For 25 years, Green Century has helped individuals and institutions invest for their future without compromising their values. Green Century believes that environmentally responsible investing also offers potential financial benefits and there is a growing body of evidence that demonstrates that investing with environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance may offer financial advantages. For example, we believe that when companies avoid harming the environment, communities in which they operate, and public health, they may not only enjoy a competitive advantage by appealing to consumers concerned about sustainability, but also may avoid damage to their brand reputations and costly litigation.
Green Century offers three mutual funds:
|SRI and Values-Based Exclusions|
|Fossil fuel companies – coal, oil and gas|
|Nuclear power companies|
|Military weapons and civilian firearm companies|
|Producers of genetically modified organisms (GMOs)|
|Examples of Sustainable Companies with Outstanding ESG Ratings|
|Energy efficiency; Renewables; Water treatment & conservation; Air pollution control|
|Sustainable infrastructure and transportation|
|Companies that disclose policies and performance on critical environmental impacts|
|Sustainable agriculture companies, including organic and natural food suppliers|
|Companies that apply sustainability criteria throughout the supply chain|
Green Century uses values-based or socially, responsible, and impact (SRI) investing screens to avoid the most environmentally and socially dangerous industries. This aligns investments with the values of our investors and also offers potential financial benefits, such as avoiding stranded assets that may be associated with investing in coal, oil and gas companies.
Green Century also employs environmental, social, and governance ratings and performance to only select those companies that perform better across these categories as compared to companies in the same sector.
While some other investments may just use one or the other or the above methodologies, Green Century uses both to deliver high impact investments.
Green Century is the first family of responsible and diversified fossil fuel free mutual funds in the U.S. Our fossil fuel free commitment exceeds the global divestment baseline of avoiding the largest 200 fossil fuel companies as ranked by potential carbon emissions content of their reported reserves. Green Century goes beyond this initial list since we have found that when investors decide to eliminate dirty energy from their portfolios for ethical and/or financial reasons, they more often want to eliminate them from their portfolios entirely.
Our definition of fossil fuel free investing excludes companies that explore for, extract, process and refine, and transmit coal, oil and gas, as well as companies that burn fossil fuels to make electricity or any companies with carbon reserves.
As more investments are described as environmental or fossil fuel free, we believe it is important to keep these distinctions in mind:
“Low carbon” is not the same as fossil fuel free. It might be, but it also might apply to carbon emissions and carbon reserves, or it might just apply to the overall carbon footprint of an investment. Since there is no standardized characterization of the term, you should review the prospectus (see below) for exclusions and also look in the energy and utility sector holdings section of a fund. Note that “energy sector” may roughly translate to “fossil fuel companies” and holdings noted in the “utility sector” may be fossil fuel burning utilities or may be likely to be involved in fossil fuel extraction and consumption.
Review the prospectus. Marketing terms are not the same as investment strategies and binding exclusion, such as avoiding fossil fuel companies, and should be spelled out in the prospectus. The prospectus is a legal document that should always be available to a prospective investor that contains a fund’s objectives, investment strategies, risks, as well as other details. Without a clear statement addressing what fossil fuel free means in the prospectus, an investor cannot be sure what the fund may or may not invest in. Green Century details our definition of fossil fuel companies and avoidance of these companies in our prospectus. You can review the prospectus of the Green Century Funds by clicking here.
Our commitment to fossil fuel free investing is one way we help our investors avoid the very companies and industries at the heart of many environmental and social issues as well as potential financial risks associated with oil price volatility and stranded assets.
There are growing concerns about investing in coal, oil and gas including the volatility of oil prices, capital expenditures on high-cost projects such as off-shore and Arctic drilling, and the potential of devalued or stranded carbon reserve assets. Fossil Fuel Divestment at Green Century.
These concerns are just some of the reasons Green Century has a long-standing investment strategy of avoiding the worst polluting companies and instead investing in companies that are helping build a sustainable economy. Read one of these recent studies on performance by leading industry analysts:
Advisor Partners: Fossil Fuel Divestment: Perspectives After the Oil Bust
The Green Century MSCI International Index Fund invests in companies around the world with ambitious goals to reduce the environmental impact of their operations. Sony, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, plans to achieve an overall zero environmental footprint by 2050.
The Luz Del Norte solar installation project is the largest solar facility in South America and supported by a bond issued by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and held in the Balanced Fund.
The Green Century Funds invest in companies that make products that reduce energy use and carbon pollution, like Tesla, which is pushing the envelope on what is possible for electric vehicles and clean energy storage and held in the Equity Fund.
*As of December 31, 2017, Sony Corporation, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and Tesla Motors, Inc. comprised 1.43%, 0.00% and 0.00%; 0.00%, 0.54% and 0.00%; and 0.00%, 0.00% and 0.40% of the Green Century MSCI International Index Fund, the Green Century Balanced Fund, and the Green Century Equity Fund, respectively. 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.
Our shareholder advocacy program is a key way we reduce potential investment risks and provide a way for our investors to create a more sustainable economy and world. Our in-depth approach goes well beyond voting proxies to include shareholder resolutions, dialogues and collaborations with stakeholders that provide a way for investors to leverage the power of their investments to make an impact.
|Focus area – Climate change||Focus area – Sustainable agriculture|
|Tropical forest protection||Antibiotic use reduction in meat supply chains|
|Plant-based protein||Pesticide use reduction|
|Renewable energy||Sustainable seafood|
|Food waste reduction||Water stewardship|
Deforestation is a leading cause of increased carbon emissions, which contribute to global climate change. Deforestation also poses a number of tangible business risks, which could include but are not limited to, current legal liabilities in emerging markets, pending legislation, reputational risk, and the ability to access raw materials to maintain revenue streams.
To help curb climate change, and limit our investors’ risks, Green Century has launched a five-year campaign to help stop deforestation caused by the production of soy, cattle, timber, rubber, and palm oil in Asia, Latin America, and Africa. In addition to other successes, the campaign has helped secure a zero-deforestation commitment from Wilmar,* the world’s largest palm oil trader, that will avoid 1.5 gigatons of carbon pollution between 2015 and 2020.
To learn more about our efforts and successes regarding our commitment to help stop deforestation, please download Green Century’s Tropical Forest Protection Campaign two-pager below or visit our Tropical Forest Protection page.
Proxy Voting Policies and Records
See how the Green Century Funds voted on social, environmental and governance issues at the annual meetings of the companies they own.
*As of December 31, 2017, no securities mentioned were held in the portfolios of any of the Green Century Funds. 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.
One-hundred percent of the profits earned managing the Green Century Funds are used to support the environmental and public health work of non-profit organizations.
Currently, our non-profit owners are working toward ending the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms, banning fracking whenever possible, and securing carbon pollution regulations. And, to date, these organizations have accomplished incredible success, including:
To learn more about our support of environmental and public health non-profits, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-934-7336.