RBF Divestment Named “Top Business Move That Helped the Planet”

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund’s 2014 decision to divest from fossil fuels has been recognized as one of the Top 50 Business Moves that Helped the Planet by Corporate Knights.

“The heirs to the Standard Oil fortune at the helm of the $860 million Rockefeller Brothers Fund shook the investment community when they announced they would be joining the divestment movement by ditching oil and coal holdings,” the magazine says. “The fund’s announcement kicked off the divestment movement, which has now been embraced by major financial players, representing assets in excess of US$11 trillion at the end of 2019.”

The list commemorates Earth Day 50, celebrated on April 22, 2020. Although urgent environmental concerns—especially around climate change—persist, efforts by businesses to “green” their operations, often catalyzed by activists and scientists, have reshaped corporate America’s relationship with nature in the 50 years since Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970.

Other businesses that made the list include Patagonia, for its use of recycled materials and green supply chain; Sony, for it release of the world’s first commercial rechargeable lithium-ion battery; Toyota, for developing the first mass-market hybrid-electric vehicle; Beyond Meat, for its plant-based meat substitutes that “bleed”; and Seventh Generation, for helping found the B-Corp designation.

Corporate Knights is a Canadian business magazine and financial information and research company that calls itself “the voice of clean capitalism.” In 2013, Corporate Knights was named "Magazine of the Year" by Canada’s National Magazine Awards Foundation.