What does it mean to do good business?

by Leah Feor July 14, 2016

"Who are businesses really responsible to?  Their customers?  Shareholders? Employees?  We would argue that it's none of the above.  Fundamentally, businesses are responsible to their resource base.  Without a healthy environment there are no shareholders, no employees, no customers, and no business." ~ Yvon Chouinard

Depending on who you are talking with, people have a different response to the important topic of what role business can play in society.

Some business owners and managers believe that their sole purpose is to increase profit for shareholder return.  Others believe that balancing a triple bottom line (TBL) is something to strive for.

When we work towards balancing a TBL, we put people and the planet on the same level as increase in profit.  This framework acknowledges that it takes more than money to make a business thrive.

It’s refreshing to see a growing number of companies internally implement a TBL way of doing business.  It’s even better to see companies empower others to make a social impact outside their own organizations.

In 2001, two passionate environmentalist came together to do just that.  Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Craig Mathews, owner of Blue Ribbon Flies collaborated to establish an initiative that is known globally as 1% for the Planet.

About ten years ago I saw the logo for the first time on the back of a Jack Johnson CD.  I thought, how cool is this!  I’m a big fan of his music, and it was great to know how much thought was put into production. 

Over the years, I have seen the logo on a number of products.  I have also had the chance to learn about the importance of green fees or green taxes to help give back to the Earth. 

When we take a step back and look at 1% for the Planet, it’s clear as water to see that what Yvon Chouniard originally proposed as an “Earth Tax” is a growing necessity in today’s world.

Although I don’t agree with all taxes out there, I certainly believe that we need to pool our financial resources to help remediate the Planet.

In order to live and survive as humans, we extract and use resources from the Earth.  These resources however are not infinite.  If we don’t carefully source – and replenish what we have taken – we’re doing a disservice to the global community now, and for generations to come.

So what does it mean to do good business? 

It means respecting and nurturing all contributions to operations.  From the people who dedicate their work day to keep production going, to the very Earth we extract raw materials from.

Doing good business means coming together from different sectors to work on innovative solutions that allow us to act on climate.  It means collaborating to empower the conservation of green space around globe.

The team at 1% for the Planet have established a member based organization that receives 1% of annual sales from businesses and helps distribute them to sustainability initiatives.  They are catalysts in giving back to the Earth.

It’s a movement that has gained momentum over the last decade and a half, and it’s getting stronger.  Just last month, technology and collaborative efforts made it possible for customers that care about the Earth to give a small percentage of their purchase to 1% for the Planet no matter what product they are buying. 

“1% for the Planet and MyRoundUp have developed and launched a custom mobile app (Android & iOS) wherein users can support 1% for the Planet’s mission with every swipe of their debit or credit card.”

One Tree Planted is very grateful to be a non-profit member of this incredible organization that connects businesses, customers, and environmental efforts.  Together, we are making a big impact.

What’s your favorite product that supports 1% for the Planet?  We want to hear from you!  Comment below, or connect with us on social media.




Leah Feor
Leah Feor

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