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Environmental Philanthropy as a Business Tool | Mainstage

Kate Williams, CEO, 1% for the Planet
Hagar Chemali, Host of Oh My World, Concordia Advisor

Of all the philanthropic giving, only 3% goes to the environment. Over time, the absolute number has increased but not the proportion. Kate Williams, CEO of 1% for the Planet, explained that despite the overwhelming desire to drive change for the planet, the topic is vast and complex and impact may not occur immediately. This decreases engagement and leads donors to other issues.

Hagar Chemali, Host of Oh My World, asked Williams to explore how to incentivize the social good. She answered that customers want to trust companies beyond general value propositions. It can be hard for companies to know how to give well, so her team helps bring philanthropy into the center of the business strategy. We need a both/and approach, she continued, enlisting non-profits that are beholden to the mission and not the market. Business and governments drive change, but the scale is beyond what they can do on their own. 

Williams expressed optimism over what the next year will bring. It is the time to be courageous and clear, and she welcomed the role of individual givers in making a difference.

We can all participate in these larger conversations and add our courageous voices to the growing chorus.

Kate Williams

When we raise awareness about what’s going on in the world, those who are doing good around the world, and also dictators and human rights abusers, we can fundamentally change the world for the better.

Hagar Chemali

Key takeaways & next steps:

  • Doing good can mean doing well in business if incentives are aligned. Customers want to support companies that live up to their environmental commitments.