Saturday, March 22, 2014

Outdoor Retailer Trends: Charity- Environment + Corporate Responsibility

Outdoor Retailer, SLC
Part 12

Collectively, Americans are charitable-with time and/or money donated to worthy causes that benefit those less fortunate and the health of planet earth.

The Outdoor Industry -no surprise ---is incredibly supportive of several initiatives…and has been for years. One of the reasons we think that the "Triple Bottom Line" -People, Planet, Profit (sustainable growth/corporate responsibility) is a given for just about every exhibitor at this 2x year tradeshow, big and small.

And as always, practice makes perfect.

CHARITY Begins...

On the tradeshow floor-Primaloft® collection of swapped out outerwear-donated to  non-profit, The Road Home 
At Demo Day-Helly Hansen-swap out-600 base layers donated, new Helly Hansen LIFA l/s received…or acquired with $20 donation-benefitting non-profit SPLORE a 501c(3) connects those with disabilities and the great outdoors

1% of The Planet is a very visible non-profit ---an alliance of over 1100 businesses worldwide (wow) that pledge to donate-1% of sales-earmarked for  environmental beneficiaries. 

Curious how it works--- we asked a few questions that imo really distinguishes the group-in a good (green) way:

What percent of the donations from member companies actually go to the nonprofits vs. administrative overhead?

1% for the Planet companies pay membership dues to 1% for the Planet on a sliding scale based on their revenue. They donate directly to their nonprofit partners of choice and we certify annually that the giving occurred. Dues average approximately 5% of the 1% of sales that our companies donate to environmental causes, meaning that at least 95% of their donation goes directly to organizations working on behalf of the planet.

Is there a breakdown of where the funds go by country or region? 

1% for the Planet members have given to environmental causes in 59 countries. The breakdown of percent going to our top three countries is as follows:

United States- approximately 75%
Canada- approximately 10%
France-  approximately 4%

Any outreach efforts in more 'mainstream' businesses? Like financial firms (Goldman Sachs), food or fashion industry giants?

Our 10-year anniversary is a pivotal moment. If the past 10 years have been about growing our network then the next 10 are about engaging more people than ever in taking care of our home, and part of that is partnership with large and "mainstream" businesses.

What does it look like to take care of the planet? Dark green advocates get us. They know that businesses need to be part of the solution. And they know that 1% of sales is a very high bar, the gold standard of corporate philanthropy; our network puts their money where their mouth is. 

An even larger part of the world is a lighter shade of green and aspires to do what they can on a daily basis but may not have the time to research how. Our logo gives anyone a chance to make the right decision, every time. It is an indicator that something substantial is going on; each individual step adds up to cultural change.  

For the next 10 years, we will invite even more people in who aspire to do the right thing and vote with their dollars. They see that business needs to be part of the solution; we help them buy better products and protect the planet we play on. 

By focusing our efforts on encouraging ever larger—and more mainstream—companies to join the network, we will engage more consumers and leverage more dollars in support of environmental initiatives.

... 1%FTP is kind of a clearing house/middle man…for $---but also psychologically gets member companies to commit to sustainability/eco causes, meaningfully…and in turn, encourages business amongst members/NGOs via co-op deals. Do they have a stat on how many members take advantage of the co-op deals?

We are a third party certifier that keeps corporate philanthropy committed and strategic. We vet the nonprofits our businesses partner with and confirm they are legitimate in their cause and impact. We have stats on purchase intent, loyalty and member growth that proves ROI, in addition to the perks of a network like coop deals for members to do business with one another.

Our logo has been in market for ten years and has proven a very powerful tool helping businesses to differentiate and drive sales. The average company that has been a member of 1% for the Planet for three or more years has grown by an average of 14%.

  • 72% of consumers familiar with 1% for the Planet would be more likely to purchase a product that has the 1% for the Planet brand on packaging.
  • 70% of consumers familiar with 1% for the Planet say that seeing the 1% for the Planet logo on packaging would increase their trust and the credibility of that brand.

Our coop is a new platform that we've developed to help member companies and nonprofit partners source their needs from like minded companies. Currently, ~10% of the business network takes part. 

We anticipate significant growth over the coming year as we build out the program on our new website.

The Conservation Alliance also engages scores of OR businesses- to effectively connect with groups, large and small-dedicated to protecting the "wild places for their habitat and recreational value…"

A lot of the aforementioned connect part-is via money raised with beer-and current, in-demand items (gear, apparel, footwear, accessories) happily scooped up by attendees at great prices…and in turn, those accumulated funds are distributed to grantees ---on a seasonal basis. WIN-WIN!!!! 

Personally we gratefully snagged some savvy fashion/function items by one of our fav labels NAU-at past shows. 

Added Plus: New Chair of the Conservation Alliance Board, Clif Bar's Scott Whipps-helping the organization celebrate its 25th anniversary---and building on previous good works of protecting wild lands, rivers, marine preserves, and climbing areas.

Biggest Aisle Jam:

The massive Subaru/ Leave No Trace giveaway---
'Like'  to participate-have to answer three questions…that educate on best practices to-of course-leave no trace behind after experiencing the wonderful outdoors.