Green Century Withdraws Proposal After Vertex Pharmaceuticals* Commits to Setting First GHG Reduction Goal
Contact: Kyle W. Kempf, Green Century Capital Management, firstname.lastname@example.org, 617-482-0800
BOSTON, May 22, 2019 – Green Century has withdrawn its shareholder proposal with Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Vertex), after it committed to setting its first company-wide goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the end of 2019.
“Vertex’s mission is to discover life-saving drugs, so I’m pleased they’re taking their first steps to help save the planet,” said Green Century President Leslie Samuelrich. “Unfortunately, there is no single cure for climate change. We need a holistic approach, which includes companies, like Vertex, reducing their greenhouse gas emissions”
As a result of Green Century’s proposal, Vertex agreed to establish a range of global, long-term environmental goals by the end of 2019, including an absolute reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Vertex also plans to provide ample disclosure for stakeholders to measure its progress by disclosing its direct and indirect emissions on its website, while reporting to the CDP Climate Change survey annually beginning in 2020.
Prior to this new commitment, Vertex did not have a policy to reduce the climate impact of their operations or publicly report on climate risk management strategies through forums such as CDP, unlike many of its peers in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries.
According to a 2018 report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world must reduce greenhouse gas emissions 45% by 2030 and reach net zero emissions by 2050 in order to limit average global temperature rise to 1.5°C and avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change.
As Green Century pointed out in its proposal, the possible effects of climate change pose a material risk to Vertex, given its headquarters location in Boston’s Seaport District, which is particularly vulnerable to coastal flooding as a result of rising sea levels. A 2016 report by the City of Boston predicted that the city could see an 8-inch rise in sea levels by 2030 and a 36-inch rise by 2070, and cited the Seaport District as the most vulnerable part of the city.
About Green Century Capital Management
Green Century is the first family of fossil fuel free, responsible, and diversified mutual funds in the United States. Green Century invests in sustainable companies, hosts an award-winning and in-house shareholder advocacy program, and is the only mutual fund company in the United States wholly owned by environmental and public health nonprofit organizations.
*As of March 31, 2019, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. comprised 0.00%, 0.39%, and 0.00% of the Green Century Balanced Fund, the Green Century Equity Fund, and the Green Century International Index 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.
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