Domini Social Investments Urges Shareholders to Support California Emissions BillSocially Responsible Investment Firm Says its Global Warming Campaign Reduces Shareholder Risk
New York, NY – Domini Social Investments, manager of the Domini Social Equity Fund (NASDQ: DSEFX), announced today that it has asked its California shareholders to contact California Governor Gray Davis urging him to sign a bill passed by the California legislature last week that would make California the first state in the nation to curb automotive emissions of greenhouse gases that cause global warming. The shareholder initiative by Domini follows up on a similar campaign the mutual fund firm launched last year, urging its 37,000 shareholders to send postcards to EPA Secretary Christine Todd Whitman to take action against global warming by curbing the release of greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide, from new automobiles.
“Global warming is the most pressing and potentially the most catastrophic environmental challenge we face,” says Amy Domini, Founder and Managing Principal of Domini Social Investments. “Unfortunately, President Bush has opted out the Kyoto Protocol and has reneged on his campaign promise to curb CO2 emissions. This means that ordinary citizens – consumers, investors, businesses and state governments – will have to step in where the federal government has failed. California’s leadership in passing auto emissions legislation is enormously important in this regard. We urge Governor Davis to sign this groundbreaking legislation, which will go a long way toward convincing other states, as well as federal lawmakers and the auto industry itself, to adopt more sensible priorities when it comes to climate change.”
The California legislation, if signed into law by Governor Davis, would be the nation’s first such effort to target carbon dioxide emissions and pressure the auto industry to design and produce cleaner vehicles.
Domini’s message to its California shareholders, which can also be accessed through the firm’s website (www.domini.com), urges them to contact Governor Davis, who has already said he is “strongly inclined” to sign the auto emissions legislation. “The California law could set a national trend,’ says the Domini email message. “Addressing global warming is not only good for the environment but good for investors, as we know that climate change poses tremendous risks for investors, and that companies’ performance on environmental issues affects competitiveness, profitability and shareholder value.”
“One of the goals of socially responsible investing is to promote more sustainable business strategies and economic policies while mitigating risk and optimizing performance,” continued Ms. Domini. “Our shareholders understand the connection between environmental performance and financial performance. It’s one of the reasons they invested with us in the first place. We will continue to make climate change a priority issue.”
The automobile industry opposes the California auto emissions bill, arguing that it would effectively ban SUVs, make automobiles more expensive, and constitutes a “driving tax” on consumers. Supporters of the measure dispute this, arguing that the technologies needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet the new mandate are already sitting in the automakers’ laboratories.
“The automobile industry needs stronger incentives to take responsible action, and the California legislation will provide that incentive if it is signed into law,” says Ms. Domini.
Domini Social Investments manages more than $1.8 billion in assets for individual and institutional investors seeking to create positive change by integrating social and environmental values into their investment decisions. Its flagship fund, the Domini Social Equity Fund (NASDQ: DSEFX), was the first socially and environmentally screened index fund and is the nation’s largest socially responsible index fund. The Fund includes companies with positive records in community involvement, the environment, diversity and employee relations, and excludes companies deriving significant revenues from alcohol, tobacco, gambling, nuclear power and weapons contracting. In addition to the Domini Social Equity Fund, the company also offers the Domini Social Bond Fund (NASDQ: DSBFX) and an FDIC-insured money market account (in partnership with ShoreBank), both of which focus on community economic development.
Additional information on Domini’s climate change initiative and other issues is available on the firm’s website, www.domini.com. Domini’s 7th annual Proxy Voting Guidelines & Shareholder Activism booklet is also available free of charge by calling 800-225-3863.