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Catalytic Climate Finance

Our Mission

Taking action on the climate crisis through solutions to help defend against the impacts on our communities.

In response to the urgent climate crisis, we, The Russell Family Foundation (TRFF), are advancing climate solutions across every aspect of our work. Building on our legacy of environmental and social impact, we are committed to achieving a net zero portfolio by 2030 as part of this work. Through our Catalytic Climate Finance Program, we will share our learnings along the way, so that together, foundations and other asset owners can empower equitable climate action. The stage is set for finance to help repair the health of the Earth for all.

About CCF

We are committed to supporting urgent action through every aspect of our work, to help limit the climate crisis so that all people can thrive in a way that is reparative for the Earth. We acknowledge that the financed emissions in our portfolio represent the largest contributions to our emissions.

Maximizing positive impact has always been a priority for us at TRFF, born from one of our founders – George F. Russell, Jr. – who saw a need for investment consulting in 1969. Since our inception in 1999, we have prioritized community investment in grassroots leaders and environmental sustainability, and our investment portfolio is now nearly 95% values-aligned.

In 2014, we signed the DivestInvest Philanthropy Pledge and began divesting our investment portfolio away from fossil fuels as well as other highly carbon-intensive sectors, and instead re-invested into climate solutions such as decarbonization technology and nature-based assets.

In 2022, we signed the UN-convened Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance (NZAOA), a member-led initiative of institutional investors with $9.5 trillion of assets under management, committed to transforming their investment portfolios to net zero GHG emissions by 2050. We also announced our commitment to achieving net zero by 2030, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions across our entire portfolio consistent with a maximum global temperature rise of 1.5°C. With this commitment, The Russell Family Foundation’s Catalytic Climate Finance Program (CCF) began.


Invest for Climate

Transform every aspect of our work to accelerate global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, ensuring that, by 2030, what is emitted across the portfolio is no more than what is removed from the atmosphere.

Empower climate solutions

Provide funding to promising climate movements, solutions, and campaigns.

Collaborate on climate action

Harness collective strength and efforts by aligning with other organizations focused on climate action, for greater impact.

Promote a just transition

Ensure that vulnerable communities and workers are protected throughout the transition to a sustainable future.

Our Journey

We are reducing emissions across every aspect of our work and seeking new investments that contribute to a healthier, more resilient, and equitable future.

Case Studies

Following our formal net zero commitment we invested in Carbon Direct Capital, a growth equity fund investing in carbon management and removal across four categories: carbon capture, carbon removal, carbon recycling, and clean hydrogen.

We have also invested in Greenbacker Renewable Energy Corp, a renewable energy infrastructure asset manager, and in BTG Pactual Timberland Investment Group, an open-ended fund of core timberland assets managed for long-term sustainability that aligns with a nature-based solutions strategy.

Targets and Goals

We are committed to achieving net zero by 2030, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions across our entire investment portfolio consistent with a maximum global temperature rise of 1.5°C.

We do not own fossil fuels and have implemented low-carbon tilts throughout our portfolio management strategy aligned with a revised Investment Policy Statement.

As a first step, and as part of our membership in the United Nations-convened Net Zero Asset Owners Alliance (NZAOA), we have set interim targets for 2025 against which we will transparently report.

The interim and publicly set targets for 2025 are:

  • Achieving a 30% reduction in Scope 3 and financed emissions across our portfolio, measured by the emissions of listed equities and corporate bonds.
  • Shareholder engagement targets on the top 20 listed equity holdings, backing targets and net-zero commitments approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).
  • Shifting an additional 15% of assets toward decarbonization technologies and nature-based strategies across listed equities, fixed income, alternatives, and private assets aligned with the portfolio emissions targets.
  • We have set baselines for emissions across listed equities and corporate fixed income and are currently setting the baseline emissions of our private assets. December 31, 2022, is the base date and year.

Reporting and Measuring

We are committed to reporting publicly and transparently against our targets.

To measure the success of the Catalytic Climate Finance Program (CCF), we will:

  • Track the reduction in carbon emissions resulting from moving toward climate-aligned investments.
  • Publish an annual report sharing our journey toward net zero and the lessons learned.
  • Monitor the number of initiatives supported, as well as their potential for growth.
  • Evaluate the tangible impact of collaborative partnerships.
  • Assess the socio-economic benefits of equitable action funded and influenced by us.

Work With Us

Through the efforts of CCF, we hope to inspire other asset owners to make similar commitments and will share key learnings with the investment community. If you’re interested in working with us, please get in touch.