Climate Finance | December 7, 2023

The Russell Family Foundation offers up $3.5 million for sustainable food, energy and infrastructure

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, December 7 – Gig Harbor, Wash.-based Russell Family Foundation has committed $3.5 million to sustainable forestry, green infrastructure and new food initiatives. The largest chunk of funding was a $2.3 million mission-aligned investment in Timberland Investment Group, an investment division of Brazilian bank BTG Pactual that manages more than three million acres of timberland in the US and Latin America.

TIG is working in partnership with The Nature Conservancy to establish science-based climate and conservation targets for the US portion of its $5.7 billion timber portfolio. It’s also working with Conservation International on a $1 billion, five-year investment strategy for forest protection and restoration in Latin America. 

TRFF also wrote more than $730,000 in climate-focused grants to 15 organizations. Nearly three-quarters of the funding was directed through its year-old Food for Climate Solutions program to help local farms shift to regenerative practices. Recipients include Community to Community, a women-led organization for Latino and Indigenous farmworker activism and rights, and Kulshan Carbon Trust, which is exploring the impact and revenue potential of biochar use on farms in Washington state.

Finally, the foundation also invested $500,000 in Generate Capital, an infrastructure investor and owner that in January raised $880 million for green hydrogen, microgrids, waste-to-fuel and other green projects.

TRFF’s Kathleen Simpson said the Generate and TIG investments support the foundation’s 2025 investment goal of transitioning “an additional 15% of assets toward more climate solutions-oriented decarbonization technologies and nature-based strategies.”

The foundation, which has roughly $100 million in assets, aims to achieve net zero across its portfolio by 2030.