Iowa’s Only 2 Companies: One Percent for the Planet

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Iowa’s Only 2 Companies: One Percent for the Planet

We all know that charitable giving and volunteerism in our companies can make a difference in our communities and engage employees to increase overall satisfaction at work. Perhaps you’ve heard that their is a third-party certification for businesses that have committed to donating at least 1 percent of revenues (not profit) to approved environmental organizations? But what does that mean? And why are there only 2 in Iowa today?

One Percent for the Planet is an international organization whose members contribute at least one percent of annual sales to environmental causes. Their mission is to build, support, and activate an alliance of businesses financially committed to creating a healthy planet. Members donate to, volunteer for, and assist nonprofit organizations that protect land, forests, rivers, and oceans, while encouraging sustainable methods of energy production. They bring dollars and doers together to accelerate smart environmental giving. They advise on giving strategies, certify donations, and amplify the impact of their members.

The organization boasts over 1,600 members like Patagonia, New Belgium Brewing, Klean Canteen, Boxed Water, Kind Coffee, ThinkShift Communications, and Planet Bike. Tying giving to revenues instead of profits is similar to tithing. This holds the business to a higher standard, responsible for managing their costs even in an economic downturn. One Percent for the Planet advises members on giving strategies and certifies donations of member companies as a percentage of revenues.

One Percent for the Planet in Iowa

Today, only two Iowa companies that have committed their charitable giving efforts to the One Percent for the Planet cause: Shaktea Kombucha and Fox River Mills. Expect more to follow their lead. My new book includes step-by-step instructions on how businesses achieve these results.

One Percent for the Planet was founded by business owners, outdoor enthusiasts, and philanthropists, Yvon Chouinard (Patagonia) and Craig Mathews (Blue Ribbon Flies). Both leaders will be speaking in Cedar Rapids at Coe College on Wednesday, February 28. Get tickets here.

Shaktea Kombucha

Shaktea Kombucha is a private microbrewery of healthy kombucha and soda founded in 2001 with 3 employees. Their shop is located in Fairfield, Iowa, and they feel it’s only natural to take their motto ‘Brewing up positive change’ one step further by donating one percent of revenues to projects that give kids access to fresh whole foods in schools—like their local Farm to School Greenhouse Project.


Fox River Mills

Fox River Mills is a private manufacturer of outdoor socks and clothing, founded in 1900 with 200 employees. Their hosiery mill is in Osage, Iowa. They established the Socks that Care Foundation in 2010 and are a member of One Percent for the Planet, donating one percent of sales on its Good Earth collection to organizations dedicated to protecting the environment. The Good Earth collection combines organic merino wool socks and socks made from 100 percent biodegradable corn.


Sustainable Business in Iowa

As Kum & Go’s first manager of sustainability in 2010, I wrote my first book and began teaching CSR & Sustainability for the University of Iowa evening MBA program. In 2014, I launched and became the executive director of the Iowa Sustainable Business Forum and an independent consultant. With the help of an endless amount of Iowa professionals in various fields (see the Acknowledgements page), I just released my second book, Sustainable Business in Iowa: How Leading Companies Profit from Environmental and Social Responsibility. It gives step-by-step guidance on how industry leaders define, measure, and improve their own corporate sustainability programs. The book also highlights over 30 responsible Iowa businesses as case study examples.

The Kindle ebook is free and the paperback is heavily discounted for the first week of promotion, until March 2nd. Get your copy today and help move your company forward!



Adam Hammes is the executive director of the Iowa Sustainable Business Forum, a consultant, author, and motivational speaker. He specializes in helping businesses and sustainability professionals with environmental and social performance.

Check out Adam's new book on Amazon, Audible and Kindle: Sustainable Business in Iowa.

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