Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Three Dollar Bridge

Three Dollar Bridge from felt soul on Vimeo.

Felt Soul Media has produced another gem. Check out this 3 minute profile on 1% For the Planet, an alliance of businesses that donate at least 1% of their annual revenues to environmental organizations worldwide. Founded by Yvon Chouinard and Craig Matthews, 1% has grown to over 1000 members since it's launch in 2002 and has donated nearly $42 million to approved environmental non-profits. This particular film highlights the Three Dollar Bridge (Madison River) project that was made possible by 1% funds. The two founding members tell the story.

Music by Neil Halstead & Jack Johnson | Brushfire Records


Burl Productions said...

Everything that is tangible in your life comes directly from the the earth, mother nature, natural process, the Planet!! It supports all life on earth, your family, your business, the vehicle that carries your soul and consciousness. Everything that you have ever touched, bought or seen. One percent is the very least we can do. But it's a great start. I'm not a member yet but i will be some day soon. I've been donating allot of time, energy, money and resources to projects in my local area where i can see direct impact in things that are important to me and places i care about. What ever way you decide to give back, the important part is that you are respecting nature and it's non stop gift to you.

Great video Travis. Always super impressed.

Anonymous said...

Very cool stuff there. I heard Yvon speak last year about 1% and it is a fantastic concept.

I tend to be on the recieving side of 1%, as I work at a river conservation nonprofit and we certainly appreciate the support of 1% members.

Enjoyed seeing Three Dollar Bridge there too. Beautiful piece of water.

El Pescador said...

Check out this CNBC segment of SQUAWK On The Street featuring Yvon Chouinard and 1% For The Planet -

Anonymous said...

having looked at the three dollar bridge video i picked up on Yvon's comment regarding the $500 lawyer who he said charge $505 is this not the customer paying the 1% and not Patagonia donating the 1%?

El Pescador said...

Good question Anon. My view is that the customer pays either way (just like you currently pay the government with your taxes). The member businesses of 1% are taking action and do more than just pass along the "earth tax". These companies look for ways to reduce waste, energy consumption, etc and you can trust that they will preserve and protect what already belongs to you (the public). This is a tax where you can count on the money ending up where you want it too. As YC says, "the consumer is voting with their dollars" when it comes to supporting businesses that care about more than just profits.

Anonymous said...

I think your point that the customer is paying the 1% is a good one, and true--the same as sales tax when you buy a product. The question I ask myself, though is this: wouldn’t I rather do business with a company concerned enough about the environment to be a part of 1% For The Planet than one that’s part of 100% For Our Stockholders? Whether the hypothetical law firm raises their price from $500 to $505 or just takes five bucks out of their normal profit margin, at least to me, is a lot less important than the involvement and total contribution.

Another thing to consider is that 1% For The Planet means the money goes to a well-researched, highly effective group of grassroots conservation organizations, so the customer can be assured that the funds will have maximum impact in actually getting things done. That kind of vetting adds real value to the program, the 1% member companies and ultimately, the customer who patronizes these companies.

So I think it works on a couple of different levels: For highly involved customers who already contribute to the conservation groups of their choice on their own, doing business with 1% For The Planet members is just an additional contribution and a way of rewarding like-minded, concerned companies. For customers who do not already donate on their own, it’s a way to make some positive impact with their purchases, and potentially a gateway to becoming more involved.

I also look at it like an “earth tax” that companies agree to pay for the privilege of doing business on our planet. Just as we pay B & O taxes (where the funds support infrastructure necessary for business) for doing business in our cities, the 1% “tax” helps pay to conserve the natural resources we burden with our work.

Anyway, that’s just my two-cents on the topic. I hope that makes sense and encourages you to do as much business as possible with 1% For The Planet companies, even if that 1% is passed on to you the customer.



adipose said...

This puts the Patagonia grants program in perspective.