Environment

Our goal is to foster the translation of academic innovations for real-world implementation to address climate change. 

We support researchers in developing solutions to reduce methane emissions. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Reducing methane emissions today is the fastest opportunity we have to address climate change and dramatically reduce the rate of global warming. Our grants support research and development specifically in reducing methane from agricultural sources, the largest contributor of methane emissions globally.

Our Environment program also makes grants to tackle plastic pollution. Over 11 million metric tons of plastic waste enter the ocean each year. We support solutions to reduce the production of single-use plastics and rethink and reuse 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

Our Grantees


Major Environment Grants


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.

  • Activate Fellowship

    Berkeley, CA | Visit Website

    This grant supports the Activate fellowships of Eli Hornstein, founder of Elysia Creative Biology, and Ian Goodine and Ethan Walko, co-founders of rStream

    $1,000,000

  • Application of Early-Life Interventions to Curb Methane Emissions from US Dairy Herds

    Dipti Pitta, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania | Visit Website

    This grant supports Dr. Pitta's research to imprint the rumen function and prevent methanogen colonization in dairy calves with the potential of permanently curbing methane emissions from dairy herds in the United States.

    $508,884

  • In situ microplastics sensor: A method to quantifying microplastics in water

    Anna PM Michel, Ph.D., Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute | Visit Website

    This grant supports Dr. Michel's research to develop a field-portable microplastics sensor.

    $299,999

  • Valorization of Post-Consumer Plastic Waste

    Geoffrey W. Coates, Ph.D, Cornell University | Visit Website

    This grant supports Prof. Coates's research to apply compatibilizers to enable recycling of underutilized mixtures of post-consumer plastic waste such as plastic containers and soda bottle caps.

    $499,548

  • Enteric methane mitigation: Advancing seaweed and bromoform feeding from novelty to practice

    Joseph W. McFadden, Ph.D, Cornell University | Visit Website

    This grant supports Prof. McFadden’s research to evaluate the safety and efficacy of bromoform feed additives that reduce enteric methane emissions.

    $993,613

  • Enteric Fermentation R&D Accelerator

    The Global Methane Hub, Windward Fund | Visit Website

    This grant supports the Global Methane Hub's initiative in accelerating progress in developing breakthrough technologies to reduce enteric methane emissions.

    $5,000,000

  • Healthy beaches in Nantucket, MA and Palm Beach County, FL

    Surfrider Foundation | Visit Website

    This grant supports the pilot expansion of Surfrider’s Healthy Beaches program; analysis of microplastic pollution in Palm Beach; and establishment of the Cape Cod and the Islands chapter.

    $120,000

  • Collaborative fund grantmaking: Agriculture research

    The Global Methane Hub, Windward Fund | Visit Website

    This grant supports the Global Methane Hub’s grantmaking, specifically for research in reducing agricultural methane emissions.

    $1,500,000

  • Collaborative Fund Grantmaking

    Plastic Solutions Fund, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors | Visit Website

    This grant supports the Plastic Solution Fund's grantmaking.

    $300,000

  • Climate change mitigation: Scaling conversion of low-level methane

    Desirée Plata, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Visit Website

    This grant supports Prof. Plata's research to continue development of a catalyst to convert low-level methane in high throughput reactors and field test in dairy barns.

    $750,000

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