What’s the connection between The Conservation Alliance and 1% for the Planet?

For Patagonia Founder Yvon Chouinard, The Conservation Alliance and 1% for the Planet were both started as personal passion projects—answering a shared call among outdoor industry leaders to do better business by giving back to the environment. The Conservation Alliance was officially launched in 1989 by four companies—Patagonia, REI, The North Face, and Kelty—at the outdoor retailer trade show, in recognition of the outdoor industry’s shared interest and responsibility in protecting wild places that we all love and on which their businesses depend.

In 2002, 1% for the Planet was created as a way for businesses to demonstrate their environmental commitments and hold themselves accountable through a certification program. As a 1% for the Planet member, businesses pledge to donate 1% of annual sales to environmental causes through a certification process that backs a business’s commitment with proof of action and makes it easy for consumers to see which businesses are operating with our planet in mind. 

The Conservation Alliance harnesses the collective power of business to fund and advocate for the protection of wild places across North America. By joining the Alliance, member companies directly support a broad portfolio of grassroots conservation projects, as well as a vision of a planet where land and water, wildlife, and people thrive together.

Both 1% for the Planet and The Conservation Alliance exist to drive financial resources and engagement from the private business sector to environmental nonprofits and climate solutions. 1% for the Planet does so by certifying the business donations in their network, while The Conservation Alliance achieves similar goals through its highly effective grant program and advocating with a unified voice of business.

Businesses that are members of both 1% for the Planet and The Conservation Alliance can count their annual contribution to The Conservation Alliance toward their annual 1% commitment. This provides a streamlined and effective way for businesses to maximize their impact and demonstrate their business values.

Read below to hear from three businesses—including founding company Patagonia—that are making the most of their impact as members of both 1% for the Planet and The Conservation Alliance. 

Together, we can strengthen our collective voice on behalf of our planet.


“We are facing a multi-faceted global crisis that is affecting every business, every community–all of nature and all of us, right now. And, the only way out is to work together, with common goals and laser focus–we need to save our home planet. 1% for the Planet and The Conservation Alliance were both founded years ago with these core beliefs in mind: that business must play a role in protecting our planet, that we can find strength in numbers, and that our power grows when we set aside competition, pool resources, and join together in common cause. This approach has proven effective for decades–and it’s needed now more than ever. These two business networks are truly complementary, with 1% for the Planet companies supporting a broader array of environmental issues and The Conservation Alliance focusing on the protection of wild places. We need everyone, and every business, stepping up in this moment, and we’re proud to have played a founding role in both of these groups.” – Hans Cole, Director of Environmental Campaigns and Advocacy at Patagonia, Inc.

Peak Design:

“We joined 1% for the Planet to help hold ourselves accountable to our commitment to the planet. In addition to accountability, 1% for the Planet also vets organizations to ensure we support those doing some of the very best work to protect our environment. 

The Conservation Alliance was one of the first organizations that we decided to fund because in addition to doing great work, we thought of the donation as a bit of a 2-for-1 deal: we were fulfilling our 1% contribution and also gaining a membership to the Alliance. Not only did we then find ourselves among the incredible network of 1% for the Planet businesses, we also became a member of The Conservation Alliance community. Furthermore, The Conservation Alliance provides an additional level of review of conservation groups in need of funding, so we know with certainty that our 1% contributions are supporting exceptional projects.” – Annie Nyborg, Director of Sustainability at Peak Design

College Outside:

“Our company has been a 1% for the Planet company since we were founded, inspired by the work and words of Yvon Chouinard. We have always believed that business can be a force for good, and joining the 1% for the Planet family provided us with the resources to help us align our business goals and values while effectively communicating that to our customers. A few years later, we learned about the Conservation Alliance and we were inspired by the collective power that our business could have by working together on very focused environmental campaigns. When I learned that by supporting the Conservation Alliance we could fulfil our 1% for the Planet requirements, it was a no brainer! It feels a lot like getting two birds with one stone, and allows us access, mentorship, and education from two amazing organizations. Our Conservation Alliance membership has led to incredible business partnerships, as well as given us the opportunity to actively participate in lobbying for the protection of the places we love.” – Sarah Lockwood, Founder and CEO of College Outside

New Belgium Brewing: 

“Conservation has long been at the heart of New Belgium and Fat Tire’s giving and advocacy, which we have certified through 1% for the Planet since 2008, because without a stable climate, clean water, and thriving forests & ecosystems, there is no beer and nowhere magnificent to enjoy it. By bringing together the collective power of business members, the Conservation Alliance magnifies our conservation impact and builds community along the way. Participation in TCA’s events and programs has fostered New Belgium’s relationships with fellow business members, grantees, and elected officials, and helped us become more effective advocates. We have a long way to go in solving the climate crisis, and we are grateful to link arms with the TCA and 1% for the Planet’s communities to get there together.” – Dana Villeneuve, Policy Advocacy + Sustainability at New Belgium Brewing