CORPORATE & CONSUMER PRACTICES
The Foundation’s Corporate and Consumer Practices program area supports organizations that build towards a sustainable future, particularly by shifting corporate and consumer environmental practices. Funded projects range from direct engagement with corporations, to activism against destructive industries, to public education and media that amplifies efforts to improve consumer behavior surrounding energy and consumption. These initiatives work towards a sustainable economy that relies less on destructive, extractive practices and more on renewable, circular production and consumption models. In seeking projects making an impact in these areas, the Foundation prioritizes organizations that are grassroots-led, that hold the potential to serve as industry or community “tipping points,” and that apply a climate change analysis to their work.
Below are the Foundation’s 2017 Corporate and Consumer Practices grantees.
General Operating Support - $40,000
350.org combines online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and creative communications to build a movement for climate solutions across the planet. The campaign is named after 350 parts per million, the safe upper limit of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, according to the latest science (current CO2 are at just over 400 ppm). 350.org is training leaders and mobilizing the global public to pressure governments to make real progress on climate change. 350.org is inspired by the success of its fossil fuel divestment campaign, which has spread rapidly, and looks forward to expanding that work over the coming year to more campuses, churches, cities, and then to Europe and Australia — including a plan to start talking more about re-investment. It will continue creative communications and media work to gain more attention about the connection of climate change and extreme weather and around coal and fracking. 350.org is also going into Phase 2 of Global Power Shift, with projects from thirty countries already planned. These will include national summits around the world to develop lasting political power that will hopefully create the type of political transformation required for real climate progress.
Transform Don’t Trash - NYC - $30,000
The Alliance for Greater New York (ALIGN) works to create good jobs, vibrant communities, and an accountable democracy for all New Yorkers. ALIGN addresses the root causes of economic injustice through strategic coalitions, informative and persuasive communication, and public policy development.
ALIGN is uniting labor, environmental justice, community, and other advocates to transform New York City’s commercial waste system through the Transform Don’t Trash NYC campaign. By improving environmental and labor standards and corporate accountability in the commercial waste industry, the campaign aims to reduce waste and pollution, create cleaner and healthier communities, lift thousands of waste-industry workers and their families out of poverty, and create new, higher quality jobs in recycling and recycling-reliant industries.
General Operating Support - $65,000
The Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) mission is to educate youth on the science of climate change and empower them to take action. The organization built its strategy around low-hanging fruit: the millennial generation, the largest population sector in the U.S. Without the active involvement of young people, efforts to stem climate change are not likely to succeed. ACE focuses on reaching young people where they are: in school and on their phones. ACE has documented its impact in collaboration with researchers at top universities, and holds deep partnerships with dozens of organizations across the fields of climate education and climate justice.
Ocean Plastics, Consumer Packaging, and E-Waste Recycling - $35,000
Founded in 1992, As You Sow promotes environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and practical online financial transparency tools. By representing investors, the organization works directly with corporate executives to press for stronger environmental and social policies that reduce risk, benefit brand reputation, and increase the bottom line while bringing about positive change for the environment and human rights. The organization’s core goal is to reduce the environmental impacts of producing, consuming, and disposing of goods.
As You Sow’s Ocean Plastics, Consumer Packaging and Electronic Waste program, seeks to reduce pollution, resource consumption, and plastic packaging debris in oceans. The short-term strategy focuses on increasing the recyclability and recycled content of packaging, and in the long term, it aims to strengthen producer responsibility or equivalent programs for packaging.
Real Food Media Project - $20,000
The Real Food Media Project is a collaborative project to inspire, educate, and grow the movement for sustainable food and farming. The group’s first initiative is Food Mythbusters, which provides a set of tools—animated videos, live action short documentaries, online resources, and more—to help spread the real story about what we eat. Led by author Anna Lappé, Food MythBusters is a collaboration among a wide range of organizations working to directly challenge Big Ag’s marketing might with grassroots truth-telling about the true costs of industrial agriculture and the real potential of sustainable food and farming.
