High Meadows Foundation: Grants for the Environment

OVERVIEW: High Meadows Foundation's grantmaking supports environmental science, research, and education, engages in policy, and more. The foundation was started by financier Carl Ferenbach.

IP TAKE: The foundation has a strong web presence, but does not accept unsolicited proposals. They are open to inquiries, however. 

PROFILE: High Meadows Foundation invests in and promotes "workable yet creative ideas to address the complex environmental and societal issues facing the world." The foundation was established in 2007 by Carl Ferenbach,  cofounder of Boston-based private equity firm Berkshire Partners.  

Ferenbach and his wife Judy own High Meadows Associates, which owns and operates farmland in Vermont, sustainably producing maple syrup, wood products and even grass for biofuel.  Ferenbach has also been chairman of the board of the Environmental Defense Fund since 2008. He's also served on several other boards, including green groups like Climate Central. 

High Meadows Foundation, per its website, focuses on three primary areas:

  • Addressing the severe and potentially life-threatening environmental degradation brought about by climate change and poor land management practices
  • Educating the public so they can understand these threats and develop the means to address them
  • Engaging the governing structures of business and other institutions to responsibly manage all resources to create a sustainable and vibrant economy.

The foundation's environmental grantmaking supports organizations like Environmental Defense Fund, Climate Central, The Food Project, and High Meadows Fund, which works in Vermont to help mitigate the effects of climate change and adapt to its "consequences by supporting leadership and innovation in the areas of energy, land use, and sustainable agriculture." 

High Meadows also works in environmental education, and has supported The Hill School in Pennsylvania, and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment,  and High Meadows Fellowship Program, both at Princeton. Ferenbach is a Princeton alum. 

Carl Ferenbach also cofounded High Meadows Institute, which is focused on "exploring the role of business leadership in building sustainable economic and social progress in the global community." 

The foundation has a strong web presence but does not accept unsolicited proposals. Its website does state that the foundation is "happy to answer questions related to work in progress and inquiries from organizations wishing to collaborate."

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