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Letter from the Board Chair

 

On behalf of The Climate Trust, I would like to take a moment to reflect on another successful year and celebrate our accomplishments with our friends and stakeholders (that’s you!).

2016 was a year of action. Our efforts to build a sizable, quality pipeline for Climate Trust Capital’s pilot carbon investment fund, Fund I, were rewarded with a powerful response to our request for project proposals and a $5.5M Program-Related Investment from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation to seed this endeavor. In the midst of raising a fund, we were also able to take a brief pause to mark our 19-Year Anniversary; celebrating success as we wrapped up the year with a total of $34.2M committed to projects, and 3.5M tons greenhouse gas reduced over the life of the organization—equivalent to the carbon sequestered by 3,313,115 acres of U.S. forests in one year.

We were delighted to secure considerable pro bono legal support from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, without which the launching of Fund I would not have been possible. Procuring this caliber of legal expertise was a game-changer, as the legal costs associated with starting new funds can be a heavy burden. 

The Trust was the recipient of many honors this year, including our third consecutive ranking among the 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon, a spot among the 100 Best Green Workplaces, Top 10 recognition for innovative and effective workplace practices, gold sustainable workplace certification from the City, and being one of the first organizations to earn a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. Investing in our people is something we take seriously, and we believe it makes for measurable and high-quality climate solutions.

The Trust’s ability to source and develop investment opportunities was bolstered considerably with the addition of two new board specialists, as well as two strategic additions to our senior leadership team, Kristen Kleiman, Director of Investments and Karen Ward, Director of Finance. We were also able to add capacity to our investment fund efforts by hosting two high-level interns around the development of a carbon-neutral investment product and modernization of our project tracking systems.

When looking back at 2016, there were some significant milestones. Highlights include finding a new home for the trailblazing and iconic Colorado Carbon Fund program; a close up look at crediting farmers for nutrient stewardship; and a landmark retirement from an Oregon-based dairy digester project. It was also a year of firsts, including the purchase of offsets from The Trust’s first California project to help balance the grid, and the purchase of credits from The Trust’s sole Oregon-based forest project.

Additionally, The Trust was a founding member of an Ad Hoc Offsets Group with the intent to provide the real-world facts surrounding California’s current offset program under AB 32, and to ensure a continued role of offsets in any post-2020 California carbon reduction program. The group is formed from the professionals working to achieve real emission reductions on behalf of the State of California.

The Trust is proud of our leadership role in combating the rise in global temperatures through active participation and leadership in carbon markets. We look forward to continuing that work with partners in 2017, as well as providing financial support to quality projects as our pilot carbon investment fund gains momentum.

 

featured-financialsLaura Beane
Board Chair, The Climate Trust

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