How it works

We won’t beat climate change by simply reducing our environmental impact. We need to rethink our relationship with the planet and work to do more good than harm.

Our Give 110% business model is designed to create a net climate benefit through a system of climate accountability. Give 110% means that Askov Finlayson will invest more money fighting climate change each year than running our business costs the planet. You can think of it like a self-imposed carbon tax – at the rate of 110%.

It works like this:

  1. Measure Our Carbon Footprint:

    Each year, we measure the carbon footprint of our company operations and Askov Finlayson supply chain – from raw materials through the entire production process and beyond.

  2. Calculate Our Climate Cost:

    We then use the Social Cost of Carbon to convert our total annual CO2 emissions impact into dollars – and share our calculations with you.

  3. Give 110%:

    We donate 110% of our annual climate cost to innovative organizations fighting climate change in four key areas of focus: Education, Agriculture, Energy & Climate Justice.

  4. Continually Reduce Harm:

    We work diligently to reduce our environmental impact wherever possible – focusing on carbon emissions, water usage, waste and chemical inputs. We consider how best to create social benefits through our operations as well.

This is a complex endeavor with a lot of unknowns, but we embrace the challenge. Our ability to measure our carbon footprint accurately will improve over time, and it will never be absolutely perfect. But we’re committed to transparency in this process, and we’ll always show our work and help you understand our methodology – starting with our 2018 baseline analysis, which we’re working on right now.

Investing in Climate Solutions

Our Give 110% model of climate accountability isn’t just about self-taxing. It’s about finding and funding the most innovative, leading-edge climate solutions out there.

To maximize our positive impact, we focus our giving on four key focus areas:


Empowering the next generation to solve the climate crisis


Tapping the incredible potential of soil to reverse climate change


Moving with urgency toward a global clean energy economy

Climate Justice

Supporting underprivileged communities hit hardest by climate change and connecting underserved youth to the outdoors

Within these key focus areas, we seek to support practical, effective climate solutions that generate meaningful now or in the near future. The organizations we fund are run efficiently and operate with urgency and passion under bold, visionary leadership. The scope of our program is national, although some of the world’s best climate solutions are concentrated in the North, and we’re proud to support some outstanding work in our own backyard. Our investments are not limited to traditional nonprofit philanthropy.

Keep the North Cold grants use a closed application process. Proposals for funding are accepted only from organizations that are invited to apply.

Work We Support

We make annual grants to organizations on the leading edge of climate solutions. Our network is continually expanding as we work to meet smart people creating meaningful, lasting change to enact a positive future for our planet and its people.

Read about our 2018 grantees below.


Climate Generation – A Will Steger Legacy (Minneapolis, Minn.)

Founded by polar explorer Will Steger, Climate Generation uses the power of education to empower young leaders to engage in solutions to climate change. The group’s programs focus primarily on education, public engagement, and youth engagement – providing teachers, youth, community leaders, businesses, and the general public with resources and opportunities to engage in solutions to climate change.
Key Fact:
1,500 – Number of Minnesota students empowered by Climate Generation to lead their communities toward climate solutions now and throughout their careers – including 50% students of color – with the support of our 2018 grant.


The Land Institute (Salina, Kansas)

The Land Institute is the birthplace of natural systems agriculture. For over 40 years, the organization has worked to create an agriculture system featuring perennial grains grown in diverse cropping systems. The vision is to create an agriculture that mimics natural systems in order to produce ample food and reduce or eliminate the negative impacts of industrial agriculture. Today, The Land Institute is the global leader in developing perennial crops. These deeply rooted crops foster healthy soil – which increases ecosystem nutrient retention, carbon sequestration, and water infiltration, and can contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation, while overall helping to ensure food and water security over the long term.

Key Fact:
#1 – Minnesota’s rank among states growing Kernza, an innovative perennial grain developed by The Land Institute, by number of farmers and total acres planted. With 10-foot root systems, Kernza holds the power not only to reduce climate change, but actually reverse it – while producing abundant grain to feed people around the world.

Green Lands Blue Waters (St. Paul, Minn.)

Based at the University of Minnesota, Green Lands Blue Waters works with a wide group of partners across the North to create landscape-level change by supporting the development of and transition to a new generation of multifunctional agricultural systems. The Green Lands Blue Waters network focuses on integrating more perennial plants and other continuous living cover across the agricultural landscape. Green Lands Blue Waters plays a key role in making the North the world’s biggest hub for perennial grains research and development.

Key Fact:
22,000 – Number of 16-ounce tall boys of climate-change-fighting Keep the North Cold beer we brewed in spring 2018 using Minnesota grown Kernza and other local ingredients, in partnership with our friends at Fair State Brewing Cooperative.

Climate Justice

Wilderness Inquiry (Minneapolis, Minn.)

Wilderness Inquiry’s mission is to connect people from all walks of life to the natural world through shared outdoor adventures. Through the medium of outdoor adventure travel, the organization inspires personal growth, enhanced awareness of the environment and community integration. Wilderness Inquiry adventures encourage people to open themselves to new possibilities and opportunities.

Key Fact:
1,000 – Number of underprivileged youth and individuals with disabilities who will “Share the North” in 2018 as a result of matching grants by Askov Finlayson and Target, through participation in Wilderness Inquiry winter outdoor education and recreation.

The Loppet Foundation

The Loppet Foundation works to create a shared passion for year-round outdoor adventure in the Minneapolis area, focusing on underserved youth and families. In particular, the Loppet Foundation plays a central role in making sure all kids, families and adults can participate in cross-country skiing and the rest of our best winter traditions in the North.

Key Fact:
14,000 – Square footage of the Loppet Foundation’s new Trailhead facility in North Minneapolis’ Theodore Wirth Park. The Trailhead, to be completed in summer 2018 with significant support from Askov Finlayson, will be a space for diverse communities to unite over a shared enthusiasm for year-round outdoor activities. Theo Wirth Park is one of America’s great urban parks – nearly the same size as Central Park in New York City.