We have less than nine years to keep global warming below 1.5-degrees Celsius, according to a recent report by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Planet A, a 501(c)3 nonprofit cofounded by Versed president Melanie Bender and Youth to the People cofounder Joe Cloyes in September 2021, launched its Beyond Earth Month campaign on May 3 to help combat that.
The campaign emphasizes to consumers and businesses that the climate clock is ticking, encouraging both to take measures that are within their reach to mitigate climate change.
For consumers, this means reaching out to elected officials in support of policies that battle the climate crisis, buying responsibly and motivating others to do the same. The call to action also guides businesses to the Planet A Pledge, a commitment to continued climate action which has been undertaken by 125 member brands to date.
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“We’re looking at organizational impact, looking at catalyzing lawmaker reform through what’s being passed by representatives and through the impact that we have educating our communities,” said Bender.
Said Randi Christiansen, cofounder and chief executive officer of Nécessaire in an email: “At Nécessaire, we recently chose to remove the word ‘sustainability’ from our language. To us, that starts with owning our footprint and working diligently to minimize it.”
According to the IPCC report and The Nature Conservancy, if global warming exceeds 1.5-degrees Celsius, the impacts of climate change will put millions of people at risk of water insecurity, displacement and increased exposure to deadly diseases, while wiping out over one million other species’.
By extending its reach to include as many beauty and wellness brands as possible, Planet A seeks to align brands not only in terms of what steps they are taking toward being more sustainable, but how they define sustainability in the first place.
“Probably 98 percent of brands out there have sustainability plans,” said Bender. “But the number of brands actually actively taking actions on climate change was so much less — there was a big disconnect between how brands were defining sustainability and how experts were defining sustainability.”
Christiansen echoed Bender’s sentiment, saying setting shared standards to manage environmental impact and opting to communicate to consumers using everyday language as opposed to “empty marketing words” are among the most effective ways brands can uphold their commitment to environmental consciousness.
The campaign is Planet A’s second one, with the first having been in September 2021, in which brands including Briogio, Kosas and Selfless by Hyram informed the public of ways to support climate action from Congress.
“This isn’t about one-upmanship,” said Bender. “This isn’t about who can have the best sustainability claim, it’s about aligning around scientific consensus and understanding how that applies to our businesses, and ultimately putting that collaboration over competition with respect to this one incredibly important issue.”