Communities-First Coalition Expands Its Capacity to Deliver on EPA Goal of Addressing Climate Crisis Among Those Most Impacted
(Washington, D.C./October 19, 2023)—The Justice Climate Fund (JCF) has added five new members to its Board of Directors, representing three organizations: Connecticut (CT) Green Bank, ImpactAssets, and the Housing Partnership Network (HPN). The additions strengthen the nonprofit’s ability to ensure those who have been left behind and are most impacted by climate change benefit as the United States works to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions through the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Clean Investment Fund (NCIF) competitive grant program.
JCF submitted its application to the program last week.
“Our expanding Board embodies our commitment to bringing transformative environmental and socioeconomic change to low-income and disadvantaged communities,” said Lenwood V. Long Sr., President and CEO of the African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs and JCF Board Chair. “The wisdom and dedication of our board members are more than just invaluable; they are critical. We’re not just tackling climate issues; we are fervently fighting for our shared vision of a greener, just future where every individual’s worth is recognized, regardless of their zip code.”
New board members Bert Hunter, Margret Trilli, Ivy Duke, Dan Skaff, and Robin Hughes bring decades of expertise ranging from green financing and lending, impact investing, and making housing affordable. The combined leadership of the Board will steer JCF to effectively deploy capital and resources for improved health, security, and quality of life in communities across the country, particularly those historically underserved.
“Our green bank model changed the government subsidy-driven approach to clean energy by working with community-based lenders and private-sector investors to create accessible, low-cost, and long-term sustainable financing to maximize the use of public funds,” said Bert Hunter, Chief Investment Officer of Connecticut Green Bank and new JCF Board member.
He added that “our partnership with JCF and its vast network of community lenders will be transformative for our efforts to further reduce energy burdens and increase energy security for families and businesses here in Connecticut and across the country, while creating jobs and making all of our communities healthier as we reduce emissions of GHGs that are contributing to global climate change. This is an exceptional opportunity for all of us to reach every community and accelerate investment at scale.”
Since its formation in 2011, CT Green Bank has successfully mobilized nearly $2.5 billion in investments into the state’s green economy using $360 million in public funds.
“It is an incredible honor to join the JCF Board as we work to ensure a just and livable future for all our nation’s communities,” said Margret Trilli, ImpactAssets CEO and Chief Investment Officer and new JCF Board member. “The ImpactAssets team is pleased to partner with JCF to direct capital to the projects and communities where it is most urgently needed, and we look forward to bringing our unwavering focus on climate and equity solutions to this most important work of our time.”
A leading impact investment firm recognized for its innovative approach to philanthropy and investing, ImpactAssets has the robust investment and operational infrastructure to support JCF’s strategy of leveraging private capital and investments to address GHG reduction and transform communities. Now in its second decade, ImpactAssets manages more than $3 billion in assets invested in impactful projects, companies and funds advancing climate and equity solutions.
Joining Trilli on the JCF Board from ImpactAssets are General Counsel Ivy Wafford Duke and Board Member Dan Skaff. Wafford Duke brings over 30 years of risk, compliance and legal experience, including expertise in general corporate law, risk, corporate governance and regulatory compliance functions. Skaff, who is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Radicle Impact as well as former CEO of Beneficial State Bank, brings deep experience in financial services and business building.
“Our practitioner-led network of developers, owners, and lenders and national community lending and investment partners will shape and share the best and most successful practices and green financing tools,” said Robin Hughes, President and CEO of HPN and new JCF Board member. “As with my colleagues on the JCF Board, we are committed to effectively connecting capital resources with shovel-ready projects to produce and preserve affordable housing in qualified communities across the country.”
HPN’s Housing Sustainability Collaborative, comprised of the nation’s leading Community Development Financial Institutions, nonprofit syndicators and affordable housing developers, will merge financing products and programs with cutting-edge climate solutions.
In addition to the NCIF program, JCF has applied to the EPA’s Clean Communities Investment Accelerator program.
About the Justice Climate Fund
The Justice Climate Fund is a nonprofit that provides capital, leverages resources and supports zero-emission technologies in underserved communities across the country. JCF is founded by the Community Builders of Color Coalition. It is steered by a Board that includes the African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs, the National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders, Inclusiv, National Bankers Association, Oweesta Corporation, Opportunity Finance Network, Partners for the Common Good and the Community Development Bankers Association, ImpactAssets, the Housing Partnership Network, and Connecticut Green Bank. They have come together to ensure that all communities equitably benefit from the GGRF. See www.justiceclimatefund.org.