General Operating Support - $25,000
The Dogwood Alliance, based in Asheville, North Carolina, is an advocacy organization working primarily to defend the unique forests and communities of the Southern U.S. from destructive industrial forestry. Dogwood Alliance’s Paper Campaign is designed to ensure that domestic sourcing of wood fiber for paper manufactured in the US meets the highest environmental standards and leads to both conservation and supply chain innovation across the global forest products industry.
Protecting Ecosystems and Communities from Dirty Mining -- $35,000 (second payment in a two-year grant)
Earthworks is a Washington, D.C. based organization with a 27-year history of standing by communities and habitats harmed by extractive industries. With a membership base of 65,000 advocates, Earthworks provides frontline communities with technical and advocacy support, strengthens grassroots networks, conducts research to inform evidence-based decision-making, and raises public awareness to change policies and practices. In 2016, Earthworks will focus on key points of leverage that will create market-based incentives for changing mining practices, empower partners in Latin America with the evidence and technical support to stop dirty mines, and advocate for international policy that protects our oceans from mining and mine waste.
General Operating Support - $55,000
The Environmental Investigation Agency is an independent campaigning organization committed to bringing out change that protects the natural world from environmental crime and abuse. The organization uses pioneering undercover investigations to expose environmental crimes and campaigns for solutions to illegal logging, the illegal wildlife trade, and other threats to the global environment such as climate change. The Environmental Investigation Agency also identifies shortcomings in national and international laws, as well as in corporate natural resource sourcing and consumption habits, to develop dynamic strategies that successfully advocate new or improved policies, implementation and enforcement measures.
General Operating Support - $25,000 (second payment in a two-year grant)
The Environmental Paper Network (EPN) was founded in 2002 to create a common platform and promote collaboration among not-for-profit organizations with different approaches to addressing the pulp and paper industries' impact on our most pressing environmental challenges. These challenges include deforestation, loss of biodiversity and ecologically sensitive habitat, air and water quality, and solid waste. Today, the Environmental Paper Network is a network of over 140 organizations in 26 countries working toward a Global Paper Vision and serves as a model for collaboration that is being employed by advocates around the world.
General Operating Support - $25,000 (second payment in a two-year grant)
Food Tank, founded in 2012, works to re-frame the current policy conversation about the global food system. Food Tank’s mission is to offer comprehensive solutions and environmentally sustainable ways of alleviating hunger, obesity, and poverty by cultivating a network of connections and information. Food Tank publishes original content seven days a week, including video, articles, columns, reports, and investigative journalism. Its team aggregates and disseminates current food research and innovation, as well as executing its own independent research. Food Tank is published or interviewed in major media outlets, both nationally and globally, and convenes food system leaders at more than 50 events a year.
General Operating Support- $50,000 (second payment in a two-year grant)
The Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) works to promote and assist in the shaping of local environmentally sustainable economies and creative zero waste solutions in communities around the world. GAIA’s U.S. & Canada Program coordinates and supports a vibrant network of more than 250 regional members. It is building a national movement that challenges new and existing waste incinerators, advocates for zero waste with justice, and participates in broader sustainability organizing. GAIA believes that zero waste goes hand in hand with democracy, transparency, and economic and environmental justice, a vision called “zero waste with justice.”
General Operating Support - $50,000
Grist is an environmental media organization that uses journalism and technology to inform the public, inspire change, and shape the national conversation on issues about climate change, consumption, and sustainability. Founded in 1999, Grist blazed a trail as one of the first digital media organizations. In the years since, Grist has earned a reputation as a smart source of environmental news and analysis for its monthly audience of more than two million.
Grist is revamping its focus and its talent around three themes: solutions, equity, and empowerment. Through agenda-setting journalism, Grist will tell stories that persuade millions of people that a brighter future is possible, reveal what it will take to get there, and explain how readers, entrepreneurs, policymakers, activists, and others can contribute.
