Green Century Capital Management Announces Agreement with Pulte Homes, Inc. to Disclose Political Contributions
February 25, 2010 - Green Century Capital Management, Inc., the Boston-based investment adviser to the environmentally responsible Green Century Funds, announced today that Pulte Homes, Inc.,* agreed to disclose its political spending with corporate funds. The company also agreed to implement board oversight of its political spending. Pulte joins the 72 other companies that have agreed to political transparency and accountability, according to the Center for Political Accountability (CPA).
According to Green Century, Pulte has agreed to adopt comprehensive reporting of its soft money contributions and payments to trade associations and other tax-exempt organizations used for political purposes. The agreement resulted from a dialogue Green Century had with the company in conjunction with the CPA, a non-partisan advocacy organization leading the political disclosure effort. Pulte has agreed to meet existing best practice in this area and will be listed as a “Corporate Leader” on the CPA’s website.
In light of the recent Supreme Court ruling in the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which permits corporations to spend freely on independent advertising for and against political candidates, many investors believe this type of disclosure is more important than ever.
“The Supreme Court decision is expected to open the floodgates to vastly increased corporate political spending, meaning accountability and transparency measures are critically important to protect investors from risk,” said Larisa Ruoff, Director of Shareholder Advocacy for Green Century Capital Management. “As shareholders, we believe comprehensive disclosure of political spending is necessary to ensure corporate funds are not directed toward policy objectives that harm the long-term interests of the company.”
Investors are concerned that the Citizens United decision may increase pressure on corporations to get involved in the political process. “It is imperative that companies protect themselves from the pressure to give and from ill-considered political spending,” said Bruce Freed, the CPA’s President. “Now it is even more important that companies are accountable for their corporate political spending. Companies that fail to do so put themselves at risk,” he continued.
In response to the Supreme Court’s decision, Green Century joined nearly 50 other investor groups in a letter campaign to persuade companies in the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index to disclose all political contributions they make with corporate funds. The letter also calls on corporate boards to approve and review all company political donations.
*As of December 31, 2009, Pulte Homes, Inc. was not held by the Green Century Balanced Fund and comprised 0.07% of the Green Century Equity Fund. Portfolio composition will change due to ongoing management of the Funds. Please refer to the Green Century Funds website for current information regarding the Funds' portfolio holding. These holdings are subject to risk as described in the Funds' prospectus. References to specific investments should not be construed as a recommendation of the securities by the Funds, their administrator, or their distributor.
Green Century Capital Management is an investment advisory firm focused on environmentally responsible investing. Founded by a partnership of non-profit environmental advocacy organizations in 1991, Green Century's mission is to provide people who care about a clean, healthy planet the opportunity to use the clout of their investment dollars to encourage environmentally responsible corporate behavior. Green Century believes that shareholder advocacy is a critical component of responsible investing and actively advocates for greater corporate environmental accountability.
You should consider the Funds' investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses carefully before investing. For a prospectus that contains this and other information about the Funds, call 1-800-93-GREEN, visit www.greencentury.com or email email@example.com. Please read the prospectus carefully before investing.
The Green Century Funds are distributed by UMB Distribution Services, LLC 2/10
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