Contact: Alex DeBlois, Green Century Capital Management, email@example.com, 617-482-0800
BOSTON, February 28, 2017 — Today, Green Century Capital Management announced it has organized 38 investors in the U.S. and globally, representing more than a half trillion dollars ($617.5 billion) in assets under management (AUM), to demand that companies reaffirm and extend zero deforestation commitments specific to Latin America.
Signatories of the Latin America Forest Protection Initiative are requesting that companies adopt a self-policing policy modeled on the region’s successful soy moratorium, which for years, helped reduce deforestation by two-thirds in the Brazilian Amazon. According to recent research however, deforestation rates have increased again as unsustainable deforestation practices have spread to other locations across the South American continent.
Forest destruction accounts for nearly the same amount of global greenhouse gas emissions as the entire global transportation sector. Given this fact, investors aim to revert these current trends and protect the Brazilian Amazon as well as other at-risk regions, such as the Gran Chaco and the Cerrado, that have faced continued or increased rates of deforestation that are contributing to climate change.
Specifically, the coalition of investors is demanding that commodity traders such as Archer Daniels Midland* and Bunge* as well as more public-facing companies including McDonald’s* and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.* drop suppliers utilizing unsustainable clear-cutting techniques that cause deforestation.
“Investors from the Netherlands to the U.S. are looking for companies that are proactively managing greenhouse gas emissions and the potential risks associated with deforestation, such as reputational damage and market access,” Leslie Samuelrich, President of Green Century Capital Management, said. “This coalition signals investor support for a zero deforestation program that can potentially protect investors globally,” Samuelrich added.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, South America experienced the largest loss of forest area between 1990 and 2015. When one considers that ten percent of all CO2 emissions from human activity stem from deforestation and other land-use change, the Latin America Forest Protection Initiative and the companies it seeks to engage have the opportunity to address climate change, arguably the world’s most consequential environmental issue, at a leading source.
The Latin America Forest Protection Initiative can help move companies to adopt commodity sourcing policies that commit them to the principles of no deforestation, no exploitation of workers or communities, as well as traceability. If adopted, the policy may also help countries in South America find ways to meet reduction targets of greenhouse gas emissions pledged under the Paris Agreement, ensure sustainable economic growth, and protect community rights and endangered species.
You can learn more about Green Century’s Forest Protection work, Sustainable Investment Strategy, and how you can make an impact with the power of your investments by visiting the Why Choose Green Century webpage or calling 1-800-934-7336.
About Green Century Capital Management
Green Century Capital Management is the investment advisor to the Green Century Funds and offers three environmentally and socially responsible funds, the Green Century MSCI International Index Fund, 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.
*As of December 31, 2016, Bunge Limited comprised 0.12%, 0.00%, and 0.00% and McDonald’s Corporation comprised 1.27%, 0.00%, and 0.00% of the Green Century Equity Fund, Green Century Balanced Fund, and Green Century MSCI International Index Fund respectively. Other securities mentioned were not held in the portfolios of any of the Green Century Funds as of December 31, 2016. 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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