The case for divestment

The case for divestment: English Family Foundation


Philanthropy Leader of the Year, Allan English, champions positive investments that align with objectives and calls BS on the notion that divesting from fossil fuels equates to lesser returns.  Divesting from fossil fuels languishes in the too-hard-basket for many boards, but where others see complexity, Allan English sees a clear-cut case for action.

The Foundation’s recent announcement that it has signed the Divest-Invest pledge “just made a lot of common sense for all sorts of reasons,” English says. “Fundamentally, our purpose with the English Family Foundation is to create good in the world. Investing in fossil fuels is simply not aligned with our objectives.” Ethical considerations are one thing, but English’s business savvy also tells him that the smart money is on innovation. “It’s a commercial decision too,” he explains. “Our role with the foundation is to increase the value of our corpus, and I see investing in fossil fuels like investing in steam trains when you could be investing in jet planes all over the world. “There will always be a role for steam trains, and power sources will take time to shift, but it’s a case of backing those doing good as opposed to those doing harm. There’s no doubt that’s where the future lies. “The best brains around the world are working on ideas about sustainability and protecting the environment – why would you want to bet against that?”

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