NESEA is proud to be a Nonprofit Partner of 1% for the Planet.
1% for the Planet is a global movement inspiring businesses and individuals to support environmental solutions through annual membership and everyday actions. Their goal is to significantly increase the overall amount of global dollars going to help protect the planet with the smartest donations possible.
Businesses that join 1% for the Planet commit to supporting approved environmental nonprofit partners by committing to donate the equivalent of 1% of sales through a combination of monetary, in-kind, and approved advertising contributions.
You and your business can support NESEA by joining 1% for the Planet and choosing NESEA as your designated Nonprofit Partner.
Reggie Lebel, President & Foreman
How did you learn about 1% for the Planet and why did you decide to participate?
Emerald Builders got involved with 1% for the Planet through dealing with Patagonia and seeing the 1% label on their products and other products that we buy. There’s a local beer company here in Maine that’s a big supporter as well. The 1% logo was prominent on the products of companies we like and admire. So we contacted 1% for the Planet to learn more.
When we looked into it further, we realized that 1% was a great brand to be affiliated with, based on their brand recognition and the other companies that participate. It’s a powerful thing. Other participating companies across many different industries, who believe in the same things we do, are working together to help the environment through their donations. Our company ethos fit in well with the other companies who were already involved.
As a small company, there are always competing demands for any profit we make. We are constantly faced with having to decide whether to reinvest whatever profit we make into equipment, staff, marketing . . . the list goes on. For a few years we had all good intentions to give a certain percentage of our profits away, but it was hard to do that given these competing demands. With 1% for the Planet, we’ve made a contractual agreement to do something we wanted to do anyway. Belonging to 1% helps facilitate our philanthropic donations and holds our feet to the fire. It’s an easy way to hold ourselves accountable to do something we always intended to do, without any hand wringing. It also helps us focus on being profitable and running a good business. We need to run a good business and charge appropriately so that we can fund the important work that 1% for the Planet’s nonprofit partners are doing!
Running a business is a tough thing. I’m constantly pulled in a million directions. 1% for the Planet also makes it easy. We didn’t have to do a lot of facilitation. We could tell them which organizations we were interested in supporting. If those organizations weren’t already on their menu of options, 1% would reach out to them on our behalf, would vet them, and add them to their list if they passed muster. It made for a really easy way to organize our giving. Participating in 1% allows us to contribute to the organizations that make our industry and our planet better.
It’s also great to have the 1% for the Planet “seal of approval.” Participating in 1% for the Planet gives us credibility among our peers and clients. By participating, people know that we are supporting vetted, environmentally responsible organizations on a regular basis. This type of third party verification is valuable to us, especially during a time when greenwashing is so prevalent.
Why did you decide to support NESEA through 1%? Why would you encourage others to do the same?
Once we joined 1% for the planet, we were thrilled to learn that NESEA was already a participating nonprofit partner. It was an easy choice for us to give to NESEA through 1% for the Planet. We are firm believers in NESEA, and we wanted to give to organizations that are pushing the envelope for things we care about, like conservation, healthy buildings, net zero and more. NESEA is the pinnacle of that in the work it does to help educate and push our industry forward to do better work.
We have learned a lot through our participation in NESEA - from Pro Tours to BuildingEnergy Conferences to BuildingEnergy Bottom Lines. NESEA’s programs and community have been a huge part of our growth. We wouldn’t be the company we are today without NESEA’s input on multiple levels, so it was an easy choice for us to give back to ensure that NESEA can continue to provide these resources for us and everyone else in the industry who needs them.
As a Triple Bottom Line building company we are daily trying to do everything we can to protect the planet and our operation - by building net zero, choosing healthy materials, and more. But we realize that operating our company is not our only responsibility. The problem is much bigger than just us, whether it be toxicity, conservation of open spaces, energy use, or climate change. Our industry is so tied to market factors that it’s important for us to pull our heads out of the day-to-day and do something bigger and better. We can’t improve the building sector on our own. It takes an organization like NESEA to bring competitors together to make us all better.
I would love to help grow participation in 1% for the Planet within the NESEA community. The last time I checked, we were one of only 10 builders in the world participating as a 1% for the Planet business. I’d love to see that number grow, to the benefit of NESEA, our professional community, and the planet.
NESEA advances sustainability practices in the built environment by cultivating a cross-disciplinary community where practitioners are encouraged to share, collaborate and learn.