Investors Have a Fiduciary Responsibility to Combat the Climate Crisis

SOURCE: GreenMoney Journal


by Jessye Waxman, Green Century Capital Management 

As a shareholder advocate for an environmentally-responsible mutual fund company, I directly engage companies on their supply chain strategies and have successfully convinced them to adopt practices that have real-world impacts that protect a triple bottom line. I’ve collaborated with Aramark and Tyson Foods to develop robust no-deforestation commitments, and have successfully pressed Kroger, the largest grocery chain in the US, to adopt a no-deforestation policy that will cover its private label products.

More broadly, investor engagement is changing the corporate landscape on sustainability: more than 480 companies have committed to addressing deforestation in their supply chains. But with forest fires blazing and tropical forest conservation instrumental to meeting the Paris Agreement, it’s clear that more investors need to be doing more.

Retail and Institutional investors must therefore not only consider long-term climate and environmental risks as fundamentally material, but must act accordingly. This requires a shift in thinking about the prioritization of ESG and using all the tools of active ownership to hold portfolio companies accountable for mitigating the environmental and social harms that have traditionally been treated as externalities.

Simply: more institutional investors need to embrace a more comprehensive approach to climate risk. Climate change will affect all businesses—from increasing public pressure to changing resource availability to disruption of work—making it material to all companies in one way or another. Climate risk assessment should therefore be integrated throughout all portfolios, not just ESG funds, and climate-relevant factors must be considered on-par with, if not supersede, short-term financial factors.

Read Jessye's full article here


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Contact Info:

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KEYWORDS: corporate governance, Women in Finance, Green Century Funds, Leslie Samuelrich, The SRI Conference, sustainability, Sustainable, impact, Investing, Wall Street, Green, Economy, circular economy, financial planning, advisors, money managers, Democrats, climate change, Finance, personal finance, Fiduciary Responsibility, Davos, millennials, environmental risks, materiality, institutional investors, Deforestation, agriculture, Triple Bottom Line, esg, stakeholders, Greta Thunberg, Shareholders


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