Illustration of a hand holding a plant sprouting out a clump of dirt.

Walking the Walk: Sustainability & Why Earth Day is Important

Jamie Kenison | 8 min read

The need to be passionate advocates for Earth Day has been ingrained in Wisetail culture since the Company’s very beginning. 

Nestled in the snowy, yet vibrant, mountain town of Bozeman, Montana, Wisetail has always been tightly tied to community (living, working, and playing in a county of less than 100,000 residents will do that to ya!).

It is our mission to turn companies into communities and with that we strive to work on our own community internally. A key component of that is as individuals and how we are working to shape our own communities and investing in them for generations to come. New sustainability initiatives develop as we work within our communities to identify how we can improve them and give back all that they give us” said Wistail President Ali Knapp.

How we invest in our communities directly reflects the sort of team and company we are as well as the value and importance of our community in our lifestyle. And how we invest in our planet impacts the future health of humanity. Let us do a quick-run down (aka humble brag!) on where we focus our conservation and sustainability efforts as a whole.

Photo: Wisetail employees work to maintain a trail.

2% for Conservation

2% for Conservation is a 501c3 non-profit organization based out of our neighboring town, Manhattan, Montana. The mission is to certify businesses that give atleast 1% of time and 1% of revenue to fish and wildlife conservation. 1% TIME + 1% MONEY = 2% FOR CONSERVATION

“To ensure the future of hunting and angling by creating an alliance of businesses and individuals that give their time and money to fish and wildlife conservation.” – 2%’s Mission Statement

We support our 2% for Conservation certification through a series of initiatives. The first being staff volunteer days. We dedicate time and the opportunity for our staff to preserve Gallatin Valley Land Trust trails and give back to the outdoor community that in-turn impacts our wellness so much. We also donate 1% of our revenue back to conservation and sustainable nonprofits that make a larger impact in our world. 

Intertek: Our Parent Company Initiatives 

In line with Intertek’s Science Based aim of limiting global temperature rise to below 1.5°C and reaching Net Zero emissions no later than 2050, we have committed to reducing our direct operations carbon footprint by reducing our office footprint (by over half the size!) and making in-person work optional. This decision is fueled by the goal of Carbon Neutrality – by allowing Wisetail team members to work from home we are cutting our  emissions.

Photo: Modern windmills rise above grassy hills into a cloudy sky.
Photo with graphic: A mountain goat stands on a rocky cliff overlooking a mountain in the distance, a graphic of the “Wisetail Works” logo is shown left of the goat.

Wisetail Works Grant

Our Wisetail Works Grant was created with the mission of helping people live healthier, happier, and more productive lives. As a Montana-based company, our Wisetail Works focus is on conservation to protect the lands and waters we love. We do this by developing partnerships that bring our communities together and promote expression and creativity, so together, we can all grow and thrive. We encourage nonprofit organizations to apply for our Wisetail Works Grant. We support conservation organizations that help wildlife and habitat improvement, and seek to develop partnerships that bring our communities together so we can all grow and thrive. To show our appreciation for all nonprofits, we offer a discount to registered nonprofits on all products and services.

Partnership with National Forest Foundation

We are proud partners with the National Forest Foundation. National Forests and Grasslands provide Americans with 193 million spectacular acres of wildlands, more than 9,000 miles of scenic byways to drive, almost 150,000 miles of trails to hike, more than 4,400 miles of wild and scenic rivers to float, at least 5,100 campgrounds in which to pitch our tents, and 328 natural pools to swim in. These lands are the foundation of America’s outdoor recreation heritage and sustain our way of life. So far in 2022, Wisetail has planted more than 6,125 trees in partnership with the National Forest Foundation.

Photo: tall trees and lush green foliage surround a lake with mountains in the distance.

But, why?

The why behind all our sustainability programs and initiatives is our driving motivation. For us, the why is the larger impact we want to have on our future. And not just Wisetail’s future, but the future of generations to come. “The decisions we make today help us for a better tomorrow. The larger impact is based on our actions today, right now.” explains our President Ali Knapp. “Our communities give us so much and are oftentimes why we live where we live and so important what can you do to give back and protect it for generations to come!”

Photo: Hands joined together in a huddle.

The ROI and Value on Being a “Green” Company

As with any initiative, there are always drawbacks to work through – staff buy-in and company return-on-investment are two popular ones. 

Undoubtedly though, the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to greener initiatives. The talent attracted to an organization focused on  sustainability efforts will stand out further than anything else. Centered around like-minded conservation passions, a community is built; people are looking to work for companies with values that have sustainability as part of them. Wisetail President Ali Knapp said it so perfectly: “If you can build community around an effort, that effort will grow. Actions towards causes are a great step in staff development and bonding.” Plus, who wouldn’t want a team of staff members passionate about the greater good of our home planet?

Get Started
If we’ve drilled in the importance of Earth Day enough, you’re probably wondering how you can start. Want Ali Knapp’s advice? “Just start!” she says. “Instead of trying to get to a specific measurement or baseline, start with small goals of reduction. Starting small allows you to begin somewhere. It creates more and more movement as a snowball for you in your own sustainable systems.”

Photo: Hands hold a small fern sprouting from a pile of soil.