Boston, July 28, 2022 – As Tesla’s Aug. 4 annual general meeting nears, shareholders are considering a proposal co-filed by Green Century° with the Nathan Cummings Foundation. The proposal requests greater disclosure on how the leading electric car company’s lobbying and political activities will help limit global warming, in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement. Despite the clear role that Tesla’s electric vehicles, solar panels, and battery storage “powerwalls” are playing in the world’s transition away from fossil fuels to clean energy, the company’s climate lobbying policies are mostly opaque.
The S&P 500 ESG Index recently dropped Tesla from its list of companies. An S&P Dow Jones Indices representative cited contributing factors such as the “lack of published details related to its low carbon strategy or business conduct codes”. Meanwhile, Tesla’s peers, General Motors* and Ford*, scored far better on a recent ranking of corporate political disclosure and accountability than Tesla, which ranked in the bottom tier.
Investors see climate lobbying proposal as call for greater transparency at Tesla
“We would like Tesla to trailblaze the path to transition to a low-carbon future,” said Green Century President Leslie Samuelrich. “But its mercurial founder and CEO spoke out against federal support for electric vehicle charging stations, leading us to wonder — is Tesla lobbying against the tools we need to cut down on climate-changing pollution and meet critical global greenhouse gas reduction targets?”
Laura Campos, the Director of Corporate and Political Accountability at the Nathan Cummings Foundation said, “Tesla has lulled investors into thinking it doesn’t face climate risk. But the truth is, its business model depends on strong climate policy. Investors need more information to understand how Tesla’s lobbying aligns with its business model.”
Tesla’s annual general meeting will be held in Austin, Texas, on Aug. 4, at 4:30 pm Central Time. Green Century Shareholder Advocate Andrea Ranger said that Tesla has an opportunity to assuage its shareholders’ concerns.
“Tesla’s innovative and groundbreaking products are awe-inspiring, and we feel it’s a very good company overall. But we filed our shareholder proposal because we want Tesla to be more than very good. We want it to be great. One way Tesla can do that is by taking stock of its current lobbying policies and incorporating the many available best practices to ensure its governance, disclosures, and lobbying practices bolster our collective efforts to fight climate change.”
About Green Century Capital Management
°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, and diversified mutual funds in the United States. 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.
*As of June 30, 2022, Tesla, Inc. comprised 0.00%, 3.50%, and 0.00%; General Motors Company, comprised 0.00%, 0.00%, and 0.00%, and Ford Motor Company comprised 0.00%, 0.00%, 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.
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