Annie Sanders: Why We Work on Certain Issues & Our Priorities for FY24

Green Century Funds° helps investors make an impact for the planet through a sustainable investing strategy, partners with its investment advisor in an award-winning shareholder advocacy program, and a unique ownership model that sends 100% of our net profits to support the environmental campaign work of our nonprofit owners.

One question we often get is, “How do you decide what issues to work on”?

This is an excellent question. There’s no shortage of issues facing our environment, and it can be hard to decide where to start making a difference. The good news is that while our planet may have more problems than it deserves, we’re finding more solutions every day to help fix them.

Shareholder advocacy is a key way that Green Century Funds helps bring about solutions to some of our most pressing environmental problems. Shareholder advocacy is a tool used by investors to push a company to report on or change a policy. Green Century negotiates with companies to improve their sustainability practices by reducing their reliance on fossil fuels, protecting ocean wildlife from plastic pollution, adopting sustainable agriculture policies and more. Then, once companies make commitments, we assess their progress and hold them accountable.

To choose our priority issues, we evaluate a number of factors. First, we’re Green Century Funds for a reason – we’re all about protecting the environment. So, our first consideration is, how can we make the biggest impact for the planet? These issues run the gamut from stopping global warming, protecting endangered species, preserving forests or reducing plastic waste. We evaluate today’s most pressing issues which, if we can win concrete changes to corporate policy, will produce the most profound benefits for ecosystems around the world?

Then, we think about our comparative advantage. Where can we uniquely advance change? Where does our expertise lie? What emerging frameworks and targets can companies implement to mitigate environmental risks? On which issues can we make the strongest business case for action?

At the end of the day, there’s no one issue that merits all of our attention; the threats facing our planet are multifaceted and ever evolving. But one thing we do know is that to ensure we have a planet to operate businesses on in the future, companies need to figure out now how to give back more than they take. And since nature is everybody’s business, there’s no company that can stand on the sidelines.

This coming shareholder season, which runs on a schedule similar to a school year, we’re focused on:

  • Protecting forests around the world by convincing food and consumer goods companies to protect biodiversity by addressing their nature-related impacts, dependencies, risks and opportunities, as well as by establishing science-based targets for nature that will protect our planet for generations to come.
  • Reducing plastic pollution by pressing companies to use less plastic in their packaging, especially new plastic, and to scale up reuse models that will help drive a circular economy.
  • Asking companies that have set goals to reduce their contribution to climate change to develop climate transition plans that chart how the company will hit their targets and move toward a clean energy economy.
  • Expanding the number of companies with Right to Repair policies that help consumers and reduce dangerous electronic waste.
  • Pressing insurance companies – which, ironically, are pulling coverage from areas prone to natural disasters exacerbated by extreme weather – to stop underwriting the new fossil fuel projects driving extreme weather in the first place.
  • Protecting animal welfare by asking companies to institute more humane policies such as eliminating gestation crates.
  • Pushing major retailers to phase out gas-powered lawn equipment in favor of electric lawn equipment to improve air quality and cut off another key contributor to climate change.
    A sustainable investment strategy which incorporates environmental, social and governance criteria may result in lower or higher returns than an investment strategy that does not include such criteria.

These are just some of the solutions we’ll be advancing this coming year to help build a cleaner, greener future today and for future generations. We look forward to keeping you updated on our progress.

Thank you for your investment in Green Century Funds, which makes our shareholder advocacy work possible.

°Green Century Capital Management, Inc. (Green Century) is the investment advisor to the Green Century Funds (the Funds). 

The Green Century Funds are a family of fossil fuel-free, environmentally responsible mutual funds. Green Century Capital Management hosts an award-winning and in-house shareholder advocacy program and is the only mutual fund company in the U.S. wholly owned by environmental and public health nonprofit organizations. 

You should carefully consider the Fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses before investing. To obtain a Prospectus that contains this and other information about the Funds please visit, email, or call 1-800-934-7336. Please read the Prospectus carefully before investing. 

Stocks will fluctuate in response to factors that may affect a single company, industry, sector, country, region or the market as a whole and may perform worse than the market. Foreign securities are subject to additional risks such as currency fluctuations, regional economic and political conditions, differences in accounting methods, and other unique risks compared to investing in securities of U.S. issuers. Bonds are subject to a variety of risks including interest rate, credit, and inflation risk. A sustainable investment strategy which incorporates environmental, social and governance criteria may result in lower or higher returns than an investment strategy that does not include such criteria. 

This information has been prepared from sources believed reliable. The views expressed are as 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. 235 W Galena Street, Milwaukee, WI 53212. 7/23. UMB and Green Century are not affiliated.