Social media and online community management specialist Quiip had a busy 2020, stepping up its commitments to social and environmental responsibility, despite the challenges the coronavirus pandemic presented.
Quiip had become B Corp certified in 2018 – one the first 300 Australian companies to do so – to balance its profit with purpose.
CEO Alison Michalk then decided to take those efforts to the next level by pledging to make the company carbon neutral by 2030, and also joining Pledge 1%.
Michalk said they heard about Pledge 1% through other B Corps and were impressed and attracted by the Australian companies involved such as Atlassian and Canva.
“However it’s the small owner-founder companies, not the multi-billion ones, that really impress us. These are owners personally parting with their own profits,” she said.
Pledge 1% is a global movement co-founded by Atlassian as an easy way for companies of all stages and sizes to leverage a portion of their future success to support non-profits in their communities.
More than 1000 Australian companies, from new startups to tech unicorns have signed up, pledging time, profits, products or equity to support their favourite charities.
While meeting the Pledge means donating 1% of your profits, time or equity, Michalk said combining it with B Corp certification raised the bar at Quiip, so 1% of revenues are given away as cash donations and 1% of its team’s time goes towards supporting not-for-profits and social enterprises.
“This also includes charity matching — we match up to $5000 total worth of donations for our team. The second part of our pledge looks at giving away 1% our billable time through pro bono efforts, although we came in slightly under in FY20,” she said.
“We specifically developed our “PPP” (pro-bono purpose projects) for this. We have ambitious goals of reaching 5% in the next 3 years. At Quiip we provide over 10,000 hours of social media management a year, so this would equate to 500+ hours being given away.”
The business has already provided its social media strategy, social media management and online community expertise to eight organisations working to address issues including homelessness and youth suicide.
Michalk said that for a company that facilitates online conversations between brands and humans, it’s all part of embedding the power of good into the company’s DNA.
“We’ve always believed in the power of business for good and both these achievements are important steps in our journey and our commitment to balance profit with purpose,” she said.
“Because the Pledge 1% initiative doesn’t just stop at financial donations, we have gone a step further by also pledging our time to give back to the community.
“Our carbon neutral achievement is a great first step towards our ambitions to reach NetZero 2030. While we’re thrilled to achieve carbon neutral status and working with a fantastic carbon offset project, this is just the beginning,”
Quiip is an entirely distributed company with no central offices. To achieve carbon neutral status, that meant Michalk and her team also calculated the emissions of every home office as well as business activities, web hosting and travel.
“Quiip’s carbon neutral status will aid biodiversity protection, with its chosen carbon offset project a rare pocket of intact native vegetation at Mount Sandy in South Australia,” she said.
So what’s it all meant for the Quiip team?
Michalk said that while it sounds cliched, it’s been incredibly rewarding and creates happiness.
“It’s quite invigorating to look at how we can increase our impact, and find ways to give more whether through a revamped pro-bono offering or other means,” she said.
“Being among like-minded businesses -B Corps and Pledge 1% – is also a great community to be part of.”
Quiip’s marketing director, Amber Robinson, said that she was among many of the team attracted to the company because of its values, and backing them up with direct action such as Pledge 1%.
“Many of us have a keen interest in social justice and appreciate the opportunity to vote for our chosen charities each year rather than have these decided by senior management,” she said.
“I also enjoy the opportunity to give back via Pro-Bono Purpose projects (PPP) which allow us to work with organisations who traditionally can’t afford agency services. It’s great that we also get to choose PPPs that align with our own values and interests. There is a real sense of pride in working for a company that is genuinely helping people, animals and the environment, alongside like-minded people.”
Michalk says owning or running a company is a huge opportunity to create impact in the world, and Pledge 1% is an clear and easy way to do that.
“You have say over how you donate – time, equity, product etc – and who you donate to,” she said.
“From your workers and customers, to the planet, and to where you put that money to do good in the world.”
Pledge 1% is an easy model to businesses of all sizes and stages have an impact. It only takes 30 seconds to take the pledge, and you can always update your pledge type and information later.
Click here to find our more and take the pledge too.