Published on April 19, 2023
A nonprofit corporation? Yes, I know: what’s up with that?
Well, it’s an entity that takes the legal form of a corporation, but that, by its own rules, i.e. its articles of association, reinvests 100% of its profits.
Funny thing: this doesn’t exist under French law!
So we had to come up with our own rules. Yep, we’ll come up with new rules if we have to! And by the way, practically speaking, we can’t write that Team for the Planet won’t distribute financial dividends in our articles of association, this decision being up to shareholders. So instead, we wrote that all profits will be systematically re-invested so long as we haven’t reached a 0°C difference relative to the years 1850-1900.
Good luck with that!
At Team for the Planet, the company's shareholders deliberately choose to say “no” to splitting profits among themselves.
Because they rightly consider that we are living through an absolute emergency. And it is a priority to invest in any means available to help our species survive and thrive.
Because in an extreme situation, every euro counts, and because we must tip the scales in every possible way while it is indeed still possible.
So why do people invest if they won’t get dividends from their investment?
Well maybe because living in a liveable world is more urgent than so many other things :). But perhaps for lots of other reasons. We can’t see inside people’s minds. But what it proves is that humans aren’t just motivated by money: you, I, and apparently many other people have other motivations.
Actually, we think (and we’re not alone) that humans are multi-passionate, i.e. that many things can guide and motivate their choices. Of course, in dusty old economics handbooks, it’s easier to start from the principle that economic choices are made based only on financial gain, but in real life, emotions, hopes, disinterested motivations, etc. will all come into play!
In fact, what all Team for the Planet shareholders have in common is that they all view money as a means to an end and not as an end in itself!
The more money available for getting things done, the greater the positive impact.
That’s at the Team for the Planet level, the parent company.
On another level, Team for the Planet works with scientists and entrepreneurs to create subsidiaries. Their purpose is to develop and spread goods or services which reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce energy use, or find alternatives to non-renewable resources.
Of course, these companies need to earn money. They need to be able to pay their employees properly so they can have the greatest impact possible, as soon as possible.
Because way more than money, the key to everything is of course the human element. And where we apply our intelligence collectively.
These companies’ results are calculated by looking at their carbon emissions compared to “old world” goods and services. That’s why we came up with the Climate Dividends. That’s the CO2 (or equivalent) saved or captured per euro invested. The more carbon the company captures while using as little money as possible, the more effective it is!
It’s obvious: what is causing the current environmental disaster is our inherently infinite needs. And we already know that corporations are the first victims as, by nature, they must incessantly seek to grow.
Necessarily, within this framework, there comes a time when choices are harmful as far as our environment is concerned.
This is also why we choose to relieve the companies we create from this frantic race to infinity.
Since sharing out our proceeds is rendered impossible by our articles of incorporation, we can focus on the only performance which matters: environmental performance.
Ultimately, any share of profits generated by our subsidiaries that goes to Team for the Planet is directly put to use to launch new corporations. No discussion needed, all partners having agreed to this from the start.
So you see, being a non-profit doesn’t equate to volunteering or wasteful spending: it just means that we will not distribute any profit among our shareholders!
If you have any other questions about this, please feel free to ask us.
It’s Team for the Planet!
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