Mission-Driven Companies: Doing Good While Doing Business

Sala Tran-Huu Profile Picture
Sala Tran-Huu
Mission-Driven Companies: Doing Good While Doing Business

In today's world, consumers have access to a wealth of information and are more aware of the impact that their purchasing decisions have on the world around them than ever before. People are increasingly looking to support companies that align with their values and contribute to social and environmental causes as a result.

This shift towards conscious consumerism has given rise to a new breed of companies: mission-driven companies. These businesses prioritize social and environmental responsibility alongside profit, and are committed to using their resources and influence to make a positive impact in the world.

In this blog post, we'll dive deeper into what mission-driven companies are and why they matter. We'll explore some examples of companies that are doing good, including Patagonia's 1% for the Planet program, and discuss the impact that mission-driven companies can have on the world.

Whether you're a consumer looking to make a difference with your purchasing decisions or a business owner interested in aligning your values with your business practices, we hope that this blog post will provide valuable insights and inspiration for your future ventures.

Let’s start with the basics: what even are mission driven companies?

Mission Driven Companies

Mission-driven companies are businesses that prioritize a social or environmental mission in addition to generating profit. These companies are typically guided by a clear set of values and a desire to create positive change in the world. They may focus on issues such as environmental sustainability, social justice, or community development.

One of the key characteristics of mission-driven companies is their focus on values. These businesses are guided by a set of principles that go beyond maximizing profits and reflect a commitment to making a positive impact in the world. This can take many forms, depending on the company's specific mission and values.

For example, a mission-driven company focused on environmental sustainability may prioritize using eco-friendly materials, reducing waste, and implementing sustainable business practices. A company focused on social justice may prioritize fair labor practices, diversity and inclusion, and community engagement. And a company focused on community development may prioritize investing in local economies and supporting small businesses.

Regardless of their specific focus, mission-driven companies share a common commitment to using business as a force for good. They recognize that they have a responsibility to the world beyond their bottom line and are dedicated to making a positive impact through their business practices.

This commitment to purpose can also lead to benefits for employees. When employees feel like their work is meaningful and aligned with their values, they are more likely to be engaged and committed to their jobs. This can lead to higher levels of job satisfaction, lower turnover, and a more productive workforce overall.

Furthermore, mission-driven companies may be more attractive to consumers who are increasingly seeking out products and services that align with their values. By prioritizing a social or environmental mission, these companies can differentiate themselves in the marketplace and build a loyal customer base.

Finally, there is evidence to suggest that mission-driven companies can outperform their peers financially. In a study by EY and Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, companies that prioritized purpose outperformed their peers in terms of revenue growth, profitability, and innovation.

Overall, mission-driven companies are an important and growing force in the business world. By prioritizing purpose alongside profit, these businesses are creating a more sustainable and equitable future for everyone.

Patagonia and 1% for the Planet

One of the most well-known examples of a mission-driven company is Patagonia. This outdoor apparel company has a long history of prioritizing environmental sustainability and social responsibility.

In 2002 Patagonia launched its 1% for the Planet program which commits the company to donating 1% of its sales to environmental non-profits. Through this program, Patagonia has donated millions of dollars to organizations working to protect the planet in addition to taking a number of other steps to reduce its environmental impact, such as using recycled materials in its products and reducing water usage in its operations.

Patagonia's commitment to purpose alongside profit has helped to build a loyal customer base that values sustainability and environmental protection. The company's success shows that doing good can be good for business.

The success of Patagonia's 1% for the Planet program has inspired other companies to join the movement. Today more than 5,000 companies—us included—are members of 1% for the Planet, collectively donating millions of dollars to environmental causes every year.

It's important to note that while donating 1% of revenue may sound small, it can actually be a significant portion of a company's profits. Profit margins in many industries are often slim, and even a small percentage of revenue can make a big difference.

For example, if a company has $10 million in annual revenue and a 10% profit margin, that means they make $1 million in profit each year. If that company were to donate 1% of its revenue to a cause, that would amount to $100,000 in donations. While $100,000 may not seem like a significant amount compared to the company's revenue, it represents 10% of the company's annual profits.

