We are foundations divesting from fossil fuels and switching to clean energy investments, joining college, health, pension funds and religious endowments doing the same. Ethically, our investments shouldn’t contribute to dangerous climate change. Financially, fossil fuel stocks are over-valued as most of their reserves cannot be burned. We can get good, safe returns while helping to build a new energy system.
Philanthropic institutions have social goals, but our power is financial. If we're serious about social change, then we need to hold our investments to the same social standards that we do our grants.
Instead of investing in destructive industries that generate wealth for only the few, we should be investing in clean alternatives that will benefit the many. Instead of holding our investments to dangerous and unrealistic expectations of endless financial growth, we should prioritize social returns that are truly sustainable.
Our current economy isn't working. Transition is inevitable. But we have the power to help make sure that it is just. We need to divest from the old economy and invest in the transition to a new economy.
- to generate income and capital gains necessary to support the foundation’s operations and fund its grantmaking over the long–term
- to provide capital directly to or own the equity or debt of enterprises which further the foundation’s mission
- to avoid investing in companies whose environmental or social impacts contribute to the issues that the foundation’s grant–making seeks to address
Park Foundation Recognizes that:Global climate change is one of the most critical issues facing humankind; The corporate mining of carbon fuels is a major contributor to climate change; The Foundation’s investment in carbon stocks is antithetical to its grantmaking mission due to their impact on human health and the environment; In addition to environmental risks, carbon companies whose market capitalization is derived from their proven reserves are exposing investors to price risk due the potential for stranded assets; Fiduciaries charged with the growth and/or preservation of capital should integrate Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) considerations into an investment analysis so as to more reliably predict financial performance.
Park Foundation Resolves that:It will divest all currently held publicly traded carbon stocks as defined by the “Carbon 200” (see attached) list; It will refrain from any new purchases of the Carbon 200 publicly traded companies; It will execute this divestment on or before December 31, 2014; Subject to further definition of what constitutes “climate solutions investments” (including, but not limited to renewables, energy efficiency, and carbon reduction strategies) the Foundation will endeavor to invest in climate solutions strategies; It will periodically review this policy for relevance.
With the Exception that:A select set of carbon stocks may be held in the separate Shareholder Action Account for use in shareholder resolutions with these companies. Each stock holding will be $10,000 for each company to buffer against market fluctuation as much as is possible.
At the heart of all TSFF's climate work lies the objective of reducing reliance on fossil fuels, while accelerating the production and adoption of renewable energy in our country. We think such transformative change will have a ripple effect, mitigating impacts from climate disruption, ensuring clean air and water, creating jobs and improving overall human health. We also see our world as deeply interconnected and realize that only through bold and innovative ideas can we catapult past outdated economic models.
By joining the Divest-Invest Initiative and focusing on investing in the new energy economy globally, TSFF takes a catalytic step forward in addressing today's complex climate issues. We are fully committed to ensuring that all of our efforts serve the public good and reinforce the ongoing work of our grantees.
The Solidago Foundation, and its affiliated partners, has always worked to align our endowment assets with our program efforts. Since its inception, nearly twenty years ago, we have deployed tight social screens, sought PRI and MRI opportunities to deploy investment assets for positive impacts, and invested grant dollars in building the infrastructure required to advance the field of impact investing.
Given our staff and board’s commitment to this work, we are thrilled to be a part of the philanthropic collaborative, supporting the divest-invest effort. This effort aligns, in particular, with the Powering Change collaborative that we host. This funder collaborative supports grassroots activists in underserved communities, many of whom suffer disproportionately from the effects of climate change.
We laud the effort of this campaign to address the environmental justice issues through the investment lens. In addition, we are equally excited by the prospect of supporting efforts to remedy this injustice by participating in a new generation of just, sustainable investment practices.