The Climate Trust | | The Climate Trust


The Climate Trust mobilizes conservation finance to maximize environmental returns.


Who We Are

Building upon a legacy of innovation and leadership in
the carbon market, The
Climate Trust accelerates
the pace of carbon mitigation through conservation finance. We value air, water and soil through the development, purchase and sale of qualified offsets and a relentless investment in people and projects with environmental purpose.



Letter from The Climate Trust’s Board Chair

The Climate Trust had much to celebrate in 2015. While marking our 18-Year Anniversary, we also met a requirement of the Oregon CO2 Standard by committing almost $4.8M for the Carty Generating Station, and wrapped up the year with a total of $31.7M committed to projects, and 2.7M tons greenhouse gas reduced over the life of the organization—equivalent to 570,000 cars taken off the road for one year.

Another major milestone was achieved with the award of a $1M Conservation Innovation Grant from the United States Department of Agriculture—this, the largest of the USDA’s issued grants, will be used to launch a first-of-its-kind investment fund to finance forestry, grassland conservation, and livestock digester projects.

We continued to modernize and advance our business through the unveiling of a new face and mission for The Climate Trust—a brand design that unites the different facets of our business through a dynamic visual system and transparent, inspirational messaging; as well as through the launch of a new and streamlined online application process for carbon project developers seeking financing.

The Trust was honored as a recipient of the 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon award for the second year running. Investing in our people, and their long-term happiness is something we take seriously, and something we believe makes for measurable and high-quality climate solutions.

Under the leadership of Sean Penrith, two strategic additions were welcomed to the Board of Directors, adding decades of environmental and financial expertise to the current membership. The Trust’s internal team also benefitted from two key hires, increasing critical expertise in the forestry sector. Additionally, we amplified our commitment to transparency via the launch of a Glass Door Committee of external expert advisors to provide insight on our carbon credit acquisitions efforts.

When looking back at 2015, we are proud of our accomplishments. Highlights include the release of a two-year assessment of blue carbon on Louisiana’s coast; a comprehensive look at harmonizing the proposed Clean Power Plan with Oregon’s exciting law and policy; as well as an in-depth look at catalyzing carbon mitigation and sequestration through offset project investment.

It was also a year of firsts, including the purchase of the first Avoided Forest Conversion offsets in the California market; the acquisition of offsets from a methane-to-electricity project that was the first in our portfolio to generate CCOs under the ARB protocol; and the purchase of The Trust’s sole Oregon-based forest credits through an innovative agreement with the City of Astoria.

Additionally, we testified at a number of Oregon climate policy hearings for Portland City Council, House Committee on Energy and the Environment, and Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee.

The Trust is proud to play a role in combating the rise in global temperatures through active participation and leadership in carbon markets. We look forward to working with partners to continue that trend in 2016, as we roll out our pilot investment fund, and offer financial support at a vital stage of project development.

Laura Beane E-SignatureLaura Beane
Board Chair, The Climate Trust


Publications and White Papers


Total tons GHG reduced



Contracted emissions reductions (tons)



Total committed to projects



Active projects


And I Quote

“I can’t think of a more important thing I can do today to avoid catastrophic economic and social disasters tomorrow, than participating in the creation of an investment fund by an organization which has set the gold-standard in the carbon credit selection and contracting process for decades.”
-Neal Sacon, United Fund Advisors & The Climate Trust Board of Directors

Portfolio Update

In 2015, The Climate Trust promoted innovative technologies and projects by investing in high-impact sectors: agriculture, biogas and forestry. Our expanding portfolio has created tangible benefits for communities and the environment—all while meeting rigorous, third-party standards.

Cumulative Tons Retired

Total Offsets Contracted By Sector

Offsets Contracted Since 2010 By Sector

Offsets Contracted Since 2010 By Sector AR 2015


Media Highlights

Project Milestones

Saving Oregon Trees

The Trust purchased carbon credits from the City of Astoria, who agreed to reduce their timber harvest levels. By encouraging natural forest growth in their Watershed, the project preserves stored carbon in the forest and provides critical support for city services through the sale of offsets. This is The Trust’s sole OR-based forest project.

$1M USDA Award

The Trust received a $1M grant from the USDA to launch an investment fund to finance forestry, grassland conservation, and livestock digester projects. The grant award affords a tremendous opportunity to cost-effectively mitigate and sequester carbon emissions through a carefully selected pipeline of projects.

