When the advocates at Green Century learned that the largest wildlife refuge in the eastern United States was at risk from a proposed mining project, we sprang into action.
The threat: A proposed titanium dioxide mine near the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. If built, it could drain the swamp, harming the ecosystem and increasing the risk of catastrophic wildfire.
The Okefenokee, located in southeastern Georgia, is home to hundreds of plant and animal species, including alligators, black bears, and federally-protected species like the red-cockaded woodpecker. At 438,000 acres, the Okefenokee Swamp is one of the world’s largest intact freshwater wetlands and stores the equivalent of 95 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, equal to the greenhouse gas emissions from driving 20 million cars for a year.
Local activists were concerned that Chemours,* a chemical company spun off from DuPont,* would buy the proposed mine or the titanium produced there, devastating this unique ecosystem. Chemours is the only company in the United States that mines titanium dioxide, which is used as a white pigment for paint, sunscreen, and food coloring.
We contacted Chemours, and after our initial outreach yielded an unsatisfactory response, we filed a shareholder proposal with Chemours in collaboration with the Felician Sisters of North America, calling on the company to disavow mining near the Okefenokee.
After several more meetings and exchanges, we won protections for this unique wilderness area: Chemours stated publicly that it has no current or future interest in mining near the Okefenokee or in purchasing from such a mine, and stated a commitment to “ensure the value of the Okefenokee is maintained.“
While there’s still work to be done, advocates are optimistic that in light of this victory, any mine near this natural wonder can be defeated.
About Green Century Capital Management
°Green Century Capital Management, Inc. (Green Century) is the investment advisor to the Green Century Funds (the Funds).
*As of March 21, 2022, none of the securities mentioned were 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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The Green Century Funds are distributed by UMB Distribution Services, LLC. 235 W Galena Street, Milwaukee, WI 53212. 6/22