Singer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Rihanna has recently made headlines with her baby bump, but she’s given us yet another reason to love her: a $15 million donation to NGOs fighting for climate justice through her charity, the Clara Lionel Foundation (CLF).
The recent pledge, which was made on 26 January 2022 in partnership with #StartSmall, a philanthropic initiative started by Twitter and Square founder, Jack Dorsey, will go to 18 organisations based in both the US and the Caribbean, which makes a lot of sense considering Rihanna’s home country of Barbados.
Never one to shy away from speaking up on important issues and advocating for society’s most vulnerable, Rihanna and CLF have been working to move the needle on sustainability in inspiring and different ways. Here are a few you may not know of:
Rihanna sees climate justice as an intersectional, interconnected and international issue
CLF’s latest donation will empower and equip a group of climate justice leaders from nearly every state in the US, with a focus on women, youth, Black, Indigenous, LGBTQIA+ and people of colour to accelerate climate justice for those at greatest risk.
“At the Clara Lionel Foundation, much of the work is rooted in the understanding that climate disasters, which are growing in frequency and intensity, do not impact all communities equally, with communities of color and island nations facing the brunt of climate change,” Rihanna said in a statement. “This is why CLF prioritizes both climate resilience and climate justice work across the U.S. and Caribbean.”
For this superstar, climate justice is all about the short and long term
Rihanna isn’t interested in building just another philanthropy foundation. Through CLF, Rihanna aims to build and create innovative ways that not only provide immediate support in adverse situations but prepare communities for and withstanding disasters.
In 2019 alone, CLF invested $1.8 million toward emergency response and climate resilience efforts, while their Climate Resilience Initiative has committed over $10 million in six countries toward enabling high risk regions to endure extreme weather events.
She’s been pushing for the Caribbean to become the world’s first climate-resilient zone
CLF currently has nine projects focusing on climate resilience, a crucial pillar of the organisation’s work as Rihanna acknowledges climate disasters “are growing in frequency and intensity”, and disproportionately impact communities of colour and island nations.
CLF’s projects range from school and health clinic infrastructure development to gender-integrated emergency response planning, with “the hope that these initiatives can be replicated and scaled for other high-risk regions that face extreme weather events.”
For Rih Rih, sustainability goes beyond philanthropy with steps by Fenty to be more earth-conscious
When she’s not accepting awards for being a National Hero by her native Barbados, or snagging Grammys, the good Bad Girl is looking into ways to make Fenty Skin more reusable and recyclable.
The brand has taken steps to make excess packaging a thing of the past, as well as ensuring required boxes are recyclable. Certain Fenty products can be refilled, and PCR material, or post-consumer recycled material, is being integrated into their tubes, jars and bottles wherever possible.
They also have gone to lengths to break down each product part by part so you can see how their products can be recycled. Shipping boxes are also fully recyclable too.
She’s used negative experiences to create better, most sustainable products
Motivated by bad experiences with skincare products, Rihanna created Fenty Skin to be free of harsh ingredients, as well as vegan and gluten free. The line follows the high standards of the European Union, meaning over 1,400 ingredients are banned from their cosmetics. Their website also lists all the ingredients that comprise their products for greater transparency.
As climate change and climate justice are critical issues that impact the entire world, it’s all the more encouraging to see a celebrity of Rihanna’s status bringing awareness and funding to the current situation.
Learn more about Rihanna’s climate resilience work through the Clara Lionel Foundation.
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