The Climate Trust mobilizes conservation ﬁnance to maximize environmental returns.
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.
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.
Total tons GHG reduced
Contracted emissions reductions (tons)
Total committed to projects
“NW Natural has confidence in The Climate Trust, not only as an offset provider but also as a group that has insights into some of our most vexing carbon policy issues—an expertise that has proved invaluable.”
-Bill Edmonds, NW Natural
In 2016, The Climate Trust promoted innovative technologies and projects by investing in high-impact sectors: forestry, grassland conservation, and livestock digesters. Our expanding portfolio has created tangible benefits for communities and the environment—all while meeting rigorous, third-party standards.
Total Offsets Contracted By Sector
Offsets Contracted Since 2010 By Sector
The Trust received a $5.5M Program Related Investment from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation to seed an investment fund to finance forestry, grassland conservation, and livestock digester projects. The investment allows for the cost-effective mitigation of carbon emissions through a carefully selected pipeline of projects.
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.
The Trust agreed to purchase offsets from Maas Energy Work’s Van Warmerdam dairy digester; a facility that turns methane gas generated by cow manure into electricity. Many of the project’s offsets will be retired on behalf of our Oregon Program. This is The Trust’s first CA project and an important first step towards future work in the state.
In time for The Trust’s 19-year-Anniversary, we are celebrating 3M metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions reduced. Of these 3M tons, an impressive 2.8M have already been retired. The most recent retirement was from the TMF Threemile Canyon Farm’s Dairy Digester project in Boardman, Oregon; the largest dairy in the state.
The Trust is now accepting charitable gifts from donor-advised funds (DAFs) through an easy-to-use widget. DAF Direct is a convenient way to donate—with a few clicks, donors can recommend grants from their DAF to The Trust. The widget streamlines the charitable giving process, ensuring a seamless donor experience.
“As Oregon Caucus Chair for NW Energy Coalition, I have had the pleasure of working hand-in-hand with The Climate Trust to advance a clean and affordable energy future for our region. The Trust has a reputation as a carbon market pioneer, and as a long-standing partner I have witnessed their transformation from the simple provision of quality offsets for utilities to becoming the premier greenhouse gas finance experts in the region.”
-Shanna Brownstein, NW Natural
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.
We gratefully acknowledge gifts received from the following valued donors in 2016. Our 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.
The David & Lucile Packard Foundation
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
Schwab Charitable Fund
Individuals $250+ | Organizations $1,000+
Aggregated Combined Federal Campaign donors
“While carbon offsets represent real and cost-effective means to address climate change, we need to scale up these activities to achieve meaningful results. Ecosystem Marketplace believes private finance has a key role to play in mitigating carbon emissions, and in unlocking additional co-benefits to support a healthy environment—and we’ve seen The Climate Trust share these values in their work over the years.”
-Kelley Hamrick, Ecosystem Marketplace
“While working with Climate Trust Capital’s pilot carbon investment fund on potential investments, I have been impressed with their team’s can-do attitude and domain expertise. This deep technical knowledge, commitment to comprehensive due diligence and strong reputation are impressive. Climate Trust Capital fills a critical hole in the conservation finance world and we look forward to working with them in the future.”
-Robert Keith, Beartooth Capital Partners
Tom Dempsey Avista Corp.