The AKO Foundation Trustees have become increasingly concerned by the effect of the changing climate on current and future generations and on global biodiversity. 

While acknowledging that they might have done so earlier, in 2019 they initiated what will become a third principal strand of grant-making, under the category heading 'Climate'.


By flying, driving and so on the Trustees do not live a carbon-neutral life, and would not wish to imply that they do. Nevertheless, they believe it is better to do something than nothing. Accordingly, they expect their support in this area to grow substantially over the next one to two years, as they build a portfolio of beneficiaries who believe they believe will have significant and lasting impact.

While acquiring experience in this field, the Foundation has taken advantage of the knowledge and advice offered by the Climate Leadership Initiative and other expert bodies.



CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project) draws on the power and influence of investors and buyers to motivate companies, cities, regions and states to disclose and manage their environmental impacts.  It plays an essential role as the leading disclosure platform covering more than 7,000 companies and 600 cities.  Over the past 18 years, CDP has built the most comprehensive collection of self-reported environmental data in the world, on the premise that what can’t be measured, can’t be managed.  CDP is a founding member of the We Mean Business Coalition.

The Foundation’s support, over 3 years, will assist CDP in its work in China and India in particular.

Energy Foundation China

Energy Foundation China (EFC) is the largest climate-related grantmaker operating in China. Dedicated to facilitating China’s sustainable energy development, and working closely with a wide range of both public and private sector bodies, EFC acts as regrantor, facilitator, and strategic adviser. Its Beijing-based staff support policy research, the development of new standards, capacity building, and dissemination of best practices across multiple sectors of the economy, for example in key areas such as transport electrification, cooling efficiency, power sector reform, and green finance. It makes around 200 grants per annum to research institutes, academies, think tanks, and other NGOs. The Foundation has made a grant over 2 years towards EFC’s core activities in China.

Client Earth

Client Earth is a UK charity that employs the power of the law to protect the planet. It uses legal advocacy, advice and, where necessary, litigation in order to ensure that government policies and corporate investment behaviours comply with existing environmental, energy markets and state aid legislation in countries around the world. The Foundation made a substantial grant to Client Earth in early 2020.

Live Ocean

Live Ocean is an NGO based in New Zealand, working to protect and preserve the world’s oceans, and in particular the oceans around New Zealand, the country with the 4th largest marine space on the planet. It funds marine research and the transition of research data and conclusions into ocean health action; and uses sailing events globally to promote ocean-friendly behaviour. The Foundation made a grant towards Live Ocean’s core costs.

Basecamp Explorer Foundation

The Basecamp Explorer Foundation (BEF) is the charitable arm of a Norwegian sustainable tourism business, which operates in the Arctic and in Kenya. In Kenya, Basecamp has had a long association with tribal chiefs in the Maasai Mara region; by collaborating with the local communities, BEF seeks to halt the extinction of the region’s wildlife. BEF’s approach is based on a close partnership with those who own and inhabit the land. The Foundation’s grant, over 3 years, will be used to lease, from local families, corridors of land that are critical for wildlife migrations; and to fund the operating expenses of a new educational entity, the Wildlife Tourism College of Maasai Mara, which will train local people in the tourism and hospitality industries.

Zeitz Foundation

The Foundation made a one-off grant towards a private reforestation initiative in the Segera conservation area in Kenya. With the ultimate goal of planting 1 million trees, the first 100 – 200,000 will be planted during 2020.