This is why programs like Patagonia's 1% for the Planet are so important. By committing to donate 1% of their revenue, companies are demonstrating a meaningful commitment to making a positive impact. The donations may not be huge in terms of raw dollars, but they can represent a significant portion of a company's profits.

Patagonia's commitment to sustainability and social responsibility goes beyond just its donations. The company is also known for its advocacy work on behalf of the environment.

And when we say advocacy work we mean advocacy work.

Just during the Trump administration Patagonia was one of several groups that sued the U.S. government over its decision to reduce the size of two national monuments in Utah, including Bears Ears National Monument. The company argued that the government's decision was illegal and would harm the environment and cultural heritage of the area's Native American tribes.

Although the lawsuit did not immediately result in a victory for conservationists, it helped to bring attention to the issue and was ultimately part of a larger effort that led to the restoration of the monument's boundaries in October 2021 by President Biden.

Patagonia's commitment to environmental sustainability has also led to innovations in product design. For example, the company has developed a line of products made from recycled materials, including recycled plastic bottles and discarded fishing nets. These products not only help to reduce waste, but they also perform just as well as traditional products.

Patagonia's success as a mission-driven company has shown that it is possible to prioritize purpose alongside profit. By committing to environmental sustainability and social responsibility, the company has built a loyal customer base and differentiated itself from competitors. Patagonia's example has inspired other companies to take action and work towards creating positive change in the world.

Which companies? you might ask. Funny enough, you might just be looking at one 😉

Smart Shipping Supply and Sustainability

At Smart Shipping Supply, we take sustainability seriously. We believe that every business has a responsibility to take care of the planet and its people, and we're committed to doing our part.

Our journey towards sustainability started with a simple idea: we wanted to optimize our poly mailer packaging design to minimize our ecological footprint.

We started by finding and implementing the optimal sealing lip length on our poly mailers to use less material without compromising ease of use or functionality. We also fold our mailers in half prior to bagging to allow for smaller bags and increase the quantity of mailers per case to use fewer boxes.

And that's not all. We also opted for a sustainable alternative to virgin plastic by using 100% post-consumer recycled materials and intentionally designed our packaging to be recyclable. On top of that, we include recycling instructions and a QR code that links to additional information located on every SMART mailer we produce.

While everything so far sounds great, we knew that these actions alone weren't enough—not for us, at least. We wanted to take things a step further and actively contribute to the fight against climate change.

That's why we've partnered with Eden Reforestation Projects, a non-profit organization that connects businesses and individuals with climate solutions and projects. Together, we're working towards a more sustainable future by planting trees and supporting reforestation efforts.

For every order placed, we plant a tree. This not only helps combat climate change but also supports habitat restoration, soil conservation, and more. We're proud to have already planted over 15,000 trees worldwide, and we're just getting started.

But we didn't stop there. We also invest in carbon reduction projects that have been certified by Gold Standard or the Verified Carbon Standard. By doing so, we maintain our carbon neutrality and contribute to the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Our passion for sustainability extends beyond just our business practices. As a member of 1% for the Planet, we donate 1% of our annual sales to non-profit environmental organizations. We believe that by working together, we can make a bigger impact and create a better future for everyone.

Our commitment to sustainability has also influenced our company culture. We attract employees who share our values and are passionate about making a positive impact. By prioritizing purpose alongside profit, we've created a workplace where everyone is invested in the greater good.

We're inspired by companies like Patagonia who have shown that business can be a force for good. And we want to do our part to inspire others to join us in the fight against climate change. By sharing our journey towards sustainability, we hope to encourage other businesses (*cough cough* you *cough cough*) to take action and create a more sustainable future for all.

Whether you choose to join us or support from afar, we’re more than happy to have you along for the ride. It’s not like one of the choices would make us happier or anything (*cough* join us *cough*).

It seems like we might be coming down with something, so we’ll leave you alone for now.

Until next time, shop smart and ship smart.