In 2018, the foundation is a social actor instead of a cash machine

Written by: Minttu Jaakkola | September 28, 2018 | In category: Other

The Nessling Foundation has been active since 1972 and has awarded about 60 million euros for research that benefits the environment. In 2018, the foundation’s activity is not limited to awarding grants, but instead we are looking for impact elsewhere as well.

The main purpose of our foundation is to award grants for research and research communication that promote environmental protection. For example, in 2017 we awarded a total of almost 4 million euros to 78 projects that seek solutions to environmental challenges. However, we do not want to settle for merely awarding grants, as the rules of the foundation also permit looking for impact elsewhere.

For example, we are fighting climate change and the loss of nature’s biodiversity by rewilding Finnish natural sites. As an investor, we bear our responsibility and have agreed to the Society’s Commitment to Sustainable Development. In recent years we have wanted to focus on, among other things, improving the working conditions and networking of researchers, which has led to the creation of the Nessling Nest, a communal workspace for researchers.

We are fighting climate change and the loss of nature’s biodiversity by rewilding Finnish natural sites

(c) Mika Honkalinna

In June, we announced that our foundation will be funding the Landscape Rewilding in Finland programme for the next five years, whose goal is to mitigate climate change and secure the biodiversity of nature in Finland. The project involves buying and rewilding privately owned swamps, felled forests and bodies of water that have lost their natural value.  

The rewilding of natural sites is an effective solution to the acute climate change problem and loss of biodiversity. The natural sites being rewilded act as vital carbon sinks, which are essential for mitigating climate change. At the same time, the rewilded sites are also safe havens for nature’s biodiversity.

You can read more about the subject in Finnish on our blog.

We invest responsibly

In spring 2016, we signed the Society’s Commitment to Sustainable Development, in which we committed to evaluating and continually improving the sustainability of our investments in cooperation with portfolio managers. We believe that responsible investing is a necessity for a foundation whose purpose is to act to benefit the environment. Our finances must support the same goals that we are aiming for through awarding grants.

The commitment inspired us to organise a responsible investment event where we invited other institutional investors to come and hear our experiences. The event was organised in cooperation with Evli Bank Plc and Veritas. We filled the entire hall with people interested in responsible investing! We still want to challenge other foundations in particular to examine the responsibleness of their investments.

You can read more about the commitment we made in Finnish here and about the responsible investment event here.

The Nessling Nest is a melting pot of ideas and people

The Nessling Nest workspace, active since 2016, is a communal space in the heart of Punavuori, right by our foundation’s office. The Nest has served as a place where non-fiction books and research articles are written, theses and dissertations are finished, insights and new friendships are made, yoga classes are taken and discussions are led by top Finnish experts.

The Nest has space for 12 researchers to work at the same time and there is also a pop-up space for about 10 people where anyone can come to work for a short time. The Nest has been designed with sustainable development principles in mind and most of its furniture has been acquired second-hand.

In addition to being a daily workspace, the Nest acts as a space for events. We organise, for example, the Ympäristodialogeja (Environmental Dialogues) discussion series there. The series seeks fresh perspective on current environmental questions and analyses them, led by the top experts of Finland.

The Nessling Nest will have an all-day open doors day on the Foundation Day on October 1st! You are welcome to, among other things, participate in morning yoga at 8.45, come watch a short film or get acquainted with the work of the researchers at the Nest. See the whole Finnish programme here.

Read more about the Nessling Nest and apply for a workspace.

See the Finnish programme of the autumn 2018 Ympäristodialogeja (Environmental Dialogues) discussion series.

We believe in cooperation

Our foundation has a long history of cooperation with other foundations. The Nessling Foundation’s research director, Minttu Jaakkola, is on the board of directors of the Council of Finnish Foundations and thereby promotes dialogue and cooperation between foundations to strengthen Finnish science, art and other aspects of the common good.

We continuously cooperate with, for example, the Kone Foundation by organising the Ympäristodialogeja (Environmental Dialogues) discussion series and grant recipient researcher trainings together. We also fund the Forum for Environmental Information together, which serves as a link between decision makers and research information. The cooperation between the Forum for Environmental Information and our foundation is very concrete, as the employees of the Forum for Environmental Information work from the Nessling Nest.

If you wish to support the work our foundation does for the environment, you can now make a one-time donation of the amount you prefer or become a monthly donor on our website.

 

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