When I signed up for Blog Action Day 2009, I welcomed the opportunity to tie together the subject of business philanthropy and climate change. Several of the businesses that I have written about previously have dual missions, that of affecting societal change through philanthropy and addressing the issue of climate change either through their business practices or through their support of environmental organizations and programs. Each of these businesses have chosen to make their mission of helping people and the planet a major factor in their business model.
Smaller businesses have one advantage over large businesses when supporting the environmental cause of climate change . By taking advantage of the relationship with their customers, they can involve their customers in their philanthropy thus leveraging their own impact.
Large corporations are beginning to address their responsibility towards the issue of climate change, but smaller businesses like the ones mentioned here are doing more than their share to help solve this very urgent problem.
Better World Books, (Sept.4, 2009) is an online bookseller with a triple bottom line of creating a great online bookstore, while funding and supporting world literacy, and contributing to the environment through the reduction of waste via the recycling of books. Since landfills emit methane, which is a very high sunlight trapping gas, Better World Books can now tout yet another way that their business has had a positive impact on the environment. Better World Books is also the first e-commerce site that offers the customer the opportunity to purchase carbon offsets for their shipping.
Pura Vida Coffee, (March 29,2009) produces organic, fair trade, shade grown coffee. Their shade grown coffee is cultivated in the traditional way, amongst forest trees. Most coffees are grown in the sun, creating deforestataton which has huge consequences to the level of carbon emissions that cause climate change. Shade-grown coffee reduces deforestation and erosion thus thus allowing for more trees to remove heat-trapping carbon dioxide gas from the air.
Andira Raintees,(June,2009) sells organic t-shirts and bags they they have designed and produced in the Amazon. "Andira" is he name of a tall tree that grows in the Brazilian Amazon. With the money raised from the clothing sales, Beth Doane, the founder of Andira Raintees, donates trees to be replanted in Costa Rica where logging companies have destroyed the natural forests.
Replyforall, (Aug,2009) is an online service, that helps media and internet users support their favorite causes. By chosing to insert the "Climate Change" badge into their e-mail and Facebook signature, whenever the user sends a message, Replyforall donates a portion of the sponsorship revenue to ClimateCounts.org or the Clean Energy Coalition.
TicketsforCharity. (June,2009)Proceeds from designated ticket sales go towards supporting the National Environmental Defense Fund which has a five step plan for helping to solve global warming.