We support researchers to address climate change and methane pollution, funding them to create and implement solutions to drastically reduce methane emissions. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas and over a 20-year period, it is 87 times more potent at warming than carbon dioxide. Reducing methane emissions is the fastest opportunity we have to address climate change now. Our grants support technological innovation related to methane emissions reduction in agriculture, which is the largest contributor to global methane emissions.
Our Environment program also makes grants to tackle plastic pollution. Every year, over 11 million metric tons of plastic waste enters the ocean. We support solutions aimed at reducing production of single-use plastics, rethinking and recycling plastic.
“Climate change is the defining issue of our time. By supporting researchers working on developing solutions to reduce methane emissions, we can slow down global warming within years and ensure a healthier planet for future generations. ” - ELIZABETH R. GERSTNER
Dr. Desiree Plata is an Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Director of the MIT Methane Network. Her research focuses on developing technologies and strategies for environmental sustainability, with a focus on methane emissions and industrial material and process development. Gerstner Philanthropies provided Plata with an initial grant to develop a zeolite catalyst to convert low-level methane to carbon dioxide at ambient conditions. Building on the success of that demonstration project showing that the catalyst effectively converts methane, the foundation provided Plata with a scale-up grant to go from the lab to the field and scale the zeolites into filters that are compatible with cross-ventilation fan in a dairy barn. Ultimately, this project seeks to provide the first working demonstration of low-level methane abatement technologies that can be scaled for commercial deployment. To learn more, please see this video on Desiree Plata.
Grants listed below may be from the Gerstner Family Foundation or another Gerstner family philanthropic vehicle. Amounts may reflect cumulative annual grants or multi-year grants. To see annual amounts, please see listings of grants paid each year.
Washington DC | Visit Website
To support the Global Methane Hub's agriculture research and development grantmaking
New York, NY | Visit Website
To support the Plastic Solutions Fund grantmaking
Cambridge, MA | Visit Website
To support the scaling conversion of low level methane project
To support the OneSource design competition to enhance plastic recycling
Falmouth, MA | Visit Website
To support the sunlight and plastic toxicity research project
To support the field-based sensing of microplastics in aquatic environments project