Green Century Equity Fund to Divest from Gas Companies and Become Fossil Fuel Free
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Boston, MA – Green Century Capital Management announced that the Green Century Equity Fund, which invests in the stocks of the longest running sustainability index will become the third fossil fuel free diversified responsible mutual fund in the country on April 1, 2014. The Green Century Equity Fund, which already did not invest in coal or major oil companies, will now also screen out gas companies and other companies with significant carbon reserves. The update makes the Green Century Funds, which include the fossil fuel free Balanced Fund, the first family of fossil fuel free diversified and responsible mutual funds nationwide.
“Growing numbers of people want to avoid supporting the industries that are most responsible for the climate changes that are contributing to the dire drought in California and the devastating snowstorms in the South,” said Leslie Samuelrich, President of Green Century Capital Management. “We’re thrilled to be able to help them invest for their future in an environmentally responsible fund that seeks competitive returns,” stated Samuelrich. “Since fossil fuel corporations are determined to burn their carbon reserves, which are five times the amount that scientists say our planet can safely absorb, there is a growing concern that investors may face a “carbon-bubble” if carbon restrictions are put into place,” stated Samuelrich.¹ “With so many unknowns in the future, why not avoid the widely reported possible risk of stranded assets?”
Remy Briand, Managing Director and Head of MSCI Index and ESG Research, said, “MSCI is pleased to offer Green Century Capital Management a fossil fuel free version of the MSCI KLD 400 Social Index, a prominent benchmark for responsible investors. We are committed to providing top quality research and indexes to those looking to incorporate certain environmental, social, and governance factors into their investment strategies.”
This is not the first time Green Century has updated the screening criteria for its Funds. “We have a long tradition of incorporating information and analysis to hone our investment strategies as new issues emerge, so that we continue to meet our high standards for sustainable and responsible investments seeking competitive returns,” explained Kristina Curtis, President of the Green Century Funds. The Green Century Funds originally screened out companies operating in South Africa to press for changes to that country’s system of Apartheid. More recently, in light of the environmental and public health concerns and controversies associated with genetically modified organisms (GMOs), Green Century screened out companies with significant involvement in GMOs from both Green Century Funds.
“As Green Century uncovered and examined the reputational risks and potential investment risks of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, over the last five years, the analysis of the companies engaged in this controversial and environmentally damaging practice has changed. We no longer believe gas companies can be a viable investment for an environmentally responsible mutual fund,” said Samuelrich.
About the Green Century Equity Fund:
Since its inception, the Equity Fund has been invested in the stocks that comprise the MSCI KLD 400 Social Index (formerly named the Domini 400 Social Index) and has not invested in coal or major oil companies for many years.
The Green Century Equity Fund will continue to invest in that index minus the fossil fuel companies included in the index. Specifically, the companies in six GICS (Global Industry Classification Standard) sub-industries will be excluded as will those with carbon reserves. That means that the Equity Fund will not invest in companies that are involved in the exploration, processing, refinement or distribution of coal, oil or gas. The new name for the index in which the Equity Fund will invest is the MSCI KLD 400 Social ex Fossil Fuels Index (a custom index to be calculated by MSCI Inc.).
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Green Century Capital Management (Green Century) is an environmentally responsible investment advisory firm that manages two mutual funds – the Green Century Balanced Fund (GCBLX) and the Green Century Equity Fund (GCEQX). Green Century is the only mutual fund company founded and owned by a partnership of non-profit environmental advocacy organizations. Founded in 1991, Green Century also leverages its power as a shareholder to press companies to adopt more environmentally responsible corporate behavior. Recent shareholder advocacy victories include campaigns at Starbucks*, Tyson Foods* and Wilmar*.
* As of December 31, 2013, Starbucks comprised 0.35% and 0.90%, respectively, of the Green Century Balanced Fund and Green Century Equity Fund. Other securities mentioned were not held in the portfolios as of December 31, 2013. References to specific securities, which will change due to ongoing management of the Funds, should not be construed as a recommendation by the Funds, their administrator or their distributor.
Stocks will fluctuate in response to factors that may affect a single company, industry, sector, or the market as a whole and may perform worse than the market. Bonds are subject to risks including interest rate, credit, and inflation. The Funds’ environmental criteria limit the investments available to the Funds compared to mutual funds that do not use environmental criteria.
You should carefully consider the Funds’ investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses before investing. To obtain a Prospectus that contains this and other information about the Funds, please click here, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 1-800-93-GREEN. Please read the Prospectus before investing.
This information has been prepared from sources believed to be reliable. The views expressed are as of the date of this writing and are those of the Advisor to the Funds.
The Green Century Funds are distributed by UMB Distribution Services, LLC. 2/14