We carry out our work with a deep commitment to accountability and transparency.
Accountable and Transparent
We want you and every member of the public to know as much as possible about how The Nature Conservancy operates and how carefully and effectively we use your donations.
As a leading global charity, we hold ourselves accountable to our members, the public and all creatures that have a stake in the preservation of the world’s natural resources. And we seek to make use of every dollar donated with careful attention to effectiveness and efficiency.
Our strong performance is reflected in the fact that The Nature Conservancy is highly rated by charity watchdog organizations.
Efficient and Effective
The Nature Conservancy is one of the most effective and efficient environmental organizations in the world.
Building on nearly six decades of experience, we've protected more than 119 million acres of land and 5,000 river miles—and we operate more than 100 marine conservation projects globally.
We are able to accomplish so much because we make careful use of our resources, maximizing the funding that goes toward our science-driven program work. Our program efficiencies meets standards set by both Charity Navigator and the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance, meaning you can be confident that any investment in The Nature Conservancy will be put to good use.
High charity and financial health ratings mean that your support is used efficiently and effectively.
You can feel confident with The Nature Conservancy’s high charity ratings that your donation in support of nature will make a difference by putting you at the center of critical conservation projects underway all across the globe.
The Conservancy consistently receives high charity ratings from charity watchdog organizations, including the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance and the American Institute of Philanthropy, as well as from the leading global investors services companies.
2018 World's Most Ethical Companies
TNC has been recognized by the Ethisphere Institute, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices, for our commitment to integrity and ethical practices. Learn More
Accredited Land Trust Seal
The accreditation seal recognizes that The Nature Conservancy meets national standards for excellence, upholds the public trust and ensures that conservation efforts are permanent. Learn More
Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity
The Nature Conservancy is a BBB Wise Giving Alliance Accredited Charity. We meet all of the Alliance's Standards for Charity Accountability, which exist to help donors make informed giving decisions. Learn More
Compliant with DMA Ethical Guidelines
The Nature Conservancy complies with the Ethical Guidelines for Fundraising and Other Nonprofit Communications set forth by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). Learn More
AA- Rating from Standard & Poors Rating Service
In its rating report S&P reports the Conservancy has "good liquidity position and solid levels of cash and investments." The S&P Rating Services report on the Conservancy can be ordered here.
Aa2 rating from Moody's Investor's Service
An Aa2 rating means that TNC is "judged to be of high quality and subject to very low credit risk," and demonstrates ""effective budgeting practices and financial management." Learn More
Three Star Rating from Charity Navigator
The Nature Conservancy currently holds a three-star rating from Charity Navigator. TNC's rating can fluctuate due to the year-to-year changes in our land acquisition spending. Learn more.
Integrity Beyond Reproach
At The Nature Conservancy, we operate with Integrity Beyond Reproach in all of our activities around the world. We will meet the highest ethical and professional standards in all of our organizational endeavors and, in doing so, we hold ourselves accountable to our mission and to the public.
We commit to:
- Operate and communicate with honesty and transparency at all times
- Hold ourselves accountable to our mission, our teams, our donors, members and partners, and to the many communities we serve
- Earn trust by engaging thoughtfully with peers and partners, building relationships, being competent, and following through on all of our commitments
Respect for People, Communities and Cultures
Enduring conservation success depends on the active involvement of people and partners whose lives and livelihoods are linked to the natural systems we seek to conserve. We respect the needs, values and traditions of local communities and cultures, and we forge relationships based on mutual benefit and trust.
- Demonstrate respect by committing to local, on the ground involvement with people, communities and cultures, and with awareness and sensitivity to their economic realities
- Treat our partners and colleagues with fairness and honesty
- Work collaboratively with all sectors of society, including indigenous people, to develop practical conservation solutions.
Commitment to Diversity
We recognize that conservation is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of people of widely diverse backgrounds, experiences and identities. We will recruit and develop staff to create a diverse, inclusive and equitable organization that reflects our global character. We will:
- Leverage our differences to be more effective in achieving our mission
- Respect and learn from our variety of experiences and ways of thinking
- Create a day to day workplace climate that welcomes and encourages each of us, valuing the contributions of all
- Strengthen the diversity of our workforce, trustees, and board.
Our strength and vitality lies in being one organization working together in local places and across borders to achieve our global mission. We value the collective and collaborative efforts that are so essential to our success. We:
- Work across all of our operations to implement and support the right strategies, at the right scales, and at the right places always with the greater good of our mission in mind
- Act with continuity of purpose in everything we do, from the focus of our conservation efforts to the allocation of our resources
- Celebrate individual, team and project success as the success of all who work for TNC
Tangible, Lasting Results
We use the best available science, a creative spirit, and a non-confrontational approach to craft innovative solutions to complex conservation problems at scales that matter and in ways that will endure. We:
- Develop, analyze and use the best available conservation science and a science-based rigor to set priorities, make decisions, take action, and measure results
- Use a creative spirit and original thought in the pursuit of excellence
- Conduct our business in an environmentally sensitive manner
These values shape who we are as an organization and how we conduct ourselves as individuals. They inspire us to do the right thing and to do right by one another. Our values are the foundation for our Code of Conduct.
