MadTree deepens charitable roots by joining 1% for the Planet

Discussions about percentages at MadTree Brewing are typically related to the ABV (alcohol by volume) of its beers, which generally ranges between 4%–9%. But now, the figure 1% has taken on major meaning at the Oakley-based craft brewer: It has become a member of the international nonprofit, 1% for the Planet.

The Burlington, Vermont-based organization was created by Yvon Chouinard, founder of California-based outdoor gear/apparel retailer Patagonia, and Craig Mathews, founder of Blue Ribbon Flies in Montana. Businesses that join the nonprofit commit to contributing at least 1% of their annual sales to environmental causes. Its mission is to build, support, and activate an alliance of businesses financially committed to creating a healthy planet.

For MadTree, joining the group reflects the second half of its motto: “Rooted in Purpose.” (The first part is “Inspiring Madness.” This is a brewer, after all.)

“When we started MadTree seven years ago, we were driven to craft great beer,” says MadTree co-founder Brady Duncan, “but more importantly, to build something bigger than ourselves and the high-quality beer we produce.”

“We care deeply about creating meaningful connections with our communities,” he continues. “We are inspired by Patagonia and how they are so much more than a clothing company. We will use our business as a platform to connect people to nature and each other. These are the areas where you’ll see us focusing, in addition to the great beer that has helped us to build a tremendous community.”

MadTree joins about a half-dozen other local businesses as members of the 1% club. Those other companies include Away with Geese (supplier of cruelty-free systems for vacating unwanted geese from an area); Haywood Remodel (sustainable home remodeler and renovator); Ocean Hound (manufacturer of dog gear made from recycled plastic); Plaine Products (seller of non-toxic personal-care products); and Pixel & Timber (holistic industrial design and product development firm).

Overall, 1% for the Planet says it has more than 2,000 members in 45 countries, and that it has certified more than $225 million in support to approved environmental nonprofits since its founding in 2002.

In addition to joining itself, MadTree identified an opportunity to recruit more local nonprofits in the 1% for the Planet network, and recently nominated several local organizations to join — including Wasson Way, Cincinnati Parks Foundation, and Cincinnati Nature Center. The Arbor Day Foundation, which MadTree currently supports, is already a member.

“We are thrilled to be working with MadTree Brewing as part of the 1% for the Planet movement,” says Jay Andress, co-founder of Wasson Way, a still-under construction trail that wends its way through several eastern neighborhoods.

“In addition to all the other benefits resulting from the Wasson Way project, we want to plant hundreds of trees to filter our water, clean our air, provide food to animals, and create wonderful shade for trail users,” he says. “We will also be working to install rain gardens and bioswales along the trail to create habitats for butterflies, insects, birds, bees, and other pollinators. Without the support of MadTree and our incredible volunteers and donors, none of this would happen.”

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Read more articles by Matthew Hall.

Matthew Hall is a Mount Lookout-based freelance writer/editor specializing in covering architectural and design trends. His career includes stints with the Cincinnati Business Courier, the Cincinnati Enquirer, (an online bookseller) and Boutique Design magazine. He's also happy to be a later-in-life dad who adopted two children from Guatemala with his wife.