JRS Biodiversity Foundations Pledges to Divest of “Biodiversity Negative” Investments

The JRS Biodiversity Foundation’s Board of Trustees has approved a policy to exclude securities from its assets issued by companies whose goods, services, or business practices are commonly deemed to negatively impact the earth’s climate or biodiversity, particularly tropical biodiversity. Our new policy notes, for illustrative purposes, that such exclusions may include, but are not limited to, securities of companies primarily engaged in fossil fuels, mining, and destructive logging.

We’re still learning what that means and we are actively engaged with our financial advisers and top social investment research firms to transition our investment portfolio to be biodiversity-friendly.  By the end of 2016, we’ll have reinvested more than half of our equity holdings. To our knowledge, we are the first foundation to define its investment screen through a lens of biodiversity impacts.

Our pledge also qualifies us join the many private foundations divesting from fossil fuels and switching to clean energy investments, joining college, health, pension funds and religious endowments doing the same. We make the Divest Invest Philanthropy Pledge and commit that in the next year, we will:

  • Stop any new investments in the top 200 fossil fuel companies.
  • Drop coal, oil and gas from our investment portfolio by divesting from the top 200 fossil fuel companies.
  • Invest at least 5 percent of our portfolio into climate solutions defined as renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean technology and clean energy access.

Ethically, our investments shouldn’t contribute to dangerous climate change. Financially, we can get good, safe returns while helping to build a new energy system. Personally, it feels great to be part of a movement that is aligned with our mission and values and the hard work that our grantees do every day.

Our full Investment Policy Statement as approved by the JRS Biodiversity Foundation Board of Trustees in May 2016 can be found at www.jrsbiodiversity.org or by writing to info@jrsbiodiversity.org.