General News

The Switzer Foundation signs on to Carbon Disclosure Project

Fellow(s): Lissa Widoff

The Switzer Foundation is one of a growing number of Foundations which recognize the role that endowments and foundations can play in influencing more sustainable practices among the companies in which they invest. Foundations are required to ‘pay out” a minimum of 5% of their financial assets each year to meet minimum IRS requirements. Increasingly, Foundations, managers and advisors are concerned about how the other 95% is invested in ways which may run directly counter to the programs and mission of the Foundation itself.

The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), drives emissions reductions and improved water management by providing a global system for companies to measure, disclose, manage and share climate change and water information. The CDP has a range of investor-driven initiatives that now include over 550 institutional investors representing more than $70 trillion in assets. These initiatives are intended to give decision-makers, at all levels, access to a global source of corporate environmental information on an annual basis. The Foundation is now a signatory to the CDP, which means we are standing behind the call to action that companies recognize the imperative to act sustainably and disclose environmental performance, at least on climate change and water issues.

As an environmental foundation, the Switzer Foundation is committed to finding financially and socially responsible means to align our grantmaking and our investing. We are pleased to be part of this initiative and will share more news on this front as we continue to learn and increase our involvement.