General Operating Support - $40,000 (first payment in a two-year grant)
Groundswell is a Washington D.C.-based organization that builds community power to bring economic equity to the energy sector. Groundswell believes that clean energy is a necessity, not a luxury. Today the poorest 20% of Americans are paying 10% or more of their total income for electricity and at least 49% of Americans can’t access rooftop solar. Groundswell’s model makes community solar a solution for working families, helping to fulfill the promise of expanding affordable access to clean power to everyone. To accomplish their mission, Groundswell serves as a nonprofit community solar developer and subscriber management organization, a business model where customers pay a subscription price for access to clean energy, serving low income communities. Groundswell community solar projects share power, reducing electricity costs for low income households and supporting community economic development with solar investment and job opportunities.
Addressing Climate Change, Community Engagement, and Plastics - $65,000 (first payment of a two-year grant)
Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a national environmental action group that combines the power of 1.4 million members and online activists with the expertise of over 350 lawyers, scientists, and other professionals. In 2017, NRDC will expand its role in bridging the gap between national climate change policies, environmental justice and community engagement.
Most recently, the organization’s environmental justice efforts have been largely centered around community engagement on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan. Going forward, NRDC will expand its effort to build critical alliances with state and local organizations working towards climate justice.
NRDC will also focus on plastics reform, bringing together three crucial inter-related projects: removing plastic bags and polystyrene from municipal waste streams, ridding plastics from the nation’s largest school districts, and assessing how to tackle marine plastics.
General Operating Support - $40,000 (second payment in a two-year grant)
Rainforest Action Network (RAN) is an environmental and human rights organization that works at the intersection of three core issue areas: preserving rainforests, protecting the climate, and upholding human rights. RAN approaches this work through the lens of corporate accountability, because its goals are not only to stop the worst offenders but to shift entire industrial sectors and create lasting positive change.
A core component to RAN’s strategy is building authentic and effective partnerships with frontline communities — those communities most impacted by a lack of corporate accountability and often most capable of supporting a movement for change. RAN partners with local, indigenous and frontline communities to create targeted campaigns that exert pressure and extract actionable policies from corporations responsible for rainforest destruction, massive pollution, and pushing species toward extinction. RAN also ensures that human rights, labor rights, and local and indigenous rights are central to these new policies.
General Operating Support - $50,000
Stand (formerly ForestEthics) is an international advocacy organization that works to create a world where respect for people and the environment comes first. It does so by challenging corporations and governments to treat people and the environment with respect. Inspired by a stand of trees that grows and stands strongest together, Stand believes that when people are united in purpose, it is possible to win seemingly insurmountable fights to protect communities, the environment, and our climate. Stand’s campaigns challenge destructive corporate practices and governmental policies, demand accountability, and create solutions among diverse constituencies.
General Operating Support - $50,000 (second payment in a two-year grant)
The Story of Stuff Project is a California-based organization founded in 2008 to leverage the unexpected viral success of Annie Leonard’s The Story of Stuff—a ground breaking online documentary that explains where our stuff comes from and where it goes when we throw it away. The Project’s team has been a hub of innovation in environmental communications and engagement, creating some of the most impactful cause-related viral videos of all time—garnering more than 50 million online views—and motivating viewers to support hundreds of environmental campaigns and projects with their time, energy, and money.
General Operating Support - $40,000
The Urban Green Council, the New York affiliate of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), advances sustainability in urban buildings through education, policy development, advocacy, and research. Established in 2002, Urban Green’s in-house experts and dedicated network of volunteers are helping transform the built environment in New York City, with models that can be replicated in urban centers nationwide. Urban Green has had a major impact on making buildings more sustainable in New York City. In less than a decade, Urban Green has partnered with the building industry and the City of New York on programs and legislation that have already reduced NYC building energy use by thirteen percent. They have advocated for sixty-eight new laws that set the bar for sustainable building best practices across the country while delivering sophisticated green building training to both local and national stakeholders. Urban Green continues to work with the city and a range of stakeholders to help ensure that NYC reaches its ambitious goal of eighty percent carbon reduction by 2050.