People, wildlife and sustainable ecosystems depend on clean sources of water. To ensure there is enough clean water to meet these needs, Green Century is pressing companies to reduce their contamination of waterways and to decrease their overall use of water so there will be plentiful supplies for the current and future generations.
- Lead Issue: Protecting Water from Hydraulic Fracturing (Fracking)
Five years ago, when Green Century started working on this issue, companies were not only entirely silent on the problem but staunchly opposed to providing disclosure. Through the course of our efforts, we have had significant success in getting companies to start to report their toxic chemical and water use.
This year, we are focusing on getting companies to reduce their use of toxic chemicals and water.
During fracking operations, companies inject massive amounts of highly pressurized water, chemicals, and sand into the ground to create “fractures” through which underground gas can be extracted from tight rock formations. Compounding the problem, natural gas companies enjoy exemptions from key federal safeguards including the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Clean Water Act.
Given the significant environmental and social impacts associated with fracking, investors have the right and responsibility to engage the companies we hold.
- Reducing Water Use by Electric Power Plants
Electric utilities use vast quantities of water, accounting for about 40% of the fresh water withdrawals in the U.S. Green Century is encouraging electric utilities to measure their water footprint and reduce their water withdrawals.