Earth Day 2023’s theme, Invest in our Planet, is a call to action urging everyone — philanthropies, governments, businesses, and individuals, to invest time, resources, and energy to help solve the global climate crisis and to protect our environment.

Redstone Strategy Group has proudly supported our clients’ visionary philanthropic environmental conservation and climate investment efforts throughout our twenty years. Following our commitment to advance the field of philanthropy by sharing insights and elevating marginalized voices, many projects from Redstone’s founding years continue to have positive reverberations.

Strategic solutions investing in our climate

In September of 2022, the US Senate ratified the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, phasing down global production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) found in air conditioners, refrigerators, and aerosols, while unlocking funding to support investments in US manufacturing and job development of HFC alternatives.

Redstone supported a coalition of the ClimateWorks Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and other funders to raise over $50 million from philanthropic donors to provide technical assistance for air conditioning energy efficiency policies in developing countries.

This effort placed developing countries squarely at the center – the fund supports developing countries in covering the costs of transitioning to HFC alternatives and improving energy efficiency. This enabled developing nations to simultaneously fight climate change and advance sustainable economic development.

Mission investments provide compounding benefits

In the report, “Philanthropy’s Full Force,” we worked with the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the ClimateWorks Foundation to look at how foundations can leverage mission investments to enhance grants, government policy and investment, and private capital to catalyze and accelerate climate solutions.

Mission investments can close capital gaps by taking on initial business or technology risk, prove a model so other concessionary investors replicate it, spur leadership through stronger policy, regulation, or certification, and operate at scale from the start. Through such investments, a broader, strategic approach can create far greater social impact.

Water is life

The Colorado River supplies drinking water to seven western US states and waters more than five million acres of crops across the US and Mexico. To address overuse and droughts threatening the Colorado River, Redstone supported the Water Funder Initiative (now part of the Water Foundation) in pulling together multiple stakeholders and philanthropies in an agreement known as Minute 323. This nine-year agreement between the US and Mexico increases water security on both sides of the international border, following steps to manage the River’s water and restore the Colorado River Delta. Redstone continues to support ongoing efforts to preserve the delta today.

The Salton Sea, a landlocked body of saltwater formed by Colorado River floodwaters in Southern California, has also faced catastrophic decline in the latter half of the 20th Century. Redstone helped the Water Funder Initiative raise $383 Million to support a plan to preserve vital avian wetland habitats and help combat toxic dust storms in the area. Additional funding through the Water Funder Initiative is pledged for ongoing support of a comprehensive public health and environmental protection plan.

Founded in environmental conservation

Redstone’s earliest projects focused on helping our clients preserve diverse ecosystems around the world. Working alongside our partners at the Linden Trust for Conservation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and international NGOs such as the Nature Conservancy and the World Wildlife Fund, we codeveloped the Project Finance for Permanence (PFP) approach. The approach brings together the ecological, financial, and organizational measures needed to provide enduring protection.

For example, to protect the Great Bear Rainforest, we worked alongside The Nature Conservancy, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and Tides Canada to pull together a PFP that raised $120 CAD and was revolutionary in its meaningful partnership with indigenous First Nations communities. This included integrating economic development goals in support of the local community. Years later, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation extended this work to establish the Great Bear Sea PFP and preserve the US-adjacent Tongass National Forest. Today, Enduring Earth is building on this history, continuing to assemble important PFP investments to provide lasting conservation at a global scale.  

Global to grassroots action  

Earth Day organizers uphold that we all must recognize our collective responsibility to help accelerate the transition to an equitable, prosperous green economy for all. Whether we are supporting our clients’ efforts crafting international agreements, or helping a local community such as Menlo Park achieve their goals of climate neutrality, Redstone is steadfast in our commitment to partner with our clients in innovative ways, working together to make our planet healthier for generations to come.   

    About the Authors
  • Lee Green

    Lee is a Director at Redstone and co-leads the firm’s Environment practice.

  • Jason Blau

    Jason is honored to be a trusted partner to clients rising to the occasion for communities and the planet.