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Fondation de France committed to sustainable development

06/17/2021

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which were adopted in 2015 by all of the UN member states, guide the way in which countries work to promote prosperity and reduce poverty, while preserving the planet. Active in all non-profit sectors, Fondation de France incorporates this approach in both its charitable activities and its organization.

Intergenerational transmission drives philanthropy, which is why Fondation de France and its donor-advised funds work for a better world, day after day. By supporting each year more than 10,000 projects in all areas of public interest, they contribute actively to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Combating poverty, reducing inequalities, protecting the environment, these are some of the interdependent areas for which Fondation de France has chosen to measure its contribution and that of its donor-advised funds.

Since 2019, Fondation de France has been identifying the most relevant SDGs for each of the projects it supports. The SDGs represent a common point of reference that guide the activities of Fondation de France and its donor-advised funds. They also represent a way of involving all project leaders in this positive momentum.

In 2020, there were three SDGs that stood out in the work of Fondation de France and its donor-advised funds, largely because of the pandemic.

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SDG 3: GOOD HEALTH AND WELL-BEING
Medical research, improving mental health and supporting health workers and carers are all examples of how the Covid-19 pandemic made healthcare the number one priority.
 

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SDG 4: QUALITY EDUCATION
Promoting quality education was another major issue in 2020. The pandemic exacerbated already existing inequalities and had a huge impact on such issues as the risk of early school leaving and the digital divide. Education was one of our key priorities in 2020. 

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SDG 10: REDUCED INEQUALITIES
Most of the projects we support contribute to reducing inequalities over the short and long term, be they economic, environmental, or related to disability and gender.

 

SDG 1: NO POVERTY and STG 13: CLIMATE ACTION
are at fourth and fifth place respectively. The Covid-19 pandemic led to new forms of poverty. Throughout France, Fondation de France and its donor-advised funds supported projects for the most vulnerable. The pandemic also highlighted the urgent need to act for the planet and to prevent new climate change events, on a global scale. This is a battle Fondation de France has been engaged in for more than 50 years.

Promoting an ecological and inclusive approach

The 17 SDGs are interdependent. Whatever the field project leaders operate in (education, healthcare, etc.), it is essential that environmental issues be taken into account. To that end, Fondation de France, the leading private organization supporting community nonprofits, offers additional help with the “e+” program. This takes the form of help with methodology, to assess the project’s environmental impact and identify the most sustainable solutions.

“This commitment follows on from the ecological incentive launched more than 10 years ago, to nudge nonprofits into improving the environmental impact of their work.”
- An-Gaelle Bénédic,
Head of Programs
and Foundations, Ecological and Inclusive Transition -
 

 

Finance serving the public interest

Fondation de France makes a rigorous assessment of its investments, in order to ensure that the investment policy is fully aligned with its charitable activities, In 2019, in addition to its socially responsible investments (SRIs), Fondation de France launched a social and environmental impact fund (also known as “impact investing”) France 2i . The aim is to invest directly in companies that are designing new tools, including those that combat climate change, promote inclusion, improve vulnerable people’s living conditions, reduce inequalities and contribute to sustainable and shared growth.

“With a capital of 100 million euros from its creation, the fund invested 32 million euros, supporting nine companies carrying out business projects in the fields of energy transition, agricultural transition, circular economy, social inclusion and ocean preservation.”
- Olivier Neumann,
Fondation de France Financial Director -
 

 

Developing a sustainable development culture internally

Fondation de France, which has more than 200 staff and 500 volunteers, examined its own practices and internal operations. In order to measure its environmental impact, it launched a number of initiatives: measurement of carbon footprint, waste disposal and recycling, “plastic-free” projects and awareness raising, sustainable and responsible purchasing policy, collaboration with community caterers, mobility plan study, a bike parking facility, a webinar on SDGs and so on. A group of volunteer staff is working on developing an internal culture of sustainable development, by raising awareness of it and disseminating it.
Fondation de France wants to meet the targets it has set itself in full, to contribute to global efforts as part of the 2030 Agenda.

“By adopting an approach that involves both staff and volunteers, we are developing a true culture of sustainable development internally.”
- Thierry Ployart,
Head of the Work Environment team -
 

A few examples

The 10,000 or so projects supported by Fondation de France all relate to one or several of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Here are a few examples.