Sustainable Clicks – Social Media and Crowd Funding for change in Brazil

Having set foot in South America through our project introducing a Sustainability Index in Chile, we have come across many interesting environmental- and socially-centered enterprises in the region.

A company that has caught our eye for its simple and novel approach to create social and environmental change is Brazilian “Click Sustentabilidade” (CKS).

Background: In 2011, CKS founder Paula Zomignani was working as an account manager in an international social media games company. Tuned with social trends in the high intensity internet user group Paula saw a need to provide accessible and affordable solutions to drive sustainable change. While young people all over the world were talking about changing the system, Paula decided to put her money where her mouth is and quit her job as an account manager in an international social media games company to work full time for CKS.

CKS is an evolution from the Click Árvore (Click Tree) concept, where companies running projects would plant a tree for every click received. Following on that concept, CKS relates social media with the model of Crowd Funding. Sustainability will not be achieved without “engaging people in numbers and at levels that have never been done before”. New social media tools like Facebook may help with such a monumental task, as “people certainly don’t like to come to public meetings”.

Objective: To fund projects that lead to positive environmental and social outcomes; primarily small ones on a household level. CKS offers its participants solutions for change of habits where many people either don’t know what to do or where to start.

How it works: CKS follows an innovative business model, one that explores the idea of “Marketing 3.0”, guided by values and where a sponsoring company promotes its brand while offering an immediate benefit to society and the environment. People register in the website to win products that will change their habits in some way – a worm farm, re-usable nappies, a silicone menstrual collector, a vertical garden etc. Once registered, the participant is required to obtain a certain number of ‘clicks’ to win the desired product – say, 200 clicks for a set of reusable nappies. To promote their project and gather the necessary clicks participants access their social media networks, thereby advertising the company sponsoring the project, which is mentioned on the project link.

Progress: Click Sustentabilidade is seeing a growing number of companies getting involved to sponsor projects. In the coming weeks, the company will open an online shop as it has found that some people would rather purchase featured products directly. A percentage of the sales will contribute towards a social enterprise called Raízes that works with sustainable tourism and handcraft in a poor area of Brazil.

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