Think Brands Should Do More to Solve Environmental Problems? We Do Too.
"Lasting, successful companies will be those that don’t simply produce products, but also act responsibly in their communities." Ian Rinehart, CEO of Conserve With Us addresses the trend of how businesses and their customers will be supporting nonprofit causes in the future.
About Conserve With Us: Helping People and Brands Support Their Favorite Causes
Something we believe in firmly at The Good Startup is that brands make an impact, and more times that not, it's their social responsibility to use their influence and resources to change the world. With 53% of consumers believing that brands could be addressing more problems than governments can, coming across Conserve With Us was such a big deal for our company.
Conserve With Us is a green-tech platform that connects e-commerce brands with nonprofits such as environmental action groups and conservation projects, and it allows the brands' customers to contribute directly to these causes through a donation or an action, such as signing a petition or emailing a representative. Its main focus is on protecting natural spaces for the future, and many outdoor brands resonate with Conserve With Us' mission.
According to Conserve With Us, we lose undeveloped land equal to the size of Manhattan every three days. At this rate, we'll have very little of our planet left to enjoy for generations to come, and thousands of wildlife species and resources will be destroyed along the way. However, here's how the Conserve With Us platform works to help all three parties -- individuals, businesses, and nonprofit organizations -- invest in preserving natural spaces:
- Companies who get accepted to the Conserve With Us platform choose the nonprofits they want to help and install a line of custom code to have a pop-up appear in a corner of their website.
- These companies can personalize the pop-up design and customize the actions to take with the nonprofits.
- Companies help engage website visitors with the cause, and customers take action through the pop-up.
- Customers recognize the company's efforts to support a good cause, making them more likely to support the company in the future.
- Companies and nonprofits can monitor analytics and determine impact from key web metrics.
Interview with Ian Rinehart, CEO and Co-Founder of Conserve With Us
Tell me about your company and some of the favorite companies you've partnered with (and what you liked about them)
"Conserve With Us helps any brand have a positive impact by connecting their customers with high-value actions for the environment. Our widget is simple to install and transforms a brand’s online experience. With our technology, customers can easily take high-value actions for the environment while they visit their favorite online sites.
We’re currently focusing on partnering with brands in the outdoor industry. These brands get it -- their customers use their products outdoors and care deeply about protecting the places where they live, work and play.
We love working with brands that have great products, natural mission alignment, and are open to using innovative technology. Some of our favorite companies include Nikwax, MiiR, GU Energy, Outdoor Prolink, and Fourpoints Energy Bars. They were with us from the beginning!
We’ve also gotten incredible support from conservation nonprofits such as Conservation Alliance, Protect Our Winters, and The Nature Conservancy. They’re the ones doing the hard work on the ground to raise funding and awareness for critical environmental issues."
How close are you to your company's vision of success, and what milestones are you looking towards in the next few months?
"We’re relatively early in our journey. We’ve proven our technology works at scale and blends seamlessly into a brand’s site. We’re currently expanding the types of engagement opportunities we offer to customers (such as volunteering and giving) and onboarding new nonprofits to our platform.
We’re looking forward to becoming faster and more responsive to critical issues. If wildfires are happening in California, or public land is threatened, we want to provide tools for brands to respond instantly and engage their customers on their site."
What have been the hardest parts of running your company?
"Building a two-sided marketplace. Getting the right balance of brands and nonprofits to join the platform at the right time takes a lot of coordination."
What are your company's values and missions, and how do you incorporate them into your day-to-day?
"Our mission is to build software that allows any brand to leverage their audiences for social and environmental good. The brands bring the audience, the nonprofits bring the content and the mission, and our platform brings them together to accelerate impact.
We regularly measure the positive impact that our technology has enabled -- number of petitions signed, actions taken, new supporters enrolled, volunteer opportunities matched, etc."
What inspires you to keep doing what you're doing?
"The research shows that people want to shop at companies that do good in the world and align with their values. We believe this trend is only going to get stronger in the future. That means that lasting, successful companies will be those that don’t simply produce products, but also act responsibly in their communities and across their supply chain, treat their workers with dignity and respect, stand firm on critical issues that are core to their brand, and communicate these values effectively to their customers.
This is the future we're helping make a reality. We’re inspired every day to work with brands and nonprofits to accelerate positive impacts on society."
What's the best way someone reading this interview can help your company right now?