The Climate Trust is a mission-driven nonprofit that manages a carbon investment fund to deliver offset acquisition programs for utilities, governments, and large businesses. Since our creation, we have managed over $40 million and invested in projects that reduce greenhouse gases. Our efforts have created the pathway to retiring just under 10M tons of Verified Emission Reductions (VERs) in several different sectors; many of them innovative, first-of-their kind efforts. We are the delivery organization for carbon dioxide legislation in the state of Oregon that became law in 1997.
The Climate Trust has been delivering emission reduction projects in OR, WA, CO, MA and other states for 20 years serving both the voluntary and compliance markets. The Climate Trust also provides offsets through our Colorado Carbon Fund (CCF) program. The CCF is the first and only statewide voluntary offset program in the U.S., focusing its support on greenhouse gas reduction projects in Colorado that produce permanent, verifiable carbon offsets.
Our portfolio includes projects that fit ARB carbon compliance protocols. We are also working on several new methods that may eventually fit ARB standards such as Avoided Conversion of Grasslands, Wetlands Restoration, Biochar, Agricultural Nutrient Management, and others.
TCT’s latest initiative is to prove that environmental performance can be relied on to repay impact investors a market rate return while deepening the level of greenhouse gas reductions. 2016 saw the launch of a pilot carbon investment fund (Climate Trust Capital) to demonstrate this thesis. The aim is to scale this fund facility upwards to the $200-$300 million level.
CIM partners with responsible lenders to finance small businesses in line with the Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights and to effect economic, environmental, and social change. Since fund inception, we have provided financing to 4,200 U.S. small businesses which represent $4 billion in total revenue. These businesses have created 6,000 new jobs from loan proceeds with 45,000 jobs maintained and 131,000 lives affected. CIM also tracks impact metrics that are derivative of the core impact objective: to increase access to capital for underserved demographics and support impact businesses. Across the portfolio, CIM funds 2-3x more women-, minority-, and veteran-owned businesses than banks and financial institutions with an aggregate figure of 50% of the loan portfolio lent to WMV-owned businesses. CIM has additionally built an Impact Assessment system to identify and report on impact businesses across 8 areas of impact with 79 unique tags. These impact businesses expressly seek to create a positive social, environmental, or economic change in their community. 21% of the CIM portfolio (>800 loans) are lent to impact businesses in 8 categories: community health and safety, education and youth development, social justice, environmental sustainability, financial inclusion, healthy food systems, and clean energy and efficiency.