Green Century urges Nucor to end political spending secrecy
May 13, 2010 — Today, Nucor Corporation* shareholders will vote on whether their company should comprehensively disclose and have its board oversee all of its corporate political spending. The Green Century Equity Fund filed the shareholder proposal to end the secrecy that hides the company’s direct and indirect political spending with corporate funds.
The proposal was one of nearly 50 resolutions filed in 2010 in conjunction with the efforts of the non-partisan Center for Political Accountability (CPA), whose mission is to bring transparency and accountability to corporate political spending.
Currently, Nucor does not provide comprehensive disclosure of its corporate political spending. “This lack of transparency makes it nearly impossible for investors to determine if the company’s expenditures pose risks that could threaten shareholder value,” said Larisa Ruoff, Green Century Capital Management's Director of Shareholder Advocacy.
While companies are required to report some direct giving at the state and local level, much political spending is unreported. For example, trade associations, which may act as conduits for corporate spending, are not required to report itemized funds they receive that are spent on political activity, including ads, and many do not disclose even the names of their corporate members. As a result, hundreds of millions of corporate dollars flow into the political process, including state judicial races and initiative and referenda campaigns, often without controls, board oversight, or public knowledge.
“In light of the recent Citizens United Supreme Court decision, we expect trade associations to play even more of a role in the political process. This will put individual companies under increased pressure to spend politically and it increases the risk associated with this spending.” said Ruoff. She continued, “Given these new conditions, we believe it is more important than ever before to have corporate governance standards in place to protect the company and shareholders.”
Green Century is part of a coalition of nearly 40 investor groups that urge companies to take similar steps. To date, 75 S&P 500 companies and half of S&P 100 firms have agreed to implement political disclosure and accountability, according to the CPA.
*As of March 31, 2010,the Nucor Corporation was not held by the Green Century Balanced Fund and comprised 0.26% 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.
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. Investments are not FDIC insured, nor are they deposits of or guaranteed by a bank or any other entity, so they may lose value.
The Green Century Funds are distributed by UMB Distribution Services, LLC 5/10
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