Values-based companies are becoming more prevalent in our increasingly conscious marketplace, where the foundation is deeply rooted in a mission of giving back. By building with the end goal of making a difference in focus, all of the internal business practices, manufacturing – and even packaging – are developed in ways that not only give back, but protect and preserve the environment in the process. Plant It Water, a company devoted to providing consumers with an eco-friendly bottled water option, takes it one step further by keeping their eye on people and planet. In addition to taking steps to minimize their carbon footprint, and creating packaging solutions that have no negatve impact on the environment, for every carton purchased, a tree is planted, helping to replenish our land and natural resources.
Founded by Jane Goldberg, Plant It Water seeks to empower consumers to make a visible difference in the world through everyday purchases of bottled water. As a product that respects and enhances the environment, the goal is to grow awareness of the fact that people all over the world don’t have basic needs such as water, and by supporting Plant It Water, consumers are united in a cause that benefits everyone, cultivating sustainable change with roots as deep as the trees they plant.
1. How do you define for-profit philanthropy?
I define it is making a profit to support the workers of the company and their families, while giving back to organizations whose work is relevant to the message and mission of the company.
2. Please describe your philanthropic business plan and your current charitable activities.
Often companies tout a percentage of profits supporting an organization or a portion of proceeds going to a group whose mission and ideals match up with theirs. Our business plan differs because we factor our donations into our cost of doing business. We are currently partnered with 2 non-profit organizations: Trees for the Future, with whom we have committed to donating money to plant a tree for every carton of water we sell, and A Single Drop, whose amazing works in developing countries help people in need have safe water – their motto is “Peace Through Safe Water Access”.
3. How do you communicate the impact of these efforts to your customers?
It is all over our packaging – Plant It Water is just the bringing together of an environmentally-friendly packaging, 2 non-profit donations and an everyday product of packaged water. The water is delicious, clean and contains naturally occurring calcium and magnesium. But our message is bigger than that. It is about using something people use and need everyday (water) and spreading a message of giving back, of the necessity of cleaning up our landfills, the oceans. . . our planet, our tap water! And, most importantly, tying it all together with a message of being mindful consumers. We vote everyday with our dollars and the products we choose to buy with those dollars.
4. Why do you think it’s important for companies to adopt philanthropy as part of their revenue model?
I believe this model is important – and the future of business – because we need advocates in the business world who understand that health of people and the planet is equally as important as the health and profitability of business and manufacturing.
5. What would you say is the most critical element in successfully implementing philanthropic endeavors?
The most critical element in successfully implementing philanthropic endeavors is to find good working partners in the non-profit world who believe in what your company is doing (and vice versa). The message you send with your partners is a key element to the whole thing working. Plus, I believe your message and company must have an environmental element to begin with, meaning it doesn’t make sense to put out a toxic product and then say you are giving to an environmental organization to somehow make your toxic product OK.
Name: Jane Goldberg
Company: Plant It Water