Contact: Leslie Samuelrich, President, Green Century Capital Management, 617-482-0800, firstname.lastname@example.org and Kate Kroll, Shareholder Advocate, Green Century Capital Management, 617-482-0800, email@example.com
September 21, 2015: In response to investor concerns, Bunge Limited has announced a new cross-commodity policy that will protect forests, reduce carbon pollution and protect the company and its investors against reputational and brand risk. Last spring, Green Century Capital Management called on the company to adopt a policy to eliminate deforestation across all its supply chains, including soy, sugar, and corn. Many of Bunge’s customers have recently adopted similar policies to curb deforestation, which causes key risks including soil erosion, declines in local rainfall, species extinction, conflicts with local communities over land rights, and climate change. Bunge’s new policy covers crops such as soybeans, sugar, and corn, and broadly aligns the company with the zero deforestation palm oil and soy policy adopted by Archer Daniels Midland (ADM)* four months ago. Bunge had previously adopted a zero deforestation palm oil policy.
“Bunge has listened to investors’ concerns in adopting strong environmental policies that protect the company and its shareholders while acting as a catalyst for more improvements in the industry,” said Leslie Samuelrich, President of Green Century Capital Management. “We are racing the clock to curb climate change so when an agricultural giant like Bunge adopts a cross-commodity policy, it has the power to send waves of change throughout global supply chains,” added Samuelrich.
Last spring, Green Century worked with ADM to adopt the first no-deforestation sourcing policy for both palm oil and soy, which the company announced at its annual shareholder meeting in May. In the last two years, the percentage of the palm oil supply chain covered by zero deforestation agreements has increased from 5% to 96%.
Bunge is one of the world’s largest agricultural suppliers and has significant influence over agricultural supply chains around the globe, which also means that the company is highly exposed to the negative impacts of deforestation. Bunge is one of the world’s leading soy traders and a top soy exporter in Latin America, where soy production is a leading cause of deforestation, degrading sensitive ecosystems like the Amazon Rainforest, Brazil’s cerrado, and the Gran Chaco. Last year’s shareholder resolution was filed by Green Century Capital Management.
“Recognizing the risks associated with destroying forests, a growing number of companies have adopted no-deforestation sourcing policies for key ingredients,” said Kate Kroll, Shareholder Advocate for Green Century Capital Management. “But, we are not stopping here – investors have the business case and the momentum so we will be working to ensure that agreements are implemented and laggards are pressured,” added Kroll.
Bunge is a key supplier to major consumer goods companies including Kellogg’s,* ConAgra,* and J.M Smuckers,* all of whom Green Century also encouraged to adopt similar forest and climate policies.
Green Century Capital Management is the investment advisor to the Green Century Funds and offers two environmentally and socially responsible funds, the Green Century Equity Fund and the Green Century Balanced Fund. Green Century works to curb climate change through fossil fuel free investing, reinvestment in sustainable companies, and advocating with companies to improve their environmental policies and supply chains. Green Century also is the only U.S. mutual fund company owned by environmental non-profits, the Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs).
*As of June 30, 2015, Bunge Limited comprised 0.00% and 0.18%, Kellogg Company comprised 0.00% and 0.23%, and the JM Smucker Company comprised 0.00% and 0.15% of the Green Century Balanced Fund and the Green Century Equity Fund, respectively. Other securities mentioned were not held in the portfolios of the Green Century Funds as of June 30, 2015. 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.
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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 Green Century Funds.
The Green Century Funds are distributed by UMB Distribution Services, LLC. 9/15