As a foundation, we believe we have a responsibility to act on climate change, and we are working to embed environmental sustainability across the organisation. This includes leveraging our role as a provider of analysis and research; reviewing how we give grants and invest our endowment as well as how we manage our workplace and events.
We are taking a number of steps to reduce our environmental footprint and improve our sustainability.
Developing a responsible investment approach and committing to making our endowment net zero by 2035
We are conscious of the impact our investment portfolio can have – both positive and negative – and have put in place measures to achieve a more socially and environmentally responsible endowment. This includes a responsible investment policy, which guides how we invest our funds in three ways:
- acting as a responsible investor, which will include measuring the impact of our endowment against UN Sustainable Development Goals 3 and 13
- working with our investment managers to ensure their environmental, social and governance policies align with the Foundation’s mission and values
- emphasising positive engagement over exclusion – working alongside those we invest with to bring about positive change in their business practices.
We also set the ambition of a net zero endowment by 2035, with the interim target of halving emissions by 2028, compared to our 2020 baseline.
To influence more sustainable business practices, we have been using our position as an investor to engage with the funds and companies we invest in, working with ShareAction and the Charities Responsible Investment Network (CRIN).
Putting in place a long-term plan with a net zero target for our wider operations, reporting on our carbon footprint publicly in our annual report, improving our grant giving processes and raising awareness within the Foundation
We will be implementing a long-term plan for how we operate, which will seek to reduce our environmental impact and include a net zero target for the whole organisation. This will cover not only our investments, but other aspects of our organisation such as our facilities, IT, hybrid working and events.
The Foundation will continue to build a more detailed picture of our carbon footprint to give a better sense of where our biggest opportunities lie for its reduction.
We have made changes to the way we give our grants. We have incorporated a non-assessed question on sustainability into our grant applications, as well stipulating that meetings should be virtual by default. We will continue to assess and improve the sustainability of our grant giving processes over time.
As an organisation that frequently holds meetings and events, we developed a sustainable events guide to help make our events as sustainable as possible – covering catering, venues, travel and event materials.
We are actively engaging staff at the Foundation, raising awareness and understanding of climate change, environmental breakdown and the link with health and wellbeing. We’ve held events and activities to discuss different aspects of sustainability and what we can do as individuals.
Thinking about the role we can play as a provider of research and as a funder, we will be considering sustainability in the Foundation's strategy refresh taking place in 2022. We will explore what we might be able to contribute on issues such as net zero health care and the impact of climate change and environmental breakdown on health and wellbeing.