Leonardo DiCaprio is the actor and philanthropist who uses his considerable fame and fortune to promote ESG investment practices around the globe.
The star and his foundation have contributed $30 million toward efforts to stem climate change. DiCaprio believes that making immediate and sustainable changes to our consumption of fossil fuels is the only way to ensure the survival of life on this planet.
Inspired by Al Gore DiCaprio’s interest in environmental conservation began around the same time as his film career. However, his interest in climate change really took hold in 1998, when he attended a White House meeting with then-Vice President Al Gore. The actor was so inspired by his visit that he created the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation that same year. The foundation was designed to help protect the “last of the world’s wild places,” with a focus on bringing awareness and funding to projects related to:
- Wildlands conservation
- Oceans conservation
- Climate change
- Indigenous rights
- Transforming California
- Innovative solutions
Activism in Film
In 2004, DiCaprio founded the film production company Appian Way. Under that banner, he wrote, produced and narrated the 2007 documentary The 11th Hour. The film highlighted some of the environmental challenges caused by global warming. In 2016 he produced a second environmental documentary called Before the Flood, which followed the actor as he traveled around the world visiting locations that had been directly affected by global warming.
The Leonardo DiCaprio Forest
DiCaprio is passionate about protecting the Earth’s oceans and wild lands. He believes reducing our reliance on fossil fuels can help stave off the worst climate change has to offer. He drives an eco-friendly vehicle and is mindful of his carbon footprint. After having his carbon footprint calculated by a London firm, he had thousands of trees planted in Mexico to offset his contribution to the world’s carbon emissions.
Recognition for His Efforts
In 2014 DiCaprio was appointed the United Nations Messenger of Peace for Climate Change.
That same year he was awarded the Clinton Global Citizen Award for his efforts to protect and preserve the planet. While presenting him with the award, Carter Roberts, the CEO of the World Wildlife Fund, said, “We are exhausting our planet’s capabilities to support you and me. Now more than ever Mother Nature needs a voice. Ladies and gentlemen, Leonardo DiCaprio is that voice.”
Receiving an Oscar and Delivering a Message
During his acceptance speech for the Best Actor Academy Award in 2016 (for his role in The Revenant), DiCaprio said, “Climate change is real, it is happening right now, it is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating.”
On Social Media
Over 30 million people follow DiCaprio on social media platforms including Twitter and Facebook. He uses those applications whenever he has a call to action to share with his fans. Together they have run successful campaigns ranging from establishing protections for endangered species to increasing the involvement of world leaders in climate change discussions.