planetgroups is an initiative started in summer 2020 by a group of climate activists and HR professionals in Germany and the UK. We have founded a UG (“Unternehmergesellschaft”), a Limited Company by German law, in so called “Steward Ownership”, or “Purpose Company”. All of our revenues are used to finance our operations and – if there is profit – reinvested into creating more planetgroups and having more global impact for our planet and the climate. We pursue no political or particular business interest, other than to make all business sustainable.

We operate in a profit-oriented manner like a normal management consultancy, but are only allowed to use our earnings for pursuing the company’s purpose („profit for purpose“). With the Purpose Foundation as a veto shareholder we work with an experienced partner who not only makes sure that we only do good, but who also has an eye on us using our resources in a far sighted and responsible manner. 

planetgroups dedicates to empower, facilitate and support employees in their companies to build sustainability into the business model of their organization. Changing the way we produce, consume and work is everyone’s business, and everyone can contribute to this transformation. Employees are essential to driving change in any organization – they can crowdsource ideas, network across the organization, generate momentum and energy for the shifts needed, facilitate and monitor change, and oftentimes take decisions at their own workplace. Employees want to see the transformation happening, and they have all the resources to help driving it. To succeed on shifting onto a sustainable path, the world needs all of us, including you.

All of us have left our former jobs to build this NGO, since we believe it is needed in order to create a positive, action oriented and community building platform for the transformation of our economies and societies which we need to see.

Creating a planet positive business world is something we have to, and we can do ourselves. Building and supporting planetgroups across the globe, we want to make sure that a permanent flow of drive, energy, direction and dedication is maintained towards this goal. We want to realign business towards contributing to a better future. Each company has everything to win by engaging in this process. We believe that it will create fundamentally better business cases, and that it will be exciting to be part of it.

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If management could drive the transformation to a fully sustainable world on their own, they would have already done it. The reason they haven´t is usually not that they do not care about their company or about their planet. They – like any of us – are trapped in a system of established habits, patterns and mutual expectations. In order to change that system, managers need everyone`s support, and sometimes also a little reminder how important that is.

We support climate action in the workplace. 

Although our specific work is of course dependent on the context, people, backgrounds, histories, cultures and industries we operate in we always share the same mission:

To empower, facilitate and support employees, whatever their role, to build sustainability into the heart and business model of their organization.

This mission is based on the belief that together we can create a better future, where successful companies thrive on a healthy planet. The solutions to get there are actually not that complicated, once we have committed ourselves to the journey. We see our job as helping employees and companies to generate and maintain sufficient momentum and to navigate that path.

We support planetgroups with a range of different services and activities:

  • Individual consulting and support;
  • Workshops and interactive formats;
  • Regular and topic-related meet-ups between planetgroups;
  • Supporting “planet projects” in companies using design thinking templates and processes;
  • An IT-based collaboration platform (the “PlaNet”) to enable cross-planetgroup learning, networking, mutual inspiration and enrichment of projects;
  • Strengthening the transformative momentum and the brand development through marketing, social media work;
  • organization of an annual conference.

The planetgroups support UG supports the foundation and work of planetgroups in companies. Planetgroups drive the climate transformation internally in companies by improving their company’s impact on the environment and climate change in so-called “planet projects” on four dimensions:

  • Direct, tangible, and company-related, with regard to their own emissions and resource use;
  • Indirect and tangible, related to the machines used, the logistics, the materials and components purchased, the use and after-use of products and services sold, travel, canteen and employee commute;
  • Indirect and non-tangible, related to the overall impact of the company on the climate system, e.g. through advertising, influence on politics and trade associations, finance, customer outreach, community involvement, etc..
  • Regenerative, related to efforts to remove, compensate or regenerate emissions and environmental damage through renaturation and so-called “nature-based solutions”, or by technological means.

Planetgroups thus have a climate-transforming effect on several levels:

  • They increase the level of knowledge and commitment of employees with regard to the environment and climate protection in their companies.
  • They provide a platform to translate this commitment into tangible and measurable corporate climate action.
  • In doing so, they create references and experiences among the employees that they can become effective and create an impact against the climate crisis, and that doing so in fact feels good.
  • They thus stimulate imitation effects and a growing momentum for climate protection both among other companies and in the personal networks of employees.
  • As a positive side effect, they contribute to a stronger initiative and sense of responsibility (“empowerment”) among employees to be able to influence their company’s strategy with regard to environmental protection and climate change.

Becoming more sustainable means that we find a way of doing business which could go on forever. Everything we take from the planet must be able to regenerate in the same pace as we use it up. We call that planet neutral, or better even: planet positive. It means giving back to the planet more than what we take from it. It encompasses all the resources we use (Air, Water, Fossils, Soils, Animals, Plants, Wood, Minerals, everything).

Establish planetgroups in up to 1,000 companies with a total turnover of more than 100 billion EUR in five years, thus visibly driving the momentum of the climate transformation within and far beyond these companies.

The money raised through the crowdfunding will be used to hire employees in the first year in order to drive sales and marketing, while further developing the structures and processes as well as our collaboration platform, the „PlaNet“.



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Tim Riedel
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