Andrea Ranger, Shareholder Advocate, email@example.com, 781-349-2813;
Pam Podger, Communications Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 802-299-9495
Boston, May 22, 2023 – The Hartford announced the vote results on Friday for a Green Century° proposal asking the company to establish a deadline for phasing out underwriting new fossil fuel projects. Votes cast in favor reached 8.8%, the same as the 2022 vote outcome of 8.8% for a similar Green Century proposal. Green Century filed the same proposal seeking underwriting restrictions on fossil fuel projects at peer company, Travelers, whose annual meeting of shareholders will be held on May 24th.
Green Century’s proposals were prompted by reports authored by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) indicating how expanding fossil fuel supply is likely to push the world beyond the recommended limit of a 1.5°C temperature rise. The IPCC explicitly reports that exceeding the 1.5°C limit will likely result in dangerous physical risks, and, in some cases, irreversible natural resource damage.
While The Hartford did adopt partial underwriting exclusions for insuring thermal coal mining, coal plant construction and operation, and tar sands-related risks in 2019, it hasn’t extended its exclusions beyond the most heavily-polluting fuels – even when climate experts say use of fossil fuels must dramatically decline. In 2022, the company adopted a goal to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, but has yet to launch new initiatives in support of its goal.
In response to the vote, Green Century Funds President, Leslie Samuelrich said:
“Regardless of the vote outcome, Green Century will continue to press The Hartford to fully address its climate risk. Despite its existing exclusions and its net-zero by 2050 goal, we’d like to see The Hartford extend its underwriting exclusions to other dirty fossil fuels, including new oil and gas projects. Insurance companies have a critical role to play in steering us toward a low-carbon economy, but supporting new oil and gas wells, pipelines, and transportation infrastructure will likely lock us into carbon emissions that we simply can’t afford.”
Andrea Ranger, a shareholder advocate at Green Century commented:
“Covering the liability and casualty risks of new oil and gas projects is antithetical to protecting the rest of The Hartford’s clients from climate risk. In light of the company’s net-zero goal, I believe Green Century Funds’ proposal is a reasonable request to phase out underwriting new risks for an industry that’s contributed the most to climate change.”
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, The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. comprised 0.00%, 0.12%, and 0.00% and The Travelers Companies, Inc. comprised 1.12%, 0.22%, 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.
The percentage in favor was calculated by (i) dividing the number of votes in support of the proposal by (ii) the sum of the number of votes voted in support of and against the proposal. Abstentions and broker non-votes were not included in the calculation.
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 email@example.com, or call 1-800-934-7336. Please read the Prospectus carefully before investing.
Stocks will fluctuate in response to factors that may affect a single company, industry, sector, country, region or the market as a whole and may perform worse than the market. Foreign securities are subject to additional risks such as currency fluctuations, regional economic and political conditions, differences in accounting methods, and other unique risks compared to investing in securities of U.S. issuers. Bonds are subject to a variety of risks including interest rate, credit, and inflation risk.
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