The George Gund Foundation now requires nonprofit organizations to submit a climate change statement as part of future grant applications.
“Global climate change has long been a concern for us as part of our environmental grantmaking, but the growing negative impact of human behavior on our planet’s climate has convinced us that we need to extend that concern beyond the confines of a single program area,” said David Abbott, the Foundation’s executive director. “We are asking prospective grantees to tell us what they are doing or considering to reduce or to eliminate their impact on climate change as a way of encouraging them to think about this important issue.”
Abbott said the one-page statement, which was required beginning with proposals submitted for the September 15, 2007 deadline, should include information that applies to both the organization’s operations as well as it programming. Plans call for sharing this information to highlight “best practices.”
He said the Foundation’s website, www.gundfoundation.org, includes sample statements for different types of organizations, online resources to help organizations better understand climate change and suggest ways to reduce their carbon footprint and a list of frequently asked questions about the new policy.
“There are many things organizations can be doing, some of them very simple, such as printing double-sided or subsidizing public transportation passes for employees,” said Abbott, noting that the Foundation has made several changes in its office and is conducting a sustainability audit of its operations.
In 2007, the Foundation also adopted a policy requiring all projects that receive capital grants to pursue U.S. Green Building Council LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.