Environmental Grants Awarded at March Board Meeting!

The Environment Program awarded 10 grants this grant cycle, one in environmental media, two in the biodiversity program, and seven on sustainable production and consumption.

In total, the Environment Program in March awarded $410,000 to its grantees, whose work is listed below. The Foundation is extremely proud of the work of all its grantees, and congratulates them on their varied and impressive successes!

Biodiversity Conservation in Latin America

Root Capital received a twenty-four month grant of $150,000 for its work in Ecuador, Mexico, and Nicaragua. A social investment fund that uses the tools of finance – including access to capital and financial management training – to support community-based enterprises, Root Capital serves small and growing businesses (SGBs) rooted in rural, low-income communities in Latin America and Africa. Since its inception in 1999, it has grown rapidly, and as of Q3 2012, Root Capital has disbursed more than $462 million in credit to 405 businesses.

The Overbrook Foundation is proud to announce a new partnership with the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice. Founded in 2003, the Vance Center is part of the New York City Bar Association, and mobilizes the global legal profession to promote social justice, human rights and the rule of law. The Vance Center established the Environmental Sustainability Program in 2011 to provide a range of legal resources in support of environmental protection in Latin America. The Working Group engages environmental lawyers from international firms in New York City and Latin America, in consultation with environmental organizations focusing on the region to identify systemic cross-border challenges, and design and implement multi-pronged strategies for addressing them. The Vance Center received $40,000 for the Environmental Sustainability Program.

Sustainable Consumption & Production

A grant of $10,000 was awarded to Corporate Ethics International for General Operating Support, and to support its continually growing Business Ethics Network (BEN). BEN supports its coalition of hundreds of NGOs, collaborations, and networks engaged in corporate campaigns and shareholder activism by facilitating collaboration, providing education and consultation, and increasing recognition of campaign successes with the funding community and the public.

The Dogwood Alliance also received $10,000 for its Paper Campaign/Carbon Canopy. The Carbon Canopy Project is a collaborative of corporations, landowners and conservation groups working to build a carbon market for forest conservation in the Southern U.S. This carbon market can then provide monetary incentive for private landowners to practice forest conservation along the rigorous FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) standards.

A grant of $50,000 was given to the Environmental Defense Fund for its Sustainable Corporate Production and Consumption Campaign. In 2012, EDF launched an "Environmental, Social, and Governance Management" tool for private equity, which it continues to develop. The tool helps define the building blocks of a successful ESG management program and provides private equity firms of all sizes s a framework to assess, analyze and improve their ESG performance.

For its work in building and supporting a coalition around sustainable paper, the Environmental Paper Network received a twenty-four month grant of $40,000. In 2013, EPN will focus on creating strategic opportunities for collaboration among member organizations; managing collaborative projects and resources that increase the adoption of sustainable solutions, including the Paper Calculator, PulpWatch.org,  WhatsInYourPaper.com, and the Paper Steps/Eco-Paper Database; and providing capacity for participation in critical product standard rule-setting processes for the paper sector.

NRDC received a twenty-four month grant of $140,000 for its Promoting Extended Producer Responsibility and Sustainable School Food and Packaging programs. Recently, NRDC was asked to advise six of the nation’s largest school systems – including New York City – on procuring antibiotic-free chicken and phasing out the wasteful, antiquated Styrofoam lunch trays still used in school cafeterias (an initiative supported by Mayor Bloomberg!).

In the same vein, the Product Policy Institute received a $25,000 award for its Campaign for Sustainable Products and Packaging. PPI’s strategy to develop a strong framework of product-focused environmental policies at the state and local level across North America, ultimately driving effective national policy, is well underway: PPI has reached a critical mass of support in the Northeast region, acting as an influential legislative and organizational voice for EPR legislation in six Northeastern states.


Last, but never least, Grist received a $110,000 grant over twenty-four months for general operating support. With a direct monthly audience of over 1,500,000 people, primarily in their 20s and 30s, and partnerships with leading outlets including The Washington Post, Yahoo! and YouTube that help Grist reach millions more, Grist has a tangible impact on the planet. In a recent reader survey, 84 percent of respondents said they had changed a behavior or an action based on content encountered in Grist.