Nonprofit Chronicles

Journalism about foundations, nonprofits and their impact

Thirty years ago, McDonald’s and the Environmental Defense Fund embarked on what they called “a groundbreaking collaboration to change the way environmental progress” is achieved. They created a template for business-friendly green groups to work with global corporations. EDF helped Walmart develop its landmark sustainability program. WWF helped Coca-Cola protect freshwater. The Nature Conservancy and Dow Chemical came up with tools to help …

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Climate change is “the slow-motion equivalent of a large asteroid heading to earth,” writes Joshua S. Goldstein, in a new book about climate solutions. It’s potentially catastrophic, and requires a political solution, he argues. But Goldstein says that if he were put in charge of environmental grant-making at a big US foundation, he would not …

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Eighteen months ago, the people who manage the endowment at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation got some bad news: Investments they had made in funds managed by EnerVest, a Houston-based private equity firm that operates more than 33,000 oil and gas wells across the US, had plummeted in value to almost nothing. …

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This special report was made possible by a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Journalism. * * * Eric Reynolds was despondent. He had poured his heart and soul, his best ideas and a chunk of his life savings into Nau, the radically sustainable, greener-than-green apparel company that he founded in 2003. The global …

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Fact: Nuclear power plants generate about 20 percent of all the electric power in the US, more than hydropower (7.5%), wind (6.3%) and solar (1.3%) combined, according to the US Energy Information Administration. Put another way, they account more than half of the low-carbon electricity in the US. Fact: The IPCC, the International Energy Agency, …

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Days after the Harvey Weinstein horror story broke, the anger among women in the animal welfare movement, which had simmered for years, boiled over during a panel on gender and race at the Animal Law Conference in Portland, Oregon. “Too often we excuse the wrongdoing of our colleagues who treat their employees with disrespect and …

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Two new books kept me busy last week: Clean Meat: How Growing Meat Without Animals Will Revolutionize Dinner and the World, by Paul Shapiro, and Clean Protein: The Revolution that will Reshape Your Body, Boost Your Energy–and Save Our Planet, by Kathy Freston and Bruce Friedrich. Is a revolution coming to dinner? Well, maybe. These …

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Why is meat so cheap? McDonald’s sells a McDouble burger for less than $2. A rotisserie chicken costs $4.99 at Costco. Government policy comes into play. Farmers get low-cost water. Cows, pigs and chickens eat federally-subsidized corn. The USDA and the Small Business Administration guarantee loans to farmers, including owners of CAFOs (Confined Animal Feeding …

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Since 1990, when the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and McDonald’s formed a groundbreaking partnership to reduce waste at the fast-food chain, big environmental nonprofits — EDF, The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International, World Wildlife Fund and the Natural Resources Defense Council — have formed numerous partnerships with big companies. “Corporate partnerships have been a cornerstone of our …

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Last week, ExxonMobil added Susan Avery, a physicist, atmospheric scientist and former president of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institutions, to its board of directors. Shareholder advocates, led by the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), which has been organizing shareholder campaigns at ExxonMobil for nearly two decades — yes, two decades — welcomed the appointment. …

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