McKnight Foundation, Minneapolis, is committing to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions no later than 2050, the $3 billion endowment said Monday.
The goal will be achieved by reducing greenhouse gas emissions in its existing portfolio and making new investments in carbon solutions, the foundation said in a news release. It will set interim targets for progress by 2030.
"Eliminating the greenhouse gas impact of our endowment allows us to employ all of our foundation's resources to address climate change," said Tonya Allen, foundation president, in the release. "Foundations sit on over a trillion dollars of potential climate solutions, and we invite others to join us."
McKnight officials said they will work with their investment advisers to understand how fund managers address greenhouse-gas emissions. It also plans to work with other asset owners to see how endowments manage emissions, and to engage with the public companies it holds "to ensure they are setting meaningful greenhouse gas reduction targets and pivoting to profitable strategies," the foundation said.
The foundation was a founding member of the ClimateWorks Foundation established in 2008 with a $4 billion pledge by endowments and foundations to combat climate change. It has doubled its climate-related grants since the 2015 Paris Agreement.
The United Nations Climate Change conference, or COP26, starting Oct. 31 in Glasgow, Scotland, is an opportunity for institutional investors to step up their actions, McKnight investments director Elizabeth McGeveran said in the release.
"Science is clear about the economy we must create in order to thrive, and every endowment dollar offers immediate and powerful opportunities to advance a low-carbon future together," Ms. McGeveran said.