First U.S. Mutual Fund to Report Carbon Footprint

Leading the way for other mutual funds, Green Century Balanced Fund released a report on its carbon footprint today. The analysis was independently conducted by Trucost, a leading environmental data and analysis firm. According to the report, the carbon intensity (or carbon emissions per million dollars of revenue) is two-thirds lower than that of the S&P 500(r) Index. Green Century Balanced Fund is also leading other sustainability and socially responsible investment funds, according to the report. Trucost has analyzed sixteen other investment funds who are dedicated to sustainability and social responsibility, and Green Century Balanced Fund’s carbon footprint is almost half the average of these funds.

Why is Green Century Balance Fund’s carbon intensity so low?

One major finding presented by the report is that the fund’s emissions are low because it underweights or avoids the utilities, oil and gas, and basic resources sectors. As the fund states, “The Green Century Balanced Fund invests in stocks and bonds of environmentally responsible corporations of various sizes, including small, medium, and large companies.” The carbon footprint report seems to confirm that claim and does not leave much room for investments that stray from that statement.

What is the importance of doing a carbon footprint analysis?

Margie Alt, Executive Director of Environment America, states, “Carbon emissions resulting from the production and use of fossil fuels inflict costly damages on our environment, health, and society. Every additional dollar we spend on fossil fuels buys us more global warming, more smog, and more asthma attacks. Investors should focus on options like the Green Century Balanced Fund that are free of fossil fuel companies and their detrimental impacts.”

Clearly, the firm is dedicated to green investment, but it is also aware that this will be an important issue for shareholders in coming years, and even today. The President of Green Century Funds, Kristina Curtis, states, “The debate over climate change is over. With emissions restrictions pending in the U.S. and internationally, we believe it is in the best interest of our shareholders to recognize and understand the carbon footprint of the Fund’s investments.” She also says that the analysis will encourage companies to care about their carbon emissions. “This information will better inform investment decisions and will strategically enhance our efforts to encourage companies to further measure, report, and reduce their carbon emissions.”

More on the carbon footprint report put out by Green Century Balanced Fund can be found here.

Image credit: zzzack via flickr under a Creative Commons license

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