Andrea Ranger, Shareholder Advocate, email@example.com, 781-349-2813;
Pam Podger, Communications Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 802-299-9495
Boston, May 15, 2023 – Green Century’s° shareholder proposals filed with The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. and The Travelers Companies, Inc. are going to a vote at the companies’ annual general meetings on May 17th and May 24th, respectively. Green Century filed the proposals in December requesting that the companies phase out underwriting new fossil fuel projects in line with the Paris Agreement’s aim to limit global warming to 1.5℃ over pre-industrial temperatures.
Green Century’s proposals raise concerns that The Hartford and Travelers are exposed to climate risk. Both companies underwrite policies meant to protect customers’ homes and businesses from the impacts of climate-driven catastrophes while simultaneously underwriting policies for the fossil fuel industry, whose emissions amplify the effects of those catastrophes.
“Insurers seem to think developing more gas and oil will somehow ease us into a clean energy transition, but developing new wells, pipelines, and other fossil fuel infrastructure is fundamentally incompatible with protecting people and the planet,” said Green Century Funds President Leslie Samuelrich. “Insurance should be about protection, not enabling systemic threats like climate change.”
Net-zero goals and insuring new renewables projects are not enough
While both The Hartford and Travelers have adopted partial underwriting exclusions on insuring thermal coal mining, coal plant construction and operation, and tar sands-related risks, neither company has agreed to limit underwriting new oil and gas projects, even in ecologically-sensitive areas like the Arctic. U.S. insurer Chubb*, the largest publicly-traded commercial property and casualty insurer in the world, announced in March that it will no longer underwrite oil and gas extraction projects in government-protected conservation areas and that it will press existing clients to cut methane leaks and emissions from flaring.
Although The Hartford set a goal to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 across its full range of operations, the company has not announced plans to address how its underwriting strategies support its net-zero commitment. Travelers has neither set a net-zero goal nor has it addressed the incongruency of insuring fossil fuel development with protecting its customers from severe weather enhanced by a warming climate.
“Both The Hartford and Travelers are insuring new renewable energy projects, and we applaud that,” said Green Century Shareholder Advocate Andrea Ranger. “But developing more renewables is only half the answer. Climate experts tell us that the other half is giving up extracting and burning even more oil and gas. For an industry that relies on science, I hope insurers will extract new oil and gas projects from their underwriting portfolios.”
An investment strategy that incorporates environmental, social and governance criteria may result in lower or higher returns than an investment strategy that does not include such criteria.
°Green Century Capital Management, Inc. (Green Century) is the investment advisor to the Green Century Funds (The Funds). The Green Century Funds are one of the first families of fossil fuel-free, environmentally responsible mutual funds. Green Century 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.
*As of March 31, 2023, Chubb Limited comprised 0.00%, 0.44%, and 0.00%, The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. comprised 0.00%, 0.12%, and 0.00%, and The Travelers Companies, Inc. comprised 1.12%, 0.22%, and 0.00% of the Green Century Balanced Fund, the Green Century Equity Fund, and the Green Century International Index Fund, respectively. As of the same date, other securities mentioned were not 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.
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 www.greencentury.com, email email@example.com, 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.
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. 5/23