Sustainable Environments

Environmental & Climate Justice

The Outcomes We Seek

Adoption of Just Transition

A Just Transition recognizes that a healthy economy and a clean environment can co-exist.  We support a vision-led, unifying and place-based set of principles, processes and practices that builds economic and political power and works to shift from an extractive economy (one that relies on the extraction of labor, natural resources, culture) to a regenerative economy.

Increased Power in Communities Most Impacted

We are committed to recognizing, listening to and moving resources in support of existing grassroots and frontline leaders in the environmental and climate justice movements as they continue to build their political, economic and cultural power.

Improved Policies Rooted in Environmental & Climate Justice Solutions

We support policy changes that work towards reducing racial disparities of environmental and climate impacts.  These solutions will reduce carbon emissions and address environmental problems that ensure the right of all people to live, learn, work and play in safe, healthy and clean environments.

Increased Environmental Funding

Leading by example, we aim to increase environmental funding from public and private sources to frontline and grassroots organizations and movements with a racial equity lens.

People of color and low-wealth people, particularly those living in frontline communities, are faced with disproportionate, negative impacts of environmental degradation, climate change and failing infrastructure, and have been plagued by decades of disinvestment and racist planning practices. Historic power imbalances from centuries of structural racism have resulted in the people most affected by environmental impacts being the least heard and valued.

The environmental and climate justice movements address this disparity by centering impacted communities in the design and implementation of climate solutions. These interrelated movements encourage self-determination of all people and are opposed to the role of trans/multi-national corporations in environmentally decimating communities.

Through deep collaboration with our grantee partners and philanthropic colleagues, we intentionally support people and organizations that build power within communities of color and low-wealth communities to address the systemic environmental injustices caused by historic power imbalance.  These movements are highly informed and have their own analysis about advancing environmental and climate justice solutions and the Sustainable Environments program elevates this work as it is organized in the field by naming both movements.

We utilize a variety of tools beyond grantmaking such as convenings, program related investments, and communications to play a role in shifting investments to frontline and grassroots organizations, particularly those led by people of color.

Grants under this strategy will be announced beginning October 2018.
To view other Sustainable Environments grants, please click here.

December 5, 2018

How NFG is Disrupting Funder-Grantee Dynamics

Helen Chin has just led the Surdna Foundation’s Sustainable Environments Program through a strategy refinement process. “Now,” she says, with satisfaction, “We are able to connect more robustly with what’s bubbling from the ground…

Staff Perspectives
October 11, 2018

Philanthropic Leadership Means Following the Frontlines

When we talk about “building the capacity” of frontline and grassroots leaders who are changing structures, policies, and systems, what does that really mean for funders? Many funders use antiquated and static systems of inquiry to identify and…