STATEMENT: Travelers’* Shareholders Show Less Support for Green Century Climate Proposal in 2023
Andrea Ranger, Shareholder Advocate, firstname.lastname@example.org, 781-349-2813;
Pam Podger, Communications Director, email@example.com, 802-299-9495
Boston, May 26, 2023 – – Shareholders showed less support for a Green Century° proposal that asked Travelers to establish a deadline for phasing out underwriting new fossil fuel projects. Votes cast in favor reached 8.8%, less than the 2022 vote outcome of 13.2% for a similar Green Century proposal. Green Century filed the same proposal seeking underwriting restrictions on fossil fuel projects at a peer company, The Hartford*, earning 8.8% of the vote on May 17th.
Green Century’s proposals were prompted by concerns that Travelers’ underwriting strategies were not clearly aligned with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C. Global climate and energy experts at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) assert that expanding fossil fuel supply will likely push the world beyond the recommended limit of a 1.5°C temperature rise. The IPCC reports explicitly that exceeding the 1.5°C limit will likely result in dangerous physical risks, and, in some cases, irreversible natural resource damage.
While U.S. insurers, Chubb* and The Hartford, announced partial underwriting exclusions on insuring thermal coal mining and coal plant construction and operation in 2019, it took Travelers an extra two years to make a similar commitment. Additionally, it has yet to extend its exclusions to contractors, equipment or projects that support the development of new oil and gas wells, pipelines, and related fossil fuel infrastructure, even as climate experts declare the use of fossil fuels must dramatically decline.
In response to the vote, Green Century Funds President, Leslie Samuelrich said:
“Regardless of the vote, it’s important to keep this issue front and center for Travelers. We see no reason why it should enable new oil and gas supply in the face of the dire need to transition to a low-carbon economy. To its credit, Travelers has already started down the right path by underwriting new renewable energy projects, including offshore wind construction. However, it still needs to detour from the path of insuring the expansion of fossil fuels.”
Andrea Ranger, a shareholder advocate at Green Century commented:
“Covering the liability and casualty risks for owners, contractors, and equipment that will allow new methane gas, a.ka. “natural” gas, to flow or new oil for gasoline will only lock us into carbon emissions for years to come. In my view, Travelers has a duty not only to its shareholders, but to stakeholders in general, to pivot from 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, Chubb Limited comprised 0.00%, 0.44%, and 0.00%, 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 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