Boston, August 4, 2022 – On Thursday, Green Century° and Nathan Cummings Foundation received strong support for their shareholder proposal requesting that Tesla establish lobbying policies aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement. However, the proposal failed to capture a majority of the votes cast.
The proposal asked Tesla to conduct an evaluation describing whether its lobbying and policy influence activities (direct and through trade associations and social welfare and nonprofit organizations) align with the Paris Agreement’s goal to limit average global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.
Tesla has dominated U.S. electric vehicle sales and become one of the largest solar technology providers in the country. However, despite its value to environmentally-responsible investors, it has attracted criticism due its mixed performance on corporate governance issues. In December, Tesla’s founder and CEO Elon Musk spoke out against federal support for electric vehicle charging stations even though charging infrastructure is critical to growing the electric vehicle market.
Green Century President Leslie Samuelrich issued this statement about the vote:
“Although we didn’t attain a majority, we’re still pleased with the outcome of this vote. We believe it shows that investors are seeking better insight into the nuts and bolts of how Tesla is making policy and lobbying decisions. While it makes sense that a company whose core business is designing, manufacturing and selling electric vehicles, solar panels and battery storage would support the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming, it’s not clear whether Tesla has articulated this goal in its direct or indirect lobbying. We think it’s time Tesla did.”
Green Century Shareholder Advocate Andrea Ranger added:
“We’re proud to be Tesla investors and support a company that plays a leading role in a much-needed transition to a future powered by clean energy. Much to its credit, Tesla has grown rapidly in the last several years. However, we seem to be seeing growing pains. Tesla does not appear to be attending to business fundamentals, such as disclosing the policies that guide how it uses its influence. Given the sometimes unpredictable nature of Tesla’s high-profile CEO, we find it even more essential that the board and management establish policy guardrails. We’ll continue to keep the pressure on Tesla until we see measurable change on this issue.”
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% 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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