions annually.
1% for the Planet, members have given over $435 million in environmental solutions through the movement so far and have expanded to include 5,000 like-minded businesses.
1% for the Planet works with trusted Environmental Partners to address the most pressing environmental issues. There are six core areas that partners work within: climate, food, land, pollution, water and wildlife. Here’s why each sector is essential:
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Donating when your business feels like it creates less impact than joining a movement like 1% for the Planet. First of all, you have a business to run, so it’s understandable that charitable donations sometimes get overlooked. Joining a movement like 1% helps keep you accountable and ensures you won’t forget to make regular donations.
Secondly, only giving when your business has a good year makes donating contingent on what your business can gain, not what your business can give. The 1% movement was started to create commitment outside of profitability.
As businesses, we use the Earth’s natural resources, including clean air, water, raw materials or ingredients, to create our products. Giving back to the planet ensures that we’ll still have the resources we all need to live healthy lives and look after the materials we rely on.
Thirdly, there are so many environmental non-profits and organisations that it’s sometimes hard to know who to support. 1% for the Planet takes the hard work out of finding causes that align with your business’ values. They also ensure you donate to causes with the most significant environmental impact.
Your annual membership goes towards staff that provide support certifying your donations. Each fiscal year, you’ll get help in the annual certification of your commitment to donating 1% of your sales to environmental causes.
You’ll need to confirm your revenue by providing tax documents, account details, bookkeeping reports, and documentation of your donations to approved Environmental Partners.
Everything is done online through an online member portal making the whole process super simple. Continued membership is contingent on completing this process annually.
As a New Zealand business, it’s understandable you would want to support causes close to home. The good news is 1% for the Planet supports many great kiwi-based environmental charities. Their directory makes it easy to find charities and organisations worldwide.
On their partner list, you’ll find well-known organisations like Trees that Count, Forest & Bird, Project Jonah, Save the Kiwi, and Our Seas Our Future. With 20 Environmental Partners, you’ll find a range of worthy charities to support.
However, if you’re also interested in global environmental causes, you can donate to any of the partners on their list. They also break down causes by ‘impact area’, making it easy to find charities that work on environmental issues you care about.
New Zealand has a unique ecosystem of flora and fauna. There are an estimated 80,000 native species in our country. Around 55,000 species have been identified, and about 30,000 have been scientifically classified. Many of these species are critically endangered. Looking after our environment includes caring for the animals, plants, and ecosystems that make New Zealand their home.
Our biodiversity and many unique ecosystems are at risk from climate change, introduced predators, and human development.
Government organisations like DOC and Ministry for Environment are underfunded and environmental charities can’t operate without funding. Committing at least 1% of gross sales helps boost causes central to keeping New Zealand’s biodiversity alive and thriving.
Join Wise Move in becoming a 1% for the Planet Partner here.
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