TNC Code of Conduct: People and Nature Thrive When We…
The TNC Code of Conduct provides the principles and expectations to guide staff, Board members, Trustees/Advisors, volunteers, and third-parties in the course of their work for TNC. One of those expectations is that TNC staff and others acting on our behalf will comply with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations in each country, state, or locality where TNC operates. Where TNC’s Code or policies are more protective than the laws and customs in certain countries, TNC staff and others acting on our behalf will be held to the higher standards set forth in our Code.
Our Code is also an interactive field guide for our staff that provides access to additional resources to help them make sound ethical and legal decisions. Staff and others who violate our Code will face consequences.
TNC maintains policies and procedures that support our Code of Conduct and provide more detail and direction for staff to follow to achieve TNC’s mission in accordance with high ethical and legal standards. For example, TNC maintains policies and procedures on Conflicts of Interest; Lobbying Limitations; Participation in Candidate Elections; Corporate Engagement; Reporting Suspected Violations of Law or Policy; Confidential Information; Equal Employment Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Diversity; Workplace Conduct, Harassment Prevention and Reporting; Privacy and Personal Data Protection; and Records Management.
TNC Helpline: Ask a Question or Report a Concern
Staff and third parties may contact the Ethics & Compliance team anytime to submit a question or concern at our online Helpline. The TNC Helpline is available online or by phone 24/7/365 in a variety of languages. In the US, you can call 800-461-9330, or text 571-458-1739. Our Helpline page has phone numbers for international calling. Concerns may be submitted anonymously where permitted by law.
TNC takes all concerns seriously and when misconduct is found, consistent disciplinary action and remedial measures are taken across the organization and at all staff levels. At TNC, we are all responsible for speaking up if something does not feel right or if we have concerns about ethical misconduct. We know it takes courage to speak up. TNC will not tolerate retaliation against individuals who ask questions or raise concerns about potential misconduct in good faith.
Ethics & Compliance Program
TNC’s Ethics & Compliance Program is designed to promote and foster: 1) a culture of integrity and ethical-decision making aligned with TNC’s Values; 2) compliance with TNC’s Code of Conduct, policies, procedures and applicable laws; and 3) appropriate risk assessment, due diligence and monitoring to detect, deter and prevent misconduct and unethical behavior. The TNC Ethics & Compliance Office was established by the Board of Directors in 2012.
In addition to our Code and Helpline, our Ethics & Compliance Program includes the following:
- Regular assessment of risks through inputs from Helpline reports, Internal Audit, Legal and management.
- Annual Integrity Awareness training for all staff.
- Routine Code of Conduct awareness for the Board of Directors, Trustees and Advisors.
- Targeted awareness and training for staff to mitigate key risks.
- Conflicts of Interest Committee.
- Fair and impartial investigations of allegations of wrongdoing.
- Privacy program.
- Regular programmatic maturity assessments of our Ethics & Compliance and Privacy programs.
Leadership and Oversight
The Ethics and Compliance Office is led by our Chief Ethics, Compliance & Privacy Officer who reports to our General Counsel and to the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors. The Audit Committee has oversight responsibility for the Ethics & Compliance Program and the Chief Ethics, Compliance & Privacy Officer provides a report quarterly to the Audit Committee and annually to the Board of Directors.
The Nature Conservancy has committed to work with other like-minded organizations to develop sustainable investment policies.
For decades, The Nature Conservancy has recognized that the private sector plays an important role in advancing our conservation mission. Businesses around the globe can, and do, have significant impacts on our climate and on the lands and waters that people and nature rely on for survival. For this reason, around the world, we are pursuing strategies to help companies ease their environmental footprints by reducing carbon emissions, properly valuing nature and the services it provides, and investing in protecting and restoring the natural systems that sustain us all.
In managing its long-term investment assets, The Nature Conservancy utilizes a number of professional external investment managers to create and manage its investment portfolio, targeting a prudent balance between risk and return.
- TNC actively encourages investment managers to consider using environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) criteria in the investment decision-making process.
- TNC selects highly capable and proven investment managers willing and able to manage a portfolio within a specific asset class, and seeks to do so consistently with our mission. Specifically, we strive to employ managers who use ESG criteria to inform investment decisions, thereby helping to direct investment dollars toward companies ranking positively on sustainability measures.
- TNC excludes certain investment opportunities from the investment portfolio when deemed inconsistent with its mission.
The Nature Conservancy believes that the prudent management of environmental issues is a potential source of creating value for investors. In general, companies that are successful in avoiding environmental risks, and also at identifying and capitalizing on sustainability opportunities, should reap economic benefits over time. Therefore, we believe the above approach is consistent with our fiduciary requirements to prudently manage risk and return, while also paralleling our conservation mission and our support of sustainability-minded corporations.