Sustainable Development

Sustainable Development



The ways in which the world’s natural resources are used to meet human needs ultimately impacts the economic, environmental and social conditions — indeed, the sustainability — of people, communities and entire countries. Ensuring that resources are used in ways that help to strengthen sustainability for all people is a vital thread in the Mott Foundation’s Environment Program.

Internationally, our grantmaking seeks to improve the social and environmental accountability of those investing in large-scale infrastructure and energy projects in developing countries. This work includes a focus on the investment patterns of emerging economies, particularly of Brazil and China, whose financial institutions are becoming major lenders for developing countries.

Strengthening sustainable development:
A Q&A with Sandra Smithey and Traci Romine

Billion dollar hydroelectric dams. Miles of highways. Oil and gas exploration. Such large-scale energy and infrastructure projects in the developing world and in sensitive eco-regions such as the Amazon rainforest often are promoted as bringing modern development to people in need. However, they also frequently present significant environmental risks and social and economic challenges for those living in the projects’ immense shadows.

For nearly three decades, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation has supported efforts to ensure that the institutions financing these projects:

  • adopt and adhere to responsible development policies and practices;
  • are held accountable for the negative social and environmental impacts of the projects they fund; and
  • contribute more directly to poverty alleviation, the well-being of communities and healthy, natural environments.

One of the areas the Mott Foundation’s Environment program focuses on is on international finance for sustainability. The Foundation’s grants in this area have totaled more than $105 million since 1988.

In a Q&A, Mott Program Officers Traci Romine and Sandra Smithey reflect on that grantmaking and the important changes — and challenges — in the field.

Read the full article.


View video on YouTube.