With Kate Williams, CEO of 1% for the Planet
You might be surprised to learn that only 3% of philanthropy goes to environmental causes. But 1% for the Planet, an environmental organization unlike any other, is changing the very way we think about philanthropy. They’re encouraging businesses and individuals to give just 1% of their sales or income to an environmental nonprofit.
This community of members is shifting the conversation around giving and elevating the standard for businesses.
Video Podcast: Kate Williams, 1% for the Planet
See the full video interview that we recorded with 1% for the Planet CEO, Kate Williams, below:
What Is 1% for the Planet?
1% for the Planet is a global giving network that connects environmental nonprofits with individuals and businesses who are eager to make an impact on the health of our shared planet. As a nonprofit organization itself, 1% for the Planet vets each nonprofit it partners with to ensure that business and individual members know that the programming aligns with their mission.
The History of 1% for the Planet
In 2002, Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Craig Mathews, owner of Blue Ribbon Flies, wanted to do more to connect businesses with environmental organizations making a difference in the health of the planet. To date, 1% for the Planet businesses and individuals have raised $280 million for their nonprofit partners.
Yvon Chouinard gives a detailed account of the founding of 1% and his company Patagonia in his book, Let My People Go Surfing. A reluctant entrepreneur, Yvon has always grappled with balancing business wellbeing of our planet. By founding 1% for the Planet, he gave businesses around the world the opportunity to become donors and use their impact for good through a simple membership program.
Nonprofit & Business Members
In the 1% for the Planet community, member companies commit to donating 1% of their total sales, not just their profits, to an environmental organization acting as a force for good. More than 3,075 business members from 70 countries belong to this network of companies committed to saving the planet through nonprofit partnerships.
Nonprofit partners of 1% are fully vetted to ensure the integrity of all donations. 1% advises on giving strategies and provides certified donations, so each dollar is accounted for. More than 4,289 nonprofit partners from 96 countries are recipients of these donations.
A nonprofit partner of the 1% network can specialize in a variety of environmental causes. Partners include national organizations like Conservation International and small, local nonprofits. Harlem Grown is a youth development organization that uses food justice as a vehicle for social transformation. As one of the nonprofits on the roster at 1%, the organization receives funds to fuel its mission for action-oriented solutions that benefit the environment.
Consumer Benefit of 1% for the Planet
It’s no secret that today’s consumers are increasingly invested in the impact their purchases make and are asking brands to do more. While consumers might not feel driven to source and vet an environmental nonprofit themselves, they are willing to buy products with the 1% logo, as they know that these purchases will support nonprofit partnerships.
By increasing brand awareness over the last five years, 1% has helped drive more sales and revenue to environmentally friendly companies, increasing the amount they’re able to donate.
Kate Williams, CEO of 1% for the Planet
As an outdoorswoman, Kate believes that by spending time outdoors, people are inclined to fall in love with nature and therefore fight for it. Prior to her career at 1% for the Planet, Kate worked in outdoor education and as an executive director for a nonprofit organization.
As CEO, Kate’s focus is strategically positioning 1% for the Planet as the most recognized global environmental community. Kate’s expert navigation between corporations, nonprofits, and individuals is a perfect example of how the 1% member community has aligned its goals and is committed to doing more and taking action together.
“Recognize we all have a 1%. That may be financial, time, or energy, but if everyone thinks about how they can give their 1% every day, we are the most unstoppable force. You put all those 1%s together, and it makes a whole lot.”
As Kate mentioned in the podcast, everyone has 1% to give. Whether it’s 1% of our time spent planting trees, volunteering for a local organization, or our income, we can all be a partner to the planet.
- Pursue Individual Membership: A simple way to get involved in a like-minded global giving community is to become an individual member of 1% for the Planet. Join the movement and make a difference today.
- Shop 1% Products: Some of your favorite planet-loving brands might already be members of this international coalition for environmental giving. Check out Earth Hero’s website for an easy way to purchase from all your favorite planet-loving brands at once. From Ettitude to Patagonia to Meliora, your purchase helps support our shared environment. Just look for the blue logo!
- Give 1% Of Your Time: Can you remove trash from your local beach or plant a tree? Becoming a volunteer is an effective way to provide support to the nonprofit organizations in your immediate orbit.
- Change Your Habits: The focus of 1% for the Planet is funding the groups that have a solid track record of protecting the environment, reducing the impact of climate change, and preserving the most beautiful places in the world. In your daily life, how can you act on behalf of the planet? Can you make a commitment to reduce plastic or pause before placing a new order online?
Closing: Just 1%
Being a member of the 1% for the Planet community is a simple and straightforward way for companies to use their influence for good. At Grow Ensemble, we love sharing information about the network of businesses that are using their power to make the world better than we found it. As a company committed to doing more for our shared planet, that’s also why we’re a member of 1% for the Planet.
Additional Resources & Links Mentioned in the Episode:
- Kate on LinkedIn
- 1% for the Planet on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn
- The Planet Post
- The Planet Service Announcement
- We’re Still In
- Oliver Russell
- All Good Products
- Brooks Wine
- B Corporation
- The Overstory by Richard Powers
Sustainable Workplaces Manager & Writer
Jackie is the Sustainable Workplaces Manager at Urban Green Lab, a sustainability education nonprofit in Nashville, Tennessee. She’s passionate about connecting people with actionable ways to make a positive impact on the environment. She graduated from Dickinson College with a degree in Environmental Studies and a certificate in Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship. Jackie worked in the nonprofit world in Washington D.C. for Ashoka and the National Building Museum.
Jackie enjoys hiking with her rescue dog, finding craft breweries, and traveling the globe in search of plant-based eats.