Raises money for libraries and university groups by reselling their unwanted used books online. A percentage of each sale goes to nonprofit literacy partners around the world. Better world even reuses old library shelving in its warehouse. That "built-in cost of doing good is the key to success," says cofounder Xavier Helgesen. The company just turned profitable.
betterworld.com

DWM packages loans from microlenders into financial instruments that provide market-rate, risk-adjusted returns. The microfinance world gets an entrée to Wall Street--and socially proactive investors earn returns in line with those from micro-finance bond funds.
dwmarkets.com

The pioneering mutual-fund manager, with $1.6 billion in assets, invests in businesses that pass rigorous social and environmental standards. Domini also files 15 to 20 shareholder resolutions each year and lobbies portfolio companies to improve environmental and social practices. Domini's social equity Fund has underperformed the market recently, but under its pressure, companies such as Apple, Kimberly-Clark, and Starbucks have committed to sustainable strategies.
domini.com

As first movers in fair-trade coffee, equal exchange enjoyed nearly 100% market share in the U.S. until 10 years ago. Today, its share is just 7%--which is just fine with Dickinson and Everts, whose goal has always been to expand demand and attract new entrants. Even with more competition, sales have grown 70% in the last three years. (Next on its menu: fair-trade American cranberries.)
equalexchange.coop

Herman Miller's Mirra line was conceived to be easily disassembled and recycled; 96% of its materials can be reused. It's an early fruit of miller's "design for the environment" philosophy, which aims for zero operational impact on the environment by 2020.
hermanmiller.com

New Leaf develops and sells eco-friendly paper--40 million pounds of it annually. In an industry notorious for both severe environmental impact and resistance to change, new leaf says it saved 183,796 trees, nearly 40 million gallons of water, and 14.8 million pounds of greenhouse gases this year. Its growth (25% this year) has helped spark new eco-conscious product innovation from the biggies.
newleafpaper.com

Organic food is all the rage, but making a living from it isn't a slam dunk for family farms. Organic Valley aggregates 1,170 organic farmers into a cooperative national marketing network. at this "uncorporation"--which expects 2007 revenues to be up 35%, to $420 million--prices are set to keep farmers in the black; profits are split between members, employees, and communities.
organicvalley.coop

Makes nontoxic household and personal-care products such as 100% recycled, unbleached toilet paper and chlorine-free diapers. "We're trying to incite a revolution" about the role of business in society, Hollender says. Which might seem like the corporate version of "mission drift" if seventh generation's revenues weren't growing at 30% a year.
seventhgeneration.com

Thirty years ago, ShoreBank forged an industry, financing customers in neighborhoods neglected by traditional banks. It has lent $3 billion to real estate, small business, and nonprofit borrowers in Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, and elsewhere. Its success helped bring stricter enforcement of the community reinvestment act--which means ShoreBank must now compete with major lenders. One recent initiative: refinancing options for sub-prime borrowers of other banks.
sbk.com

Part strategy-consulting firm, part corporate-social-responsibility think tank, sustainability helps clients set a vision, develop strategies, implement policies, and develop metrics to gauge triple-bottom-line performance. Elkington coined the term "triple bottom line."
sustainability.com

Ten Profits with Purpose

Raises money for libraries and university groups by reselling their unwanted used books online. A percentage of each sale goes to nonprofit literacy partners around the world. Better world even reuses old library shelving in its warehouse. That "built-in cost of doing good is the key to success," says cofounder Xavier Helgesen. The company just turned profitable.
betterworld.com

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