This is the second of two blogs summarizing a discussion with Susy Schöneberg, the Head of Flexport.org, the impact group that's championing the Pledge 1% movement. Flexport is the highest-profile company in logistics and seafreight to join the Pledge 1% movement and has much to share about their experience.
Check out the first blog which explains why Flexport decided to join the Pledge 1% movement and describes how Flexport puts their commitment into practice on a daily basis (Read first blog HERE).
BE AN INDUSTRY LEADER. JOIN FLEXPORT IN THE PLEDGE 1% MOVEMENT.
Is your company doing anything for the communities where it works? Are your employees doing things on their own to make the world a better place? If your answer to either of these questions is a ‘yes’, you are ready to take the 1% Pledge. According to Susy, these were the drivers of Flexport’s decision to take the 1% Pledge.
Joining the Pledge 1% movement would give you a flexible and proven framework to harness the desire to make the company about more than simply making money. Even better, your decision to join would be an example for others in logistics and seafreight and might lead to further momentum to help non-profits around the world.
There is very little risk to the decision to join. Each participating company decides everything about their participation. The company simply announces that it will be donating 1% of profit, product, employee time and/or equity. There is no external audit; everything is on the honor code. A company can change or terminate their commitment at any time for any reason. But, in the meantime, anything donated will make a positive impact on issues of concern to the company and its employees.
So, why wait?
BENEFITS OF THE 1% PLEDGE FOR FLEXPORT
Aside from the obvious benefit delivered to the recipients of Flexport’s charitable, environmental and social initiatives, Susy noted many other benefits of making the 1% Pledge commitment. These include:
Succinct communication of corporate values. With over 10,000 companies in the Pledge 1% movement, taking the Pledge is a broadly understood way to communicate that one’s company is about more than making money.
Automatic resourcing of corporate philanthropy. One of the hardest things about philanthropy is deciding, ‘how much?’. The simplicity of 1% makes it easy during budget discussions and resource planning to allocate funding and resourcing so that the program continues successfully. Of course, management can always decide to donate more than 1% for a specific project. But there is a mutually-agreed minimum every year because of the pledge.
Recruiting and retention of skilled employees. Many employees think it is important to be able to apply their professional skills to good causes. Offering a formal philanthropy program like Pledge-1% helps attract these people and gives them a reason to stay at the company.
Fortified relationships with clients. Many companies today look for vendors and partners that share their values. If this is important to a prospect or customer, the Pledge 1% movement provides a valuable ‘proof point’ to maintain or grow these relationships. In addition, the public commitment to the movement can open additional doors for deeper collaboration between companies.
Platform for industry collaboration. Susy has a vision that logistics-related Pledge 1% companies could collaborate on global humanitarian crises to optimize results. Flexport has provided this leadership on COVID-19 logistics but there are likely many other situations where multiple companies could work together for even greater impact. Perhaps the industry could organize community volunteer opportunities around the globe in locations where logistics is done. Or carriers and forwarders could collaborate for emergency relief. The first step is to see other logistics and seafreight companies take the 1% Pledge. As the movement expands in the industry, Susy is hopeful that good things will happen.
FLEXPORT ADVICE FOR SUCCESS WITH THE 1% PLEDGE
Susy has three suggestions for any company considering taking the 1% Pledge commitment. First, executive buy-in is critical. If the CEO and senior management team are not committed to the effort, even 1% of a resource (profit, product, employee time) will be close to impossible to isolate for program execution. It is vital to spend as much time as necessary building 100% consensus on the program before you go public with your employees and customers.
Second, take mini steps and start small. Perhaps you can start with a 1% pledge of just one of the four options. Pick one that you think will be easiest to execute and will lead to obvious results. There is no ‘official’ audit organization that is going to ‘check up on you’. The entire movement is based on the honor code so every participating company can define what they will pledge and how it will work. This freedom is incredibly empowering because it allows a company to build its culture of giving over an extended period of time.
Third, leverage the community of Pledge 1% participants to learn about how other companies are executing their Pledge. The Pledge 1% blog (https://pledgeitforward.today/) has useful information in three categories: Pledge 1% Gives, Women Who Lead and Great Tips. The Pledge 1% organization (https://pledge1percent.org/) is also a great resource.
You can read about why SeaFreight Labs took the 1% Pledge and the #SeaFreight1percentPledge at https://www.seafreightlabs.com/post/why-join-pledge-1-two-reasons. You can read about what has happened since we made our 1% Pledge in my other blogs at https://www.seafreightlabs.com/blog-1.
Join Flexport and SeaFreight Labs and take the 1% Pledge! #SeaFreight1percentPledge.
Please let me know if your company makes the 1% Pledge so that I can update my register of logistics and seafreight-related members (email@example.com).