One Percent for the Planet ... and people: Group expands scope to include social environmental causes

Evolution reflects increasing recognition of the power of people in nonprofit endeavors.
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One of the outdoor industry’s iconic nonprofits is getting more social.

One Percent for the Planet, which traditionally has focused its mission on direct environmental causes — think preserving land, cleaning up rivers and protecting wildlife — is evolving to additionally support environmental social endeavors, including human health and recreational access.

The expansion reflects a growing trend within the industry, and among the nonprofit’s member companies, to recognize the importance of people in the equation of the environment.

“It’s really a natural evolution for us,” said Melody Badgett, the group’s managing director based out of Burlington, Vt. “When social and environmental causes come together, it creates more inclusive solutions.”

The move opens the doors for nonprofits such as the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) or the Appalachian Mountain Club to work with One Percent for the Planet. The groups promote getting more people outdoors as well as educating and organizing their members on respecting and protecting the land they recreate on. Along those same lines, Badgett acknowledged the outdoor industry’s growing list of groups focused on getting more youth outdoors, aiming to raise a new generation of wilderness users and stewards.

On the human health side, One Percent for the Planet will support groups such as Charity Water, Food Corp. and the Breast Cancer Fund, all of which address the importance of a clean environment as part of the solution to their missions.

More than 100 outdoor, sports and fitness brands work with One Percent for the Planet, including Patagonia, Mountain Equipment Co-op, Toad & Co., Ahnu Footwear and Klean Kanteen, to name a few.

The organization helps businesses research, certify and market their environmental charitable givings. As members — there are 1,200 total — the companies give 1 percent of their sales directly to a selection of 3,300 nonprofits endorsed by One Percent for the Planet, which charges membership dues but does not get a cut of the donations.

Badgett said the nonprofit industry as a whole is recognizing the growing power of people in their missions as the influence of social media and consumer activism increases, particularly among millennials.

“We’ve been listening and evolving in this direction for several years,” she said, adding that despite the expansion, the group maintains its original environmental focus. One Percent for the Planet won’t support purely social missions, for example the Red Cross, Badgett said, “only those social missions grounded in environmental stewardess.”

Brands or nonprofits interested in learning more about One Percent for the Planet can reach Badgett at melody@onepercentfortheplanet.org.

--David Clucas

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