English Foundation Commits to Divest-Invest Pledge
29 July 2015 at 10:30 am
The philanthropic fund set up by high-profile Queensland entrepreneur, Allan English, is the latest Australian Foundation to sign a global ‘invest-divest’ pledge to remove its investments in fossil fuels and switch to clean energy investments.
Foundation Chairman and Silver Chef Limited founder Allan English said the decision was taken to ensure that the Foundation’s investments were consistent with its support for cutting global carbon emissions to fight climate change.
The Foundation was created when English transferred 50 per cent of his shares in ASX-listed Silver Chef Limited to the charitable foundation. The Foundation is the largest shareholder of Silver Chef.
"The Foundation seeks to positively contribute to our world and investing in fossil fuels is not aligned to that objective,” English said.
“We support the divestment movement’s mission to offer leadership in building a clean energy future so that coming generations don’t suffer from our activities today.”
The McKinnon Family Foundation, a private ancillary fund that focuses on support for the environment, poverty alleviation and social enterprise development, set up by financier Dr John McKinnon and his wife Sue, has also signed the pledge.
The Mullum Trust which funds only environmental projects around climate change and threats to biodiversity has also signed the pledge.
The English Foundation joins over 100 foundations worldwide including college, health, pension funds and religious endowments who have pledged to align their investments with their missions and to divest from fossil fuels and switch to clean energy investments.
“Divest-Invest is a platform for institutions that follows the lead of student and community-driven fossil fuel divestment and new energy economy reinvestment,” English said.
“The movement is holding fossil fuel industries accountable for their obstruction of climate policy solutions, investing for public good and financial performance, and accelerating the growth of a sustainable and equitable economy.”
Earlier this month Pro Bono Australia reported the milestone of 100 international trusts, foundations and family offices worth over $5 billion having signed the global Divest Invest Philanthropy pledge, committing to divest themselves of fossil fuels and invest in the low carbon economy.
English said organisations that signed the pledge commit to “divest from the major fossil fuel companies — retaining minor positions for shareholder advocacy — and to invest instead in climate solutions and a sustainable future economy.”
“The English family has been a key backer of the charity Opportunity International for more than a decade. Opportunity International is focused on providing microfinance to help people start a business and get out of poverty in developing nations.”