For over twenty-five years, Green Century Capital Management has been a leader in shareholder advocacy. This year, Green Century focused on two themes: sustainable agriculture and climate change. As part of its climate change advocacy, Green Century has been diligently working to promote plant-based proteins—as well as the preservation of tropical forests, the reduction of food waste, and a renewable energy transformation.
Plant-based proteins have received media attention in recent years due to the growing awareness that meat production is one of the main drivers of deforestation in the tropics. Globally, the production of livestock for human consumption generates 14% of the emissions that cause climate change.
By working with investors and agricultural companies, Green Century has persuaded large companies to start a venture fund to research alternative, plant-based proteins. The venture fund has purchased a stake in Beyond Meat, a leader in alternative proteins.
Green Century has also been driving a public conversation on food waste, which occupies 1/5 of the space in U.S. landfills and takes a $200-billion-dollar toll on our economy. Green Century advocacy efforts with Amazon (which now owns Whole Foods) on the topic of food waste were so successful that they were covered by the Wall Street Journal.
On the sustainable agriculture front, Green Century’s advocacy on pollinators has achieved tangible results. Green Century worked with JM Smucker, which owns brands like Folgers, Pillsbury, Jif, and Smuckers, to step up their efforts to reduce harm to pollinators. The company agreed to additional transparency and disclosure around its pesticide use throughout their supply chain. This means that farmers who want to sell berries, fruit, and other products to the companies will need to disclose what pesticides they use and why.
This is all a major step forward and wouldn’t have been possible without the hard and dedicated work of the folks at Green Century. It’s why we proudly include their funds in our fossil fuel free portfolios.