Do The Bright Thing

Shop your way to a sustainable solar future!

Wednesday 6 June 2012, by isabelbi, MarinaCalderonDura, marta, Soraya Sosa

1 inspired

A. How did you find this company? What are the main facts about its activities?

Why this company?

We decided to choose “Do the Bright Thing” for our case study given the WIN-WIN relationship we identified between this company and environment/ consumers. We realized that a simple idea can have a huge impact and raise awareness on society, bringing excellent outcomes to the company.

a) The main facts about the activities of the company.

Do The Bright Thing is a company based in Netherlands. It was conceived in late 2010, but it was not until 2011 that an enthusiastic team was formed and the company was built.

Their mission is to generate all the energy needed to create products with solar energy. They want everyone to realize that currently, fossil fuel energy is wasted in every purchase they make, but through Do The Bright Thing this can change. Over time, our dependence on fossil fuels and its use must decrease, and this company and its idea makes it possible.

But, how are they able to do this? Consumers begin by signing up with Do The Bright Thing before proceeding to make their online purchases through their site, which connects the customer with more than 500 online retailers like Amazon.com. The company, meanwhile, has calculated for each of those products how much energy was needed for its production, and lists those amounts next to the products’ prices that way making the customer realizes the energy that has been wasted and how through this company he can restore the initial equilibrium. Consumers finally receive an email within 60 days of their purchase with the details of the new solar panels funded by their purchase.

For each purchase made, Do the Bright Thing uses a combination of affiliate marketing revenue complemented by bank loans to fund the solar panels installation, which will eventually produce the equivalent energy used in the creation of the product purchased by the customer. Consumers pay no more for the products they buy than they would anywhere else. Do The Bright Thing, keeps for 20 percent of the affiliate marketing revenues it earns and invests the rest.

Through a partnership with Fair Climate Fund, 5 percent of the investment in solar panels takes place in developing countries.

B. What are the Ethical challenges this company is addressing?

The main ethical challenge the company is addressing is the sustainability of the world. Do the Bright Thing is trying to promote sustainable shopping: a shopping that doesn’t have bad environmental consequences, that is, a zero negative impact on the environment.

They are addressing this challenge not by trying not to have an impact on the environment when the product is produced, but by compensating the impact of the production to balance it out and return to the initial equilibrium.

Furthermore, with the solar panels they are setting up to address this challenge not only are they compensating the energy used to produce, but they are also promoting energy efficiency as they will provide “clean” and renewable energy for the place where they’re to be installed.

C. What makes this company really inspiring to you and why would you trust it?

Imagine you order a camera or a new book online, and several days later, you find out that your purchase also contributed to the creation of a solar project, isn’t it ethical?

There are several reasons that make us believe that Do The Bright Thing is an ethical company. First, it has developed a creative financial model for solar projects through online shopping. Customers can choose from over 1 million products, and for every purchase made through the site, 10% of the purchase value is invested in solar energy. Furthermore, using respected sources, they can calculate how much energy and thus how many solar panels are required to generate this energy from a safe, renewable source. Therefore, thanks to this system all products will be manufactured without any impact on the environment, as it balances out with the energy wasted to produce them.

Second, this simple idea of coupling online shopping with solar investment not only creates a huge impact on society but also makes people aware of the importance of taking care of the environment and encourages them to carry out sustainable projects. It is a way to empower individuals with solar energy commitment.

Third, this shopping platform has partnered with several organizations such as Fair Climate Fund or Greenchoice to adhere to a commitment of installing 5% of solar panels in developing countries.

And last but not least, it is important to point out that one of the main goals of the company’s strategy is to assure that the shopper will trust them. Therefore they have implemented a mechanism in which the customer can follow the progress of the solar project; this connection educates and enlightens the shopper, and most of all, helps him recognize that as an individual, can he make a difference.

D.What are the possible challenges facing the company in the future and how do you think this company may improve?

The main future challenge “Do the Bright Thing” is facing is its own expansion. As an ethical company developing a renewable energy project which has just begun to operate, what it seeks is ways to increase the number of solar panels being installed.

Thanks to the increased transparency of companies nowadays, Do the Bright Thing has been able to start its activity, but in order to continue growing and become a change agent in our world it has to continue expanding, either by including companies willing to be transparent into the project, or including online shops willing to cooperate with it, or simply implementing an international expansion easily throughout the internet.

Another challenge “DTBT” is facing is, going from being a company that carries out an ethical project to being an ethical company. This transition was started with the community solar project, which installed 5% of the company’s solar panels in developing countries, but inorder to fulfill this goal, it has to increase these projects to maximum levels without damaging profitability.

These challenges that “DTBT” may face are what will decide the future of this inspiring company, it can stay as local (NL) start up which was once a good a idea, or it can develop fully into what we believe it can become.

“DTBT” can help balance out the energy of consumption, saying in the world can be very ambitious, but it can help trigger many other companies willing to support or complement their idea, that way completely eliminating negative impact of production (energywise) in the world, and truly becoming a change agent. That is, in fact, the future challenge we think “DTBT” is going to face.

Bibliography

http://www.dothebrightthing.nl/

Location: The Netherlands

Sector: Other service activities

Official website: http://www.dothebrightthing.nl/

Key figures:

Given te recent foundation of the company, and given it has only been operating for less than 2 years, no key figures or financial data has been made public yet..

Nbr. visits: 247

Nbr. inspires: 1