We wanted to share an update from Trillium Asset Management’s progressive work with environmental protection. Blue Summit utilizes Trillium’s ESG Global Equity Fund in our Fossil Fuel Free models.
Following a long shareholder advocacy effort, Bank of America committed in December of 2020 to not fund any oil drilling projects in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Similar moves had already been taken by major US banks like Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo. This is a huge victory for environmentally conscious investors wanting to make in impact with their investments. A major push in this effort has been from SRI mutual funds that we use at Blue Summit such as Trillium Asset Management. For this story, their in-house shareholder advocacy team dialogued with Bank of America executives, proposed shareholder resolutions at their board meetings, and coordinated pressure from Alaskan Native Peoples to finally garner this commitment. This type of action and engagement is what we believe separates passive SRI mutual funds from the truly active SRI funds we favor for our Blue Summit models.
In Trump’s last week in office, he auctioned leases to drill on more than 400,000 acres of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge land. However, with the flow of funds constricted from all major US banks and the Biden Administration expected to block key permits, the probability of the leases being utilized is decreasing. Trillium is also noteworthy for spearheading prior campaigns to protect irreplaceable Alaskan habitat. In 2014, Trillium led a coalition of investors to urge the EPA to protect Bristol Bay, Alaska (home to the world’s largest annual sockeye salmon run…and where Robert spends his summers!) from the proposed Pebble Mine. That campaign was successful, and the Pebble Mine project has continued to face challenges from environmentally active investors.
If you would like to dive deeper into these topics, send us a note to join our Insider Series for an in-depth quarterly SRI update.