As part of this pledge, Comic Relief has ended all fossil fuel investment and adopted an ethical investments policy which has made profits over the past 12 months.
The Funder Commitment was launched in November at the Association of Charitable Foundation annual conference by an initial group of fourteen charitable trusts. It recognises that the climate emergency is a serious risk to the pursuit of charitable goals, and that all funders can play a part in addressing it and supporting adaptation to its effects.
The signatories have committed to taking action on climate change in six areas:
- Educate and learn: making opportunities for trustees, staff and stakeholders to learn more about the key causes and solutions of climate change
- Commit Resources: accelerating work that addresses the causes and impacts of climate change
- Integrate: seeking opportunities within existing programmes to contribute to a fair and lasting transition to a post carbon society and to support adaptation to climate change
- Investments: recognising climate change as a high-level risk to investments, and proactively addressing these risks
- Operations: taking ambitious action to minimise their carbon footprint
- Reporting annually on progress against the five goals listed above.
The addition of Comic Relief means that four of the top 20 largest foundations by giving in the UK are now pledged to the Funder Commitment. Comic Relief joins the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Arcadia (a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin) and Paul Hamlyn Foundation in this group.
Ruth Davison, Interim Chief Executive, Comic Relief said: “It is vitally important that charities work together to address the climate crisis. As part of our climate commitment Comic Relief has now stopped investing in fossil fuels and we have adopted a strong ethical investments policy. As we continue to move towards greater sustainability, I am proud we have signed up to this important charter.”
Vidhya Alakeson, Chief Executive of Power to Change, added: “As a funder dedicated to supporting community business, it’s essential we play our part in tackling climate change. We’re investing in finding new energy solutions through our Next Generation Fund, supporting communities to directly own local solar farms through our CORE programme, and we will be using our Community Business Weekend in May to highlight the ways that community businesses are addressing the climate crisis. We are extremely proud to be joining other prestigious funders to sign this charter.”
Kieron Boyle, Chief Executive of Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, one of the largest health funders in the UK, said: “As a foundation focused on improving health in urban areas we are constantly looking to see how cities around the world are responding to health inequalities caused by global processes. Collectively, we understand now more than ever how climate change has an impact on global health. We’re convinced we have a role to play, which is why we are proud to support this commitment and encouraged by the collective momentum amongst funders to create change.”
In total, 33 funders have signed the Funder Commitment to date. Other funders are urged to join at fundercommitmentclimatechange.org
Notes for editors:
The text of the Funder Commitment on Climate Change, and a current list of signatories, can be viewed at fundercommitmentclimatechange.org
The top 20 largest foundations by giving are listed in ACF Giving Trends Report 2019. https://www.acf.org.uk/downloads/publications/ACF_Foundation_Giving_Trends_2019.pdf
For interviews or further comment Nick Perks, co-ordinator of the Funder Commitment on Climate Change, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07970 787699
Comic Relief is a UK charity with a simple purpose – to create a just world, free from poverty. Comic Relief does this by funding and investing in amazing organisations across the UK and around the world to tackle some of the key issues of our time. Since 1985, Comic Relief has raised over £1.3 billion. For more information visit www.comicrelief.com or contact Rachelle Laurence, Head of Corporate Comms on 07771 814 478 or email email@example.com
Power to Change is the independent trust that supports community businesses in England.
Community businesses are locally rooted, community-led, trade for community benefit and make life better for local people. The sector owns assets worth £890m, and comprises 9,000 community businesses across England who employ 33,600 people. (Source: Community Business Market 2019).
From pubs to libraries; shops to bakeries; swimming pools to solar farms; community businesses are creating great products and services, providing employment and training and transforming lives. Power to Change received its endowment from the National Lottery Community Fund in 2015.
For more information please contact: Alex Valk 07384 812777 firstname.lastname@example.org
Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity is an independent urban health foundation that works with Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and others to improve health in the London Boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark, and beyond.
For more information, contact Rachel Pidgeon Rachel.email@example.com 020 7089 4588