Tell the SEC to Stop Wall Street Greenwashing Now!

Sustainable investing is getting more and more popular, and investors want products that align with their needs and values. But Wall Street fund managers often use misleading names like “Green” or “Socially Responsible” to market products with investments that cause climate change, mistreat workers, or perpetuate racial inequality.

The SEC is proposing rules to require certain types of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG)-focused funds and advisers to provide more specific disclosures in marketing and ad materials, fund prospectuses, and annual reports based on the ESG strategies they claim to pursue.

These changes are an important part of stopping Wall Street’s grift and getting you the information you need to invest in line with your values and needs. We need to show that we support the SEC and encourage them to finalize and enforce these rules.

Add your name tell the SEC to stop corporate greenwashing now!

Full Petition Text:

To the Securities and Exchange Commission and SEC Chair Gensler:

The current practice of permitting funds to use misleading names like “Green” or “Socially Responsible”–with no required standards or disclosures attached–makes it difficult for investors to determine whether a fund actually meets their needs and matches their investment goals related to ESG issues like climate change, fair treatment of workers, and racial and economic justice.

That’s why we strongly support the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s recent proposals [Environmental, Social, and Governance Disclosures for Investment Advisers and Investment Companies (87 FR 36654; File No: S7-17-22) and Investment Company Names (87 FