01 Apr Earth Day 2022: How Good360 Invests in Our Planet
The theme for this year’s Earth Day celebration, taking place on April 22nd, is “Invest in Our Planet.”
Embedded within this call to action are a couple of powerful ideas. First is the notion that securing the future of “our planet” against the ravages of climate change is a collective responsibility shared by all.
The second is this concept of making the necessary investments to create a cleaner, more sustainable economy and environment for everyone. The campaign aims to reframe the conversation around sustainability to reinforce the message that real solutions are actually within our reach.
In other words, solving the problem of climate change isn’t an exercise in futility and it’s worth investing our time, ingenuity and resources.
“In 2022, we all must enter into one partnership for the planet,” said Kathleen Rogers, president of EarthDay.org, the global organization that spearheads the annual celebration. “Unlike other historic economic revolutions, this time there are two additional imperatives: The first is to save ourselves from the climate crisis, and the second is to build new green economies in every country so that everyone can share in the benefits from this green revolution. This will only be done if we invest in our planet’s future together.”
Within this framework, we can look at some ways that Good360 is working to promote sustainability and invest in long-term solutions for reducing waste.
Supporting the circular economy
Since our founding, Good360 has been focused on helping businesses and charities make better use of product donations. In the process, we prevent unsold inventory and customer returns from getting thrown out or destroyed. In 2021 alone, we diverted 100 million pounds of needed goods from landfills—that’s equivalent to giving 236 pounds of product a useful, second life every single minute.
Product donations fit perfectly into the circular economy because we’re not expending additional energy or labor to break down and repurpose the items as you would in the recycling process. Instead, we are taking the products as is and simply rerouting them to communities in need.
Innovating with the for-profit sector
Since we work with some of the biggest retailers, manufacturers and brands in the world—everyone from Amazon to Walmart—we are able to collaborate with them to promote more sustainable inventory practices.
Along with our core donation programs, we have been increasingly focused on helping retailers solve the growing problem of reverse logistics, or customer returns. As e-commerce has grown exponentially, the annual volume of returns has exploded into a $761 billion problem. This creates an enormous amount of waste since many of these products cannot be resold.
We are leveraging our logistical expertise and infrastructure to help businesses handle returns more efficiently while diverting them from landfills and sending needed goods to qualified charities.
Advocating for smarter disaster response
Research shows that up to 60% of products donated in the aftermath of a natural disaster goes to waste. These unwanted and unnecessary donations are not only wasteful, they also slow down recovery efforts by tying up ports and diverting precious manpower. Additionally, the vast majority of donations are made during the initial stages of a disaster and very little is set aside for the long-term recovery, which can last for years.
To prevent this kind of ineffective giving, we have collaborated with other leading nonprofit organizations to promote a more thoughtful approach to disaster recovery. The Resilient Response initiative encourages corporations to rethink their disaster efforts to make them more impactful and less wasteful, and to focus on creating resilient communities for the long haul. Major companies, including Airbnb, Walmart and CVS Health, have signed our pledge.
We have also established the Good360 Disaster Recovery Council to come up with innovative solutions for more effective disaster response across the nonprofit and for-profit sectors.
A collective responsibility
At Good360, we have seen firsthand the effects of a warming planet—higher frequency and greater intensity of severe weather events that will bring increasing levels of devastation worldwide.
We also understand that governments will not and cannot solve this urgent problem alone. We need companies, NGOs, scientists, and concerned citizens to bring their best ideas, and make the investments needed at the macro and local level to create change.
One thing we can all easily do on Earth Day is to give more of our attention to the future of our planet.