Peeved at US politicians? New free platform makes it easier to vote on climate change with your investments
A new free platform, Greener Change, lets you find scores and rankings on the carbon emissions and water usage of thousands of publicly-traded companies, enabling you to vote on climate change with your investments!
Last week, the United States announced its intention to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, an international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the adverse consequences of global warming. If successful, the U.S. would join Nicaragua (which found the nonbinding pledges in the Paris pact to be woefully inadequate) and Syria (whose leaders cannot travel freely abroad because of Western sanctions) as the only countries on Earth to not sign the agreement. On its face, this development is…not good.
Although climate hawks have good reason to be disappointed, we ought not to despair. While the announcement to withdraw from Paris cedes official American leadership on the paramount challenge of our time and undoubtedly poisons the relationship between the U.S. and the rest of the world, cities and states are stepping in to fill the role recently abdicated by the federal government with formal commitments of their own to reduce emissions and expand clean energy capacity. Perhaps even more importantly, the world’s largest corporations — including those based in the U.S. — overwhelmingly support the Paris Agreement; the most progressive companies have even adopted science-based emission targets to limit global temperature rise to 2 degrees or less.
Whereas our infrequent votes at the ballot box every few years may not reliably deliver consistent progress, we still maintain the ability to affect meaningful change by voting with our wallets on a daily basis. But how to distinguish between the most environmentally-enlightened companies and their knuckle-dragging peers?
Conveniently, this week Greener Change is announcing the launch of its new website: a uniquely free source of information on corporate sustainability open to the general public. With our new platform, you can find scores and rankings on the environmental performance of thousands of publicly-traded companies based on factors such as:
- carbon emissions
- clean energy adoption
- water usage
- and much more
We hope the public finds this to be a valuable resource in determining which companies are taking strong action on climate change, which are merely greenwashing, and which are total laggards.
By promoting a greater degree of transparency within our financial markets, we hope to encourage and enable conscientious investors, consumers, and employees to take individual action, for example, by: (1) weighting companies with the highest environmental ratings more heavily in investment portfolios and divesting from those with the lowest, (2) petitioning upper management (as employees) or investor relations (as investors) for the disclosure of environmental accounting metrics at companies that have yet to do so, (3) purchasing products and services from the best environmental performers while avoiding those from the worst.
If you happen to find our new site useful to this end, we hope that you’ll help spread the word about Greener Change to any friends, family, and colleagues whom you think may be similarly interested. And if you really like what you see, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to help sustain our mission and scale our impact: with your generous support, we’ll be able to add new features and expand the amount of information available on our platform over time. Thanks so much in advance! Onward!
Matt Aitken is the co-founder and President of Greener Change. Join the Greener Change community at www.greenerchange.org, like them on Facebook, connect with them on LinkedIn, and follow them on Twitter.