Leonardo DiCaprio – Passion for Environmental Investment
Leonardo DiCaprio is an award-winning actor, producer and environmentalist. He has won several Golden Globe Awards as well as a BAFTA Award and an Academy Award.
DiCaprio is the founder and owner of Appian Way Productions, a film production company located in West Hollywood, California which has produced several feature films and documentaries and a television show. Some of the films produced by Appian are blockbusters like The Assassination of Richard Nixon, The Aviator, The Wolf of Wall Street and The Revenant.
About Leonardo DiCaprio
Born as the only child of George and Irmelin DiCaprio, Leonardo DiCaprio is of Italian and German descent. After his parents separated, DiCaprio lived mostly with his mother around Los Angeles. He attended John Marshall High School but dropped out of school. By this time DiCaprio had already appeared in television commercials. By 1989 he played a role in two episodes of The New Lassie. The following year he was making regular appearances on television in programs like The Outsiders, Santa Barbara and Parenthood. He was also a celebrity contestant in Fun House, a game show for children.
In 1991, DiCaprio made his first appearance in a movie when he played a role in Critters 3. That year he also starred in Growing Pains as a homeless boy. In 1992 he played a supporting role in Poison Ivy and Robert De Niro handpicked him out of 400 young actors to play the leading role in This Boy’s Life opposite De Niro. Over the following years, DiCaprio starred in a wide range of movies including What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?, The Quick and the Dead, Total Eclipse, The Basketball Diaries, Romeo + Juliet and the box-office hit Titanic. He shot to fame as an actor and eventually began producing his own films.
In addition to his international stardom and highly successful career in acting and film production, DiCaprio is also an active philanthropist and advocate for environmental consciousness. In 1998 DiCaprio established the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation with the goal of using it as a platform to promote awareness of climate change and support initiatives that tackle global warming and work on preserving the biodiversity of earth and promoting renewable energy. Over the years, DiCaprio and the foundation have made several large donations to charitable causes.
In 1998 DiCaprio collaborated with his mother and they invested $35,000 into the building and opening of the Leonardo DiCaprio Computer Centre at the Los Angeles Public Library. While he was filming Blood Diamond, the actor worked with orphans at the SOS Children’s Village in Mozambique. DiCaprio also donated $1million to help victims of the earthquake in Haiti in 2010 and in 2013 he donated $61,000 to GLAAD, an initiative with the goal of improving how LGBTI people are portrayed in the media. In 2016 DiCaprio joined his friend Tony Shafrazi at an annual gala event held to raise funds for the Children of Armenia Fund and contributed $65,000 to the proceeds. After Hurricane Harvey in 2017, DiCaprio’s foundation generously donated $1 million to the United Way Harvey Recovery Fund.
Leonardo DiCaprio was born in Los Angeles, the United States in November 1974. His movie work and charitable ventures work have taken him all over the world but all three his homes are in the United States, a house in Los Angeles, an apartment in New York City and a house in California. DiCaprio also owns an island in Belize called Blackadore Caye where he intends to create an eco-friendly holiday resort.
With an ever-growing portfolio of investments geared for environmental change, Leonardo DiCaprio has made it clear that he is committed to a greener world. In early 2019 he joined the board of advisors of Aspiration, a socially conscious alternative to conventional banking. In addition to investing in the company during the Series B round of funding, DiCaprio will serve as an advisor. With the investment from DiCaprio and other individual investors and venture capitalists, Aspiration has raised over $100 million.
Co-founded by Andrei Cherny in 2015, Aspiration is a financial services company that offers an account with 100% fossil fuel-free deposits. The goal is to provide an alternative financial solution to consumers who are socially conscious. Cherny previously had a career in policy changes related to climate issues and served under former vice president Al Gore when he first began raising awareness of the effects of climate change. Leonardo DiCaprio has spoken out against the large-scale projects that involve fossil fuel and are funded by deposits made into banks every year. He strongly advocates long-term solutions for the plant and alternatives that give consumers the power to take action against environmental issues.
Known as Spend & Save, the Aspiration account not only guarantees that deposits are fossil-fuel-free, it also offers similar characteristics to conventional financial products such as a 2% annual yield on deposits and unlimited cash-back rewards on all funds spent. The account also has a strong focus on green initiatives and offers rewards to clients who shop at companies with green policies. Customers are able to track their eco-conscious shopping achievements by using a useful personal sustainability scoring system.
A Growing Green Trend
This investment is just the latest in a series of investments focused on positive environmental change for DiCaprio. As an avid environmentalist, most of Leonardo DiCaprio’s investments have been made into projects that deal with environmental issues. Through the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, the actor has worked on a variety of projects in more than 40 countries. The actor recently joined other environmentally conscious investors as an advisor for VC company Princeville Capital’s climate technology investment fund. Other investors involved with the fund are Richard Hart Former CFO/CSO of Guidewire, Maria Herrera Wealth and asset management expert, Co-Founder of CH Global Holdings, Teresa Barger, CEO of Cartica known for her expertise in investment in the emerging markets and Thor Bjorgolfsson, founder of alternative investment company Novator Partners. DiCaprio also serves as an advisor to energy-efficiency start-up Bluon Energy.