STATEMENT: SEC upholds Chubb’s* request to block Green Century shareholder proposal from 2023 proxy ballot
Andrea Ranger, Shareholder Advocate, firstname.lastname@example.org, 781-349-2813
Pam Podger, Communications Director, email@example.com, 860-822-3887
Boston, May 2, 2023 – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a ruling In March giving Chubb Limited permission to block Green Century Funds’ shareholder proposal from its 2023 proxy ballot. The proposal requests Chubb adopt a policy for the time-bound phase out of underwriting new coal, oil, and gas projects. Green Century° filed a similar proposal in 2022, asking for an immediate cessation of underwriting new projects. Chubb challenged last year’s proposal, but, at that time, the SEC ruled the proposal could appear on Chubb’s 2022 ballot.
Chubb is the largest publicly-traded property and casualty insurance company and is actively involved in underwriting oil and gas project risks. For example, Chubb has previously underwritten policies for controversial fossil fuel infrastructure projects, such as the Trans Mountain pipeline. A 2022 report exposed Chubb as a major underwriter of liability and transportation risks for offshore oil drilling operations for Petrobras – Brazil’s national oil company – which has the fifth largest oil and gas expansion plans of any oil and gas company in the world.
“We’re disappointed that Chubb did not want its shareholders to vote on this issue and that the SEC supported Chubb’s argument, claiming that our proposal requires shareholders to ‘probe too deeply’ into Chubb’s core business. We think shareholders understand insurance is essential for coal, oil and gas companies, and many do not believe increasingly expensive drilling and its associated emissions are good for business,” said Green Century Funds President Leslie Samuelrich. “That’s why we’ve asked Chubb to phase out insurance for new projects that will likely create decades of greenhouse gas emissions. It’s hard to square how Chubb enables carbon pollution while simultaneously issuing policies to protect people’s homes and businesses from the impacts of climate change.”
Prior to the SEC’s ruling, Chubb had announced new underwriting criteria for oil and gas extraction projects requiring existing clients to reduce methane emissions. Additionally, Chubb said it would no longer provide coverage for oil and gas projects in state- or nationally-designated protected areas and in certain other conservation areas. Green Century Funds welcomed action but also critiqued the new policy, indicating that its potential for reducing greenhouse emissions was unclear.
“For two years, we have been pressing Chubb to uphold its duty to protect its shareholders and customers from climate risk,” said Green Century Shareholder Advocate Andrea Ranger. “We believe helping the fossil fuel industry is completely contrary to its fiduciary and prudential responsibilities. These actions aid and abet an industry that has done the most to contribute to a warming planet. Insurers like Chubb have to show more leadership because they are on the front lines of experiencing climate risk.”
An investment strategy that incorporates environmental, social and governance criteria may result in lower or higher returns than an investment strategy that does not include such criteria.
°Green Century Capital Management, Inc. (Green Century) is the investment advisor to the Green Century Funds (The Funds). The Green Century Funds are one of the first families of fossil fuel-free, environmentally responsible mutual funds. Green Century 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 March 31, 2023, Chubb Limited comprised 0.00%, 0.44%, and 0.00% of 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.
You should carefully consider the Fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses before investing. To obtain a Prospectus that contains this and other information about the Funds please visit www.greencentury.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 1-800-934-7336. Please read the Prospectus carefully before investing.
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This information has been prepared from sources believed reliable. The views expressed are as the date of this writing and are those of the Advisor to the Funds.
The Green Century Funds are distributed by UMB Distribution Services, LLC. 235 W Galena Street, Milwaukee, WI 53212. 5/23