1% for sustainable growth™
Since 2019 we have put aside 1% of our turnover to support initiatives that will deliver “sustainable growth”. By sustainable we mean both environmentally and financially.
We will use this 1% pot to enable others to benefit from such growth. The support may be in the form of charitable donations, or it may be a semi-commercial investment. In the case of investments, any profit would be re-invested into the 1% pot to enable us to support even more sustainable growth initiatives.
Part of “Growing Together”
Attacat is all about delivering growth and doing it in a way that allows everyone involved to benefit. We believe that profit, provided it is not excessive, is good.
1% for sustainable growth™, is inspired by Patagonia’s 1% for the planet initiative whereby they give 1% of turnover to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment.
In their case, it’s a kind of self imposed tax that recognises that no matter how hard they try (and they try very hard!) to minimise their impact on the environment, inevitably their activities will have some impact. Their 1% seeks to put that right.
In our case, we recognise that no matter how hard we try to ensure everyone involved gets something out of engaging with us, there will always be unintended consequences of our actions. 1% for sustainable growth is our way of spreading the opportunity of growth beyond immediate stakeholders.
Co-work Kenya - our first project
In 2019, as part of discussing how we could use our 1%, we came up with the concept of a co-working space in Africa. The idea was to establish an environmentally friendly coworking location that facilities self-learning and business start-ups using the power of the internet.
It floated our boats for many reasons:
- Digital – “digital” or the ability to learn and do business over the internet is ultimately what allowed Attacat to happen. It’s only fair that others should also have that opportunity.
- People vs planet – we’ve long had an internal debate about whether we should use our 1% for the planet (as per the Patagonia vision) or people. This ticks both boxes.
- It feels like it could become self-funding and, if successful, scale to spread the benefit to others.
- The ability for our team (and even clients) to contribute time if they wish.
Making it happen
We knew we needed a partner and in 2021, Attacat’s Hannah Porter introduced us to the Memusi Foundation which leads educational development programmes with schools in Kenya and Tanzania and is led by the incredible Matthew Norton.
Matthew felt the idea could fit well with his school’s program and is now making it all happen for us. Working with a Danish architect, Matthew has pioneered constructing low-cost environmental buildings for his schools using locally sourced materials. It was the perfect fit for our idea and his organisation has the capabilities to deliver.
Our building will be furnished with an internet connection, solar power and 10 laptops. To give the idea the best chance of success, a business manager will be employed on site and the building will also offer a revenue-generating printing service and phone charging capability to help fund the ongoing operations.
Progress to date
Work started on 17th August 2022.
The next project?
We see this building as a prototype that will lead to additional buildings in due course. We hope the building will become self-funding within 12 months. If successful, we will then seek to fund further buildings. We like to dream that it may even get to a point where one building could lead to the funding of another, so the whole initiative, rather than just each building becomes self-sustaining. Of course, success will be dependent on a lot more than just the building, perhaps you’d like to get involved in some shape or form?
1% for sustainable growth™ will also be open to supporting other ideas in due course.
If you would like to find out more about what we’re up to, then please get in touch using the form below.