7 June 2021

UK Funder Commitment: Year 1 Report

In April 2021, ACF published the first annual report which tracked the progress of 43 signatories across five pillars of the UK Funder Commitment on Climate Change. Here is our short summary of what you need to know:

What is the UK Funder Commitment on Climate Change?

At the time of writing, the UK Funder Commitment is one of three national philanthropy commitments on climate change which charitable foundations and funders can sign to demonstrate their commitment to climate action. The Funder Commitment has been signed by 65 diverse foundations ranging in size and focus.

Signatories of the Funder Commitment have committed to:

  1. Educate and learn about climate change impacts and solutions
  2. Commit resources to tackling and adapting to climate change impacts
  3. Integrate climate considerations within existing programmes
  4. Steward investments for a post-carbon future
  5. Decarbonise operations
  6. Report annually on progress

Where has progress been made by UK foundations over the first year?

The report shows funders making progress across all these commitments but with stronger progress on some. Committing resources came top with eleven funders at an advanced stage and 22 making some progress. Educating and learning about climate change and stewarding investments scored similarly. Stewarding investments showed a divide between funders with seven funders yet to start and eleven funders at an advanced stage. Stewarding investments had both the highest number of foundations rating their progress at the top level or the lowest level of all the five commitments. Integrating climate into other work and decarbonising operations showed least progress of the five commitments, but even with these most funders reported either that they were making some progress or were at an advanced stage.

What are the next steps?

Encouragingly, there is a clear desire from many foundations to go further in implementing climate action into their work. According to the progress report, there is an eagerness from foundations to hear from their peers how they are implementing the Funder Commitment and for a discussion on what “good” progress looks like. There is an interest in accessing simple and easy to understand materials, reports, and resources which could help broaden understanding for foundation staff and trustees. Respondents also showed interest in exploring a broad range of topics including potential co-benefits, with an awareness of the wider ecosystem of climate action within which the Funder Commitment exists. There is also some appetite for collaboration, ranging from shared learning to co-funding, among the signatories.

For more information, you can read the Funder Commitment on Climate Change: Year 1 Report as well as the raw data from the survey.