21 September 2021

Assifero launches the national commitment of Italian foundations and philanthropic organisations on climate change

The commitment, launched by Assifero, the Italian association of grantmaking foundations, encompasses six principles that Italian foundations, philanthropic organisations, and social impact investors, regardless their mission, programs, size, endowment, and geographical location, can sign to express their willingness in tackling the urgent systemic challenges posed by the climate crisis.

61 foundations and philanthropic organizations are among the first signatories; 3 new organizations have already been added to the list since the launch 5 days ago.

“The climate crisis” states Stefania Mancini, Assifero Chair “cannot be framed and understood as merely a problem of environmental nature. It is an urgent issue of social and generational justice; it affects public health; it is an educational, economic, scientific, and cultural issue. It puts people’s safety, especially local communities, at risk. We are facing one of the most important challenges of our era, a challenge that concerns us all. And all foundations, philanthropic organisations, and social impact investors – not only those that already recognise an environmental vocation in their vision, mission, and scope of intervention – can do their part. The six principles of this Commitment represent a blueprint that organisations commit to embracing to proactively contribute to face this crisis with a systemic approach and to testify the importance and responsibility of this choice: that is their willingness to protect our present and the future of humanity and contain the injustices resulting from the climate crisis.”

“These six principles,” adds Carola Carazzone, Secretary General of Assifero express shared values to which the signatories are committed to strive. And as Assifero, we are ready to give our full support to all those organisations that want to undertake this journey of integrating the climate lens into their strategy, mission, operations, and endowment management. We are committed to sharing experiences, resources for in-depth study, opportunities for peer-to-peer exchange, facilitating collaboration among the various players in the philanthropic world and beyond, and amplifying the collective impact of their actions. Leveraging, of course, on the collective power, shared-knowledge, and strength of the networks we are part of, firstly WINGSDafne-Donors and Foundations Networks in Europe, the EFC (European Foundation Centre) and the Philanthropy Coalition for Climate. We, in Italy, will stand on the shoulders of the other national associations that initiated this journey: the Association of Charitable Foundations (UK), Centre Français des Fonds et Fondations(France), and Asociación Española de Fundaciones (Spain). The Italian Commitment on Climate Change is now more relevant than ever in view of Italy’s Presidency of the G20 and Co-Presidency of COP-26. It confirms Assifero’s willingness to play its part in the engagement process of European philanthropy for climate movement.”

The Italian Commitment is linked up with International Philanthropy Commitment on Climate Change, hosted by WINGS, and parallel national commitments in the UK, France and Spain hosted by the Association of Charitable Foundations, Centre Français des Fonds et Fondations, and Asociación Española de Fundaciones respectively. These commitments share a common aim of bringing together foundations, regardless of their mission, to signal their commitment to climate action. The signatures collected will be added to those of already more than 200 corporate, community, family, and other philanthropic foundations, social impact investors, and individual funders from around the world, which will be brought to the attention of institutional representatives at COP-26 in November in Glasgow.

  1. Educate and learn We pledge to create and develop training and exchange opportunities for staff and board members, as well as the organisations we support and other stakeholders, on the issues related to the climate emergency and possible solutions, with a systemic approach.
  2. Address resources We will commit financial, intellectual, and human capital with the aim of understanding better the cause and effects of the climate crisis and concurring in finding possible solutions.
  3. Review our strategy and ongoing activities and programs through the climate lens We will read back and review our strategy, programs and projects, organisation, governance applying the climate lens.
  4. Responsible investment We will promote responsible investment choices that foster a green transition for a post-carbon economy and future.
  5. Decarbonise our operations We will strive to decrease our environmental impact by reducing our carbon footprint, reducing consumption, a waste recycling policy, and other targeted actions.
  6. Inform about results achieved We will strive to inform on the evolution of the results achieved in relation to the above-mentioned principles.

More information can be found at the following links:

  • Original version of the Italian Commitment on climate change (here).
  • Dedicated page on Assifero website (here).
The 2021 Climate Solutions Forum

To further build bridges, raise awareness among foundations and with policymakers on the role that philanthropy can play in tackling the climate crisis, Assifero has supported F20 in the organisation of the 2021 Climate Solutions Forum to be held in Milan on September 29 and 30, entitled Green Recovery, Sustainable Finance, Just Transition: Putting Words into DeedsHosted by F20 and Fondazione Cariplo, together with the other Italian F20 members (Fondazione Unipolis, Fondazione di Comunità di Messina, and Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo), and with the support of Assifero, ASviS (L’Alleanza Italiana per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile) and ACRI (Associazione di Fondazioni e di Casse di Risparmio Spa), this year event builds on the experiences and recommendations to the G20 countries resulting from last year’s F20 Climate Solutions Week and is meant to set the scene for the UN pre-COP on Climate in Milan (September 30th – October 2nd, 2021) and the upcoming G20 summit in Italy, taking place in the end of October.

Under the headline of “Green Recovery, Sustainable Finance, Just Transition: Putting Words into Deeds“, the high-level event will refer to the role of the G20 countries to build on the lessons learned from the current health and climate crises and adopt programmes in line with the Paris Climate Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals to build up resilience and deliver on the global goals.

The event will take place in Milan on the 29th and 30th of September (10-15 CET) and can be followed for free online, upon registration. Here you can find the agenda of the event.