In addition to making grants to organizations across the South, the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation achieves positive impact by aligning our financial investments with our mission of moving people and places out of poverty. The Foundation recognizes that climate change has disproportionate impacts on low-wealth people and communities of color across the American South, the nation and the globe. Many communities that have historically relied on fossil fuel jobs are experiencing serious environmental problems and challenging political realities.
Consequently, the Foundation is joining the Divest Invest movement, a global effort calling for all investors "to divest from the fossil fuel industries deepening the climate crisis and invest instead in climate solutions." These efforts aim to shine a light on the economic risk inherent in investments in fossil fuels and the importance of making capital available to climate and clean energy solutions. In particular, the Foundation seeks to support communities that are pursuing a brighter economic future beyond their ties to fossil fuel industries.
“Leveraging our investments sustainably and responsibly is one way the Babcock Foundation can remain faithful to our grantee partners who are working daily to build more just and sustainable economies that work better for people and places across the South,” said Executive Director Justin Maxson.
In October 2014, we adopted an investment policy that integrates environmental, social and governance factors into our criteria. These include climate impact and natural resource use, as well as labor rights, corporate governance, supply chain management, community impact and other practices. We believe this best-of-sector approach is consistent with our fiduciary duty, and we expect our portfolio to generate competitive market performance returns.
Signing the Divest Invest pledge takes this commitment one step further, as we join more than a hundred other foundations in cementing our support for companies that are addressing climate change and managing the environmental risks associated with their business activities.