Wetland Restoration

The Trust and partner Tierra released results from a two-year assessment of blue carbon potential on Louisiana’s coast. Findings suggest that carbon revenue could provide $1.6B in critical funding for wetland restoration over the next 50 years. Wetland restoration techniques are examined as areas to support carbon offset programs.

Methane to Electricity

The Trust agreed to purchase offsets from Farm Power Northwest’s Lynden dairy digester; a facility that turns methane gas generated by cow manure into electricity. This is the first project in The Trust’s portfolio that will generate CCOs under the ARB protocol—an important step into another compliance market for The Trust.

Preserving Forestland

The Trust purchased carbon credits from the Middleton Place project—an area of pristine southern coastal habitat. By preventing forestland from being converted to other uses, the project preserves stored carbon in the forest and maintains critical habitat. These are the first-ever CCOs from an Avoided Forest Conversion project. 

Rewarding Farmers

A year-long assessment by The Trust and partners, finds there is enormous potential to incentivize changes in nitrogen fertilizer application on cropland. Creating scalable nutrient management programs for farmers and selling the resulting carbon credits was found to be a real possibility. The report provides a roadmap for minimizing risk.

And I Quote

“When I joined The Climate Trust board in 2007 it was a work related assignment that I assumed would end after my 4-year term. Instead, my Board service has evolved into a very personal commitment as I have developed relationships with The Trust’s passionate team members and developed a desire to see The Trust achieve its important mission.”

-Laura Beane, Avangrid Renewables & Chair, The Climate Trust Board of Directors

Consolidated Financials

All Climate Trust investment portfolio holdings are filtered against stringent social and environmental criteria for results consistent with The Climate Trust’s mission. In adherence to the fossil fuel declaration, The Trust does not hold securities with any of the top 200 carbon emitters listed in The Carbon Underground, or in any excluded categories (i.e. alcohol, coal power generation, or repressive regimes). The Trust’s investments give preference to companies that consistently engage in activities that include, alternative energy production, community investment, and disclosure of carbon.


Accomplishments and Accolades

donor thanks

Our Incredible Supporters

We gratefully acknowledge gifts received from the following valued donors in 2015. Our elite Leadership Circle is made up of individuals who contribute $250 or more, and organizations that contribute $1,000 or more to support The Climate Trust. Foundations have been vital in providing generous grants to support special initiatives; the real cornerstone of our sustainability efforts.

Thank you to our current donors and those who have contributed in the past. Our work is made possible by your support, as well as collaboration with our valued project partners and clients.



Philanthropic Support

The David & Lucile Packard Foundation

MRG Foundation

The United States Department of Agriculture

Individuals $250+ | Organizations $1,000+

Laura Beane

David Castles and Kristi Hinckley

Peter Hand

William Noellert

John Schlinke

Anonymous via Schwab Charitable Fund

And I Quote

“Personally, I am very happy to have called your team as it has really broadened my understanding of how carbon projects come together. The degree of transparency in the proforma model is greatly appreciated and takes out much of the guess work in evaluating the offer.”

-Brian Kleinhenz, Sealaska Corporation

“We consider The Trust an important partner, helping us to invest in high-quality carbon offset projects that meet our rigorous requirements. We look forward to continuing our longstanding relationship with The Trust—a carbon manager that shares our values and goals for Oregon.”

-Brian Harney, NW Natural Smart Energy


Board of Directors


Laura Beane Chair, Avangrid Renewables

Renee Dowlin Vice Chair, Retired, Port of Portland

Arya Behbehani Secretary, Portland General Electric

Neal Sacon Treasurer, United Fund Advisors

John Audley Freelance

Patrick Maloney Occam Advisors

Patrick Proctor Stash Tea

Nini Redway Retired, Deputy Treasurer for CA Treasurer


Laura Beane Chair & Treasurer, Avangrid Renewables

Renee Dowlin Vice Chair, Retired, Port of Portland

Arya Behbehani Secretary, Portland General Electric

John Audley Freelance

Patrick Maloney Occam Advisors

Patrick Proctor Stash Tea


Tom Dempsey Avista Corp.


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The Climate Trust
65 SW Yamhill Street, Suite 400
Portland, Oregon 97204
Phone: 503.238.1915
Fax: 503.238.1953