By now most of us don’t need a day or a month to remind us to pay attention to Earth (we can hardly avoid it), but Earth Month is a great time to celebrate 1% for the Planet. We joined this global alliance of businesses that give at least 1% of their revenue (not profits—sales) to environmental nonprofits because we thought we’d have more impact giving as part of a movement than on our own.
Naturally, we believe showing off the blue 1% globe makes us stand out. We know it makes clients feel good about working with us and attracts smart people who care about the world to our team. Honestly, though, our greatest hope is that so many other businesses join the 1% alliance that the logo ceases to be a differentiator. That would mean we’re making real progress on achieving the original 1% for the Planet call to action: “Keep Earth in business.”
The power of collective action
The alliance has been piling up results: When we signed on in 2010, giving through 1% for the Planet totaled a little more than $50 million; now it’s up to $435 million. Today this community includes 5,600 business members, 5,900 environmental partners and 1,300 engaged individuals worldwide.
1% for the Planet describes the power behind the numbers: “We’ve seen firsthand how a single collective action by a dedicated group of people can create a world of difference. Our impact is not simply the movement of money toward a worthy cause. It’s businesses and individuals taking responsibility for the environment. It’s conscious consumers who purchase for the planet. It’s donors that make their money matter. It’s our approved Environmental Partners going to work. It’s our dedicated network collectively taking action.”
Supporting San Francisco Bay
We’ve given the majority of Thinkshift’s 1% for the Planet donations to San Francisco Baykeeper from year one, and we couldn’t ask for a more effective use of our money. They got us so hooked I joined the board in 2021.
This creative, talent-rich organization continues to make an outsized impact on a lean budget, using science, advocacy, policy and the law to stop pollution in San Francisco Bay, defend wildlife and address climate change impacts.
For instance, last summer Baykeeper’s science team led the investigation, documentation and analysis of a “red tide” algal bloom that spread throughout the Bay, leading to an unprecedented fish kill that attracted national notice. And while media attention waned, Baykeeper continues to push the Regional Water Board to accelerate development of protective standards and permit terms for the Bay’s 40 wastewater treatment plants.
We used to say 1% for the Planet’s certification requirement ensures that we act on our good intentions, but we don’t really need the nudge anymore—working with an environmental partner has committed us in a deeper way. And that’s part of the point: pitching in to preserve and restore vital natural resources can bring new meaning to your business and make a lasting community contribution. See for yourself!