11 Feb 2020

CIFF Endowment Update

Since 2004, CIFF has received voluntary income and donations of over $2.1 billion, which has been invested in hundreds of programmes across our portfolio. As of 2020, CIFF’s annual draw down from its endowment will increase, moving from 6% per annum, to 7%. This will enable CIFF to invest more money, achieving a greater impact in the field of child protection, adolescent SRHR, child and maternal health, and climate. 

However, with the ability to grant more funding, we must continue to ensure our internal practices embody the values we ask of our grantees and partners. With this in mind, we have updated our investment policy and internal climate policy.

Our investments

As part of our continued efforts to ensure that CIFF’s income is generated through investments that align with CIFF’s charitable objectives, we have recently made changes to our investment programme. Prohibited investments are now those where the investee or company:

  • Generates any turnover from the business of manufacturing tobacco products and tobacco marketing.
  • Markets breast milk substitutes unless they have committed to adopt the World Health Organisation’s International Code of Marketing Breast Milk Substitutes.
  • Generates 10% or more of turnover from extracting, stockpiling, distributing or trading fossil fuels.
  • Generates 25% or more of turnover from the development, production, manufacture, distribution, stockpiling, transfer or sale of arms.

If a company in which the foundation is invested falls into one of these categories, or commences business in such a category, our investment manager will aim to divest from such an investment within 12 months.

If you would like additional information on CIFF’s endowment, please see our Endowment page here.

Our commitment to carbon neutrality

As an organisation committed to tackling climate change, we are taking the following three actions and encourage our grantees to do something comparable, or better:

1. Footprinting: CIFF follows the principles outlined by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and the UK Government's Guidelines on Greenhouse Gas reporting, in order to calculate our carbon footprint. We have therefore used a third party to calculate our emissions.

2. Reducing: Our greatest source of emissions by far are the flights we take to visit our projects around the world.  We are developing an action plan to reduce these and other emissions next year. Our endowment has also divested from fossil fuels.

3. Offsetting: We plan to offset our carbon.  However, this is not without moral and technical challenges. In order to ensure that our approach is leading-edge, we have adopted the following principles:

  • Reducing our overall emissions inputs first (e.g. flying less)
  • Procuring the most immediate emission reductions on the market, and certainly not more than five years in the future; and
  • Procuring credits in advance for the year ahead, based on an estimated projection;
  • Given our commitment to integrity, we commit to only procuring emissions reductions that meet the highest sustainable development standards, are third party verified and, where possible, are regulatory-grade; and,
  • Given the need to reduce global emissions by 7.6% per year in order to stay within the 1.5C window, we commit to discounting the credits we procure at 1:1.08 so that we are making a net-positive contribution.

You can read more about our commitment to net-zero on our Approach and Values page here.

To see CIFF’s full list of values, policies, and financial information, please visit our About Us section here.