When you hear the word “ambassador,” you might think of embassies and state dinners, politics and protocol.
But given the connectedness of today’s world — and how quickly a catastrophe in one country ripples across oceans — it makes sense that a different, global kind of ambassadorship is called for too.
The non-proﬁt organization 1 Percent for the Planet recently announced its new network of Planet Ambassadors, a diverse group of 16 business leaders, athletes, artists and activists. They share a two-pronged calling: to elevate awareness of the sustainability issues that affect the world and to build bridges between corporate and non-proﬁt leaders that will keep the world thriving.
1 Percent for the Planet was launched in 2002 by Yvon Chouinard, founder of the famed Patagonia outdoor clothing and gear company that is based in Ventura, California. Patagonia had been giving 1 percent to environmental causes since 1985, and Chouinard believed other companies would want to do the same.
Today, 1 Percent for the Planet has grown to 1,400 member companies in 44 countries. To belong, they commit to giving at least 1 percent of their revenue (top line sales) directly to non-proﬁt groups that focus on sustainability. It’s an alliance of businesses that understand the necessity of protecting the world’s natural environment.
Among the organization’s new team of ambassadors are such diverse talents as Dan Ross, a pro surfer from Australia; Kris Holm, an extreme unicyclist and geo-scientist from Vancouver; Leilani Munter, a race car driver from North Carolina; Maya Albanese, a sustainability expert from New York City; and Kim Jordan, CEO of New Belgium Brewing in Colorado.
The ambassadors span many walks of life, but they hold a common belief that businesses have the power and responsibility to create reliable prosperity for the plant by investing in sustainability projects, says Terry Kellogg, CEO of 1 Percent for the Planet.
“We couldn’t be more pleased to have an all-star team of 1 Percent ambassadors who understand that it’s time for business to move beyond doing ‘less harm,’ by committing to making ongoing investments in ‘doing good’ for the planet,” says Kellogg, of Waitsﬁeld, Vermont. “Our ambassadors are integrating the 1 Percent for the Planet message into their daily lives to broaden awareness for this global movement.”
1 Percent for the Planet is well on its way to becoming the largest network of environmental funders in the world. Adding the Planet Ambassadors program is part of its effort to broaden the “personality and character” of the brand, says Kellogg, to make the movement ever larger.