Fiona Donnellan’s Sligo business Sustainable PR could be in the vanguard of Irish firms donating 1pc of all earnings to environmental causes.

Sligo based Sustainable PR joined 1pc for the Planet this month, pledging to donate 1pc of annual earnings to support non-profit organisations focused on the environment.

Could this be a good way for Irish-based businesses to help tackle their environmental responsibilities in a positive way.

“I think everyone has a part to play in climate action”

“My mission when I started Sustainable PR in 2019 was to tackle climate change through PR and communications,” said Donnellan when announcing the move.

“I want people to buy better, promote a circular economy and accelerate our transition to sustainable products and services. This year I want to step up my mission. I’m so excited to become a member of 1pc for the Planet and proud to support non-profit organisations focused on the environment. My hope is that I might encourage other businesses to do the same.”

Backing non-profits

By contributing 1pc of their annual sales, thousands of 1pc for the Planet members have raised over €218m ($265m) to support approved environmental non-profits around the globe. Non-profits are approved based on referrals, track record and environmental focus. Thousands of non-profits worldwide are currently approved.

“Currently, only 3pc of total philanthropy goes to the environment and, only 5pc of that comes from businesses,” explained Kate Williams, CEO of 1pc for the Planet.

“The planet needs bigger support than this, and our growing network of business members is doing its valuable part to increase giving and support on-the-ground outcomes.”

We asked Donnellan her thoughts about this method of supporting the environmental cause.

Would you encourage more businesses to do the same and dedicate a percentage of earnings to environmental causes?

Absolutely, a small percentage of profits can make a huge difference. By contributing just 1pc of Sustainable PR’s annual revenue I’m joining thousands of 1pc for the Planet members globally who have raised over €218 million ($265 million) to support environmental initiatives. I’m hoping to support causes close to home like Rewilding Europe (works to create more space for wild nature and wildlife across Europe), The Irish Wildlife Trust (a conservation organisation committed to raising awareness of Ireland’s rich natural heritage and protecting it for future generations) and Hometree (works to establish and conserve permanent native woodland in Ireland).

If other businesses wished to do the same, what do they need to do?

The process was easy and fantastic, someone from 1pc for the Planet took me through the whole sign-on process and have been supporting ever since. They even made recommendations for local Irish initiatives to support. They’ve made it as easy as possible so there really are no barriers to getting involved. Check out https://www.onepercentfortheplanet.org/

Would it be fair to say that many small businesses think that it is up to larger businesses to take bigger steps but don’t realise they also have a role to play? 

I think everyone has a part to play in climate action. And the great thing about 1pc for the Planet is anyone can join and donate 1pc of their revenue/salary to approved non-profits whether that’s monetary donations or volunteer support.

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 16 February 2021

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