Earth, Inc. was established in the state of Vermont in August of 2006 as a non-profit corporation whose organization is structured to advance its social mission through entrepreneurial, earned income strategies. Its mission is to enhance human well-being by promoting sustainable, fair, and efficient stewardship of Earth's natural, social, human and built capital.
Earth, Inc. is affiliated with the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont, but no financial support is provided by the university. Its initial creation was through the collaborative effort of iEcological Economic researchers at the University, students of the University of Vermont, Vermont Law School graduate students, and active corporate legal counsel.
Earth, Inc.'s innovative approach to enhancing human wellbeing has been organized into five strategic focus areas:
- Four Capital Accounting. Natural, human, social, and built capital provide benefits not confined to a single business or country. An accurate assessment of the capacity of the ecological-economic system to create and sustain human welfare must also account for these factors at the global level. One of the first products to be delivered by Earth, Inc. will be the Earth Shareholder Report, which will regularly detail the true global profit or loss.
- Decision Support Services. Earth, Inc. facilitates data and model access, use, interpretation, and application. Earth, Inc. has made an innovative online Eco-Model Repository available for access to regional, national, international, and global ecosystem and economic models in one convenient location.
- Earth Stewardship Services. As a commons sector corporation, Earth, Inc. will develop Trusteeship Services, which will hold and manage property in trusts on behalf of future generations and all living people equally, accept and fairly distribute payments for ecosystem services, and connect consumers and service providers.
- Organizational Transformation. Earth, Inc. will provide reconceptualizing and related planning services for government, non-government, corporations, and other organizations to facilitate their transformation into a certified Earth Steward. Through this service Earth, Inc. will provide a new framework for the future success of these organizations.
- Earth Commons Collaborative (ECC). Earth Incorporated is actively recruiting organizations to join the global Earth Commons Collaborative. The ECC will strengthen independent organizations by sharing best practices and resources, encouraging collaboration, and working to create a more unified voice to further advance the social agendas of the member organizations. The foundation for this unified voice will be a universal statement of consensus called the ECC Common Ground that will be kept current through an ongoing collaborative process.
As of March 2007, Earth Inc.'s Advisory Board included Peter Barnes, Paul Hawken, John Kassel, and David Orr, and its Board of Directors included Robert Costanza, Crea Lintilhac, Shuang Liu and Matt Sayre.