Partners with 1% for the Planet!
In the summer of 2006, I founded Zogics, a manufacturer and distributor of commercial supplies for the health, fitness and hospitality markets. Whenever I had a free moment, I read the biographies of business leaders who inspired me. One book, Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard, had a profound impact on me. It wasn’t just the stories of his company, Patagonia, that moved me, it was the fact that he founded 1% for the Planet and did what many of us dream: he created something larger than himself.
Chouinard opened my eyes to philanthropy, and since day one, Zogics has been a member of 1% For The Planet, an alliance of businesses committed to donating 1% of sales to environmental organizations. Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of donating over $100k to The Trustees of Reservations (TTOR) – one of the nation’s oldest statewide conservation organizations. For me, becoming an advocate for TTOR was an easy decision. With more than 100 destinations, they are the guardians, gatekeepers, and champions of nearly 25,000 acres throughout Massachusetts. What I admire most about the organization is that it improves the quality of life for so many Commonwealth communities (fifty percent of the population in Massachusetts lives within 5 miles of a TTOR property). For my family, colleagues and me, it’s personal. We hike their trails before starting our workday, cross country ski in some of the most beautiful landscapes in the East, and head to their historic landmarks as often as possible. These properties are magical. Last year, my wife and I were married at Ashintully Gardens, a magnificent TTOR property in the Berkshires. The Trustees of Reservations enriches our lives in so many ways.
We are so grateful to Paul for supporting the important work of The Trustees of Reservations with his donations to our organization through 1% for the Planet,” says Barbara Erickson, Trustees President and CEO. “Like Charles Eliot, the bold visionary who formed our 123 year old organization to preserve and protect places of natural, scenic and historic beauty, Paul too is a trailblazer and advocate for a more sustainable earth in all that he does. From the earth-friendly products his company creates and distributes, to his support for organizations like 1% for the Planet and The Trustees, to his love of the great outdoors and passion for inspiring positive change in our communities, he is an authentic philanthropist, citizen and leader to be admired.
– The Trustees of Reservations
My involvement with both of these organizations reframed the way I viewed giving. Initially, I focused on how my contributions would rise as we grew, and the impact that might have on my business. Today, I know better. The truth is: the more I’ve given back, the more successful we’ve become. Chouinard said it best, “I know it sounds crazy, but every time I have made a decision that is best for the planet, I have made money.” The more I contribute, the happier and more fulfilled I feel. Rallying for a cause with like-minded business owners has been life changing, and there’s a ripple effect for everyone who works at Zogics. We recognize that there’s a component to business beyond the mentality of “What’s in it for me?” It’s rewarding to know that we’re supporting something beyond ourselves and that our contributions are used as vehicles to make positive changes in our community – ones that will likely outlast us in this lifetime. Integrating giving into our business plan and partnering with The Trustees of Reservations and with 1% for the Planet has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever had the honor of making.
- Paul Leblanc
Founder & Owner, Zogics