Project Hive Pet Company is 1% for the Planet Certified!
Written by Melissa Rappaport Schifman, Co-Founder
In March 2022, Project Hive Pet Company was officially certified by 1% for the Planet! Why is that a big deal? Our first year of selling our dog toys and treats was last year—2021—so it's the first year we were able to donate proceeds from our sales! (We were certified for 2020, but we only paid the membership fee since we had no sales.)
What does 1% for the Planet do?
Yvon Chouinard, the founder of the apparel company Patagonia and one of our heroes, established 1% for the Planet twenty years ago. This nonprofit organization works with businesses to educate and advocate for making our planet more sustainable. More than 5,500 businesses from 60 countries have joined since their founding in 2002. To date, they have been responsible for overseeing $375 million donated to over 5,300 environmental organizations. Here's a great video to learn more!
Why is donating to the planet important?
According to Giving USA, only 3% of charitable giving goes to environmental/animal causes. While the other causes are essential, there's an underlying assumption that our planet will continue to support life with a limitless supply of clean air, clean water, and healthy soil to feed us. But according to Earth Overshoot Day, "humanity's demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year." So we can't always count on that. We need to save our home planet first. The good news is that philanthropic support for environmental causes grew by almost 12% (from 2019 to 2020). With 1% for the Planet and all its members, Project Hive Pet Company is helping continue that growth.
How much does it cost to join 1% for the Planet?
1% for the Planet has both business and individual membership levels. Companies must donate at least one percent of their top-line revenue to an environmental nonprofit. (Note the difference between one percent of sales and a percentage of net profits. Profits are much lower, and accounting for profits can more easily be manipulated. Sales is a better metric.) The organization 1% for the Planet doesn't take the entire amount and dole it out as it sees fit (though you can choose that option if you wish through their Planet Impact Fund). Each company chooses from the list of environmental nonprofits recognized by 1% for the Planet and donates directly to that organization. Then, at the end of the fiscal year, members must submit proof of revenue (like a tax return or financial statement) and confirmation of the donation (e.g., a gift receipt from the recipient). That's the third-party verification and validation that matters.
Individuals can also become members by donating 1% of their salary to environmental organizations. This commitment can be met by either a monetary gift or volunteering time (valued at USD 29/hour in 2022) or some combination of the two.
At either membership level, 1% for the Planet requires a membership fee, which can be counted towards that 1% required donation. A sliding scale determines the exact price. If a company is in start-up mode and has no revenue (like Project Hive Pet Company in 2020), the membership fee is $300. At $1 million in sales, the cost is $1,000. So, for example, a company would have to pay at least $1,000 to 1% for the Planet plus $9,000 to any of the environmental organizations listed to meet the minimum required for certification. The highest annual rate is $140,000 for companies that make over $450 million in sales. While that may seem like a steep price, it's only 0.03% of total revenues; that percentage decreases as businesses grow. (Side note: alas, every sustainable certification costs more for small businesses, even with sliding scale fees. unhappy face.)
Why does Project Hive Pet Company partner with 1% for the planet?
Project Hive Pet Company's mission is to save the bees. We see the reasons behind the decline of the bee populations as a microcosm of our primary sustainability issues: monoculture agriculture, harmful pesticides and insecticides, and climate change—all of which are damaging our soil health, water supply, and air quality. And when we say "sustainability issues," we are talking about our planet's ability to continue to support life—particularly people and pets.
We began selling our dog toys and treats in early 2021, so we donated one percent of our top-line sales to The Bee & Butterfly Habitat Fund. We do this twice per year. Our funds were put to good use immediately! We have paid for the seeds for 16 projects in 9 U.S. states totaling almost 2 million square feet of healthy pollinator habitat. Our goal? To plant 25 million square feet of wildflower habitat by 2025.
Our membership with 1% for the Planet is contingent upon us proving to them that we did what we said we would do. It's an important third-party validation that helps prevent greenwashing while enhancing transparency and supporting legitimate donations that so many wonderful businesses are doing. Anyone can make claims; our partnership ensures that you know we are authentic. And we value that.
It's also worth mentioning that when we joined as a member of 1% for the Planet, The Bee & Butterfly Habitat Fund was not listed as a recognized organization. Because of Project Hive Pet Company's efforts, The Bee & Butterfly Habitat Fund is now an approved nonprofit. Any other member can find them through their database and choose to donate to them as well!
Want to Learn More about The Bee & Butterfly Habitat Fund?
In November of 2021, Project Hive Pet Company aired a joint webinar with The Bee & Butterfly Habitat Fund to explain our partnership and its impact. Watch this video or visit their website to learn more!