Investors Recognize Some Progress at ExxonMobil, But Company Continues to Fall Short on Protecting Ecosystems
ExxonMobil must commit to protecting sensitive ecosystems and investing in renewable energy in order to protect shareholder value
Dallas, TX – At ExxonMobil's* annual meeting today, an institutional investor will take a rare moment to highlight a positive action taken by the company to protect the environment.
Green Century Capital Management ("Green Century") plans to announce that ExxonMobil has finally responded to environmental and investor concerns by withdrawing from Arctic Power, the lead lobby group pushing to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration and drilling. While other major oil companies such as Chevron*, ConocoPhilips* and BP* pulled out in the earlier part of this decade, ExxonMobil was resistant to withdrawing from the trade group until quietly doing so recently.
Environmental and investor groups have urged the oil industry, led by ExxonMobil, to halt its attempts to open up the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and instead focus efforts on developing renewable energy sources.
"We are encouraged to see that ExxonMobil is not publicly pushing for the development of the Arctic and that it has finally withdrawn from Arctic Power," said Larisa Ruoff, Director of Shareholder Advocacy for Green Century. "But ExxonMobil must recognize the reputational and financial risks associated with drilling in protected places and make a public commitment to refrain from entering fragile ecosystems. Instead of spending billions of dollars on exploration and drilling of traditional energy resources in pristine locations, the company should be developing clean energy for the future."
To encourage the protection of the Arctic Refuge from oil drilling, Green Century filed a shareholder resolution with ExxonMobil but withdrew it before the annual meeting in recognition of the company’s withdrawal from Arctic Power. According to Green Century, shareholders will continue to engage with the company to improve its policies on drilling in protected or sensitive ecosystems.
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, particularly the coastal plain region, is unique for its biological diversity. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, drilling in the coastal plain will not have an immediate impact on production or dramatically reduce oil pricing. The vast majority of the Arctic’s known productive land is already open to development. As a result, environmentalists are pushing to protect this small slice of national wilderness. At the same time, many investors believe production in the Refuge poses unnecessary risks to the companies involved.
"The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a national treasure that must be protected for future generations," said Sister Judy Byron of the Northwest Coalition for Responsible Investment. "Rather than destroying valuable ecosystems such as the Arctic, ExxonMobil and the oil industry should instead make a commitment to clean, renewable energy sources."
*As of March 31, 2009, neither the Green Century Balanced Fund nor the Green Century Equity Fund owned ExxonMobil Corporation, Chevron Corporation, ConocoPhillips Company or BP PLC. 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 holdings. 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 Green Century 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.
Distributed by UMB Distribution Services, LLC 5/09
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