The Green Century Balanced Fund, which invests in the stocks and bonds of environmentally-committed companies, found that its fund has 66% less carbon intensity than the S&P 500 Index. In addition to being the first carbon footprint analysis for Green Century, the company asserts that it's the first for a US-based mutual fund.
The audit, released on July 22, comes weeks after the US House of Representatives passed legislation that would address climate change, also a first for Congress. The legislation includes a cap-and-trade system that would set limits on carbon emissions. The legislation has moved into the hands of the Senate.
“It looks like carbon regulation is beginning to be a reality for US corporations and, therefore, their shareholders,” said Erin Gray, director of marketing and strategic analysis for Green Century. “Forward-looking companies are already thinking about this issue and incorporating this data as they consider operational efficiencies. It can translate into significant financial impact.”
The company is targeting the media, financial advisers, and both individual and institutional investors, with the effort. Media outreach has already garnered coverage in the Boston Globe, Reuters, Investment News, and on a number of environmental Web sites, including Treehugger.com. The company is also using its partnerships, such as one with First Affirmative Financial Network (FAFN), to reach financial advisers at conferences and other events.
In addition to increasing investment, Green Century is also seeking to improve reporting standards and transparency on the issue of carbon emissions.
“With this report, Green Century is taking an important step toward more comprehensive carbon accounting,” said Gray. “We hope that by being the first, we'll set a new standard for transparency and disclosure for environmental data within the whole mutual fund industry.”