Man an at outdoor gathering, BECU Foundation

Green Equity Initiative Grants

Awarding grants to charities that support green environmental sustainability.

Winners of the 2023 Green Equity Initiative Grant Program

The BECU Foundation will announce the recipients of our 2023 Green Equity Initiative Grant later this year!

2022 Green Equity Initiative Grant Program

In 2022, the BECU Foundation recognized the inaugural recipients of our Green Equity Initiative Grant.

Nine local nonprofits received grants designed to help sustain their work in renewable energy, circular innovation and green workforce development.

Addressing Climate Change

Washington Wild protects and restores wild lands and waters in Washington state. They achieve this goal through advocacy, education and civic engagement.

Project description: Indigenous Climate Impacts Oral History

In collaboration with This Is Indian Country, Washington Wild will use their grant funds to produce 15 three to five-minute video interviews with tribal elders and leaders.

EarthGen equips youth to grow their power as changemakers for a healthy environment. Through EarthGen's science-based, action-oriented programs, young people gain the knowledge, skills and experience they need to become leaders for climate solutions and environmental justice.

Project description: Expanding Youth Climate Science Education and Action Through Technology

EarthGen will use their grant funds to help expand access to climate science education and action for K-12 students in Washington state. The grant will help advance environmental and climate justice solutions in Washington through implementation of technology.

Our Climate empowers young people to advocate for the science-based, equitable and intersectional climate justice policies that build a thriving world. They train youth from affected communities and groups to participate in broad and diverse advocacy coalitions.

Project Description: Empowering Young Climate Justice Leaders in Washington

Our Climate will create a structured curriculum to train young people across Washington to become powerful climate advocates.

Elevating Circular Innovation

Refugee Artisan Initiative (RAI) partners with immigrant women to foster an inclusive, prosperous transition to the US through artisan skills training in zero waste and small batch manufacturing.

Project Description: Coffee Bag Reuse: Upcycled Rollstock Portable Outdoor Gear

Contributing to our circular economy, RAI's Upcycled Rollstock Portable Outdoor Gear project will divert coffee bags from landfills by upcycling them into a diverse portfolio of household products.

Bike Works promotes the bicycle as a vehicle for change to empower youth and build resilient communities.

Project Description: Bike Works Recycle & Reuse Expansion & Support

Support the growth and effectiveness of our Recycle & Reuse (R&R) initiative. The R&R team processes between 7,000 - 8,000 bike donations every year for use in our youth & adult programs, free bike giveaways and social enterprise bike shop.

Supporting Workforce Development Focused on Renewable Energy

The Black Farmers Collective seeks to build a Black-led food system by developing a cooperative network of food system actors, acquiring and stewarding land, facilitating food system education and creating space for Black liberation in healing and joy.

Project Description: Stewarding the next Generation of Black Farmers

Their vision is to steward a new generation of Black farmers, bridge the gaps in our current food systems and strive toward food sovereignty and Black liberation.

Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship (CIE) Community Enterprise Program provides training, one-on-one advising, and other support to help with the first steps of building a business, from idea generation to solidly established and ready to grow. We are currently serving people in Clallam, Jefferson, Skagit, Island, and North Snohomish Counties.

Project Description: The North Olympic Peninsula Green Equity Accelerator Emerald Cities Collaborative

CIE will pilot a social enterprise accelerator for emerging social entrepreneurs in marginalized and BIPOC rural communities including Clallam and Jefferson counties.

Emerald Cities Collaborative (ECC) is a national nonprofit network of organizations that work to advance a sustainable environment while creating just and inclusive economies with opportunities for all. It's an approach they call "the high road." ECC develops energy, green infrastructure and other sustainable development projects that not only contribute to the resilience of our metropolitan regions but also ensures an equity stake for low-income communities of color in the green economy.

Project Description: E-Contractor Program

Emerald Cities E-Contractor Program (Academy and Accelerator) provides small minority construction businesses (MBE) with a comprehensive training program, support services and business opportunities to enable rapid and profitable growth, particularly in the clean and renewable energy sector.

Harbor WildWatch inspires knowledge of the Puget Sound, and greater Salish Sea by providing learning opportunities about the environment to our community and beyond.

Project Description: Developing the Next Generation of Environmental Sustainability Professionals

Harbor WildWatch is working to support the implementation of a new internship program across four counties that will reduces access barriers for BIPOC and marginalized students. The goal is to help provide the experience needed to secure first jobs in the field of environmental sustainability.

Congratulations to our 2022 Green Equity Initiative Grant winners!

Background on the Grant

The BECU Foundation's Green Equity Initiative Grant Program is an environmental sustainability grants program seeking to fund public charities that support workforce development and entrepreneurs focused on equitable and green employment opportunities. By partnering with local organizations, the BECU Foundation can become a funder in support of the expansion of small businesses and entrepreneurism focused on green jobs and sustainability initiatives. This grant program will award applicants whose proposals have an emphasis on job creation, nonprofit and business to business partnerships, as well as micro lending.

The BECU Foundation is requesting project proposals that do the following:

  • Diversify and/or increase efforts to diversify workforce development pathways into “Green jobs” (i.e., HVAC, advocacy or policy, solar, electric vehicles, etc.).
  • Provide environmentally sustainable and equitable housing.
  • Address inequities in Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC), rural, low income, immigrant/refugee communities caused by climate change, or unfair work conditions in the environmental (i.e., agriculture or farming) sector.

Up to eight awards of between $50,000 and $100,000 will be made to support public charities to: Enhance their operational capacity; Provide opportunities for sustainable and equitable housing and employment; and Implement diversity, equity, and inclusion practices to diversify the workforce in environmental sustainability careers. A total of $875,000 will be distributed.

For general questions about the BECU Green Equity Initiative Grant Program, please email:

Read the Official Rules