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Profitable & planet-friendly | Purposeful Connections

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While writing this week's newsletter, I happened across a surprising, if obvious, statistic from AdWeek: when advertising works, consumers spend more money (consumption goes up), which increases greenhouse gas emissions from the production of those goods. Another statistic in the same AdWeek article illustrated that, given the choice, consumers would rather protect the environment than grow the economy.


This seems to put businesses in a tough place. But two companies featured in this week's issue prove that companies can protect the planet while carrying on with the profit-making mandate that comes with being a business. Patagonia is doing so well at protecting the planet that it (finally!) launched a nonprofit—the Home Planet Fund—to support Indigenous-practiced nature-based solutions to the climate crisis. (To say nothing of Patagonia's infamous anti-consumption "don't buy this jacket" ad.) And Johnson Outdoors, featured in last week's Purpose 360 podcast, demonstrates how the company has long leveraged its business operations, people, and other assets to help customers both enjoy and clean up the earth.


We certainly can't live on this planet without making some kind of impact. But we can be wise about the impacts we do make, while working to offset what we can. — Kristin Kenney, Director

🌏 Home Planet Fund: What if your business was so good at its social impact initiatives that consumers wanted to give you money? That was the situation Patagonia's Yvon Chouinard found his company in, saying "Over the years, people have asked me, can I donate to what you're doing?" Until recently, the answer was "no"—consumers could only buy Patagonia products or support its NGO partners directly. This month, Patagonia launched the Home Planet Fund, "a nonprofit that everyone can donate to and that directly supports nature-based solutions to the climate crisis practiced by local and Indigenous communities around the world."


💪 Small changes, big wins: American workers landed two significant wins last week, with the FTC banning noncompetes and the Department of Labor moving to make millions of salaried employees eligible for overtime pay. The largest expansion in overtime eligibility in decades, the DoL's ruling would require employers to pay overtime to salaried workers making less than $43,888 per year starting on July 1. This threshold would increase to $58,656 on January 1, 2025. Of the ruling, Acting Secretary Julie Su said, "For over 80 years, a cornerstone of workers' rights in this country is the right to a 40-hour workweek, the promise that you get to go home after 40 hours or you get higher pay for each extra hour that you spend laboring away from your loved ones."


In another major change for employers, the Federal Trade Commission banned noncompetes nationwide, saying the controversial agreements "keep wages low, suppress new ideas, and rob the American economy of dynamism, include from the more than 8,500 new startups that would be created a year once noncompetes are banned."


🌿 Sustainability x business: 100% of Fortune 500 companies have a CEO, but just 57% have a Chief Sustainability Officer. Today, more Americans want to protect the environment than those who want to grow the economy. Advertising (done right) leads to more sales and thus more consumption—which raises greenhouse gas emissions. These and other stats are summarized in AdWeek's insightful roundup of sustainability statistics, which illustrate the interplay between business and climate impacts.


"If a check would fix the problem, I would've written that check already," said Sam Johnson, the founder of Johnson Outdoors. These words capture the ethos of Johnson Outdoors, a company built on a deep reverence for nature and dedication to its preservation. We invited Connor Leipold, Johnson Outdoors Spokesman and SCUBAPRO Brand Manager, to share insights into how the family company's leadership, culture, and innovative partnerships converge to protect and nurture our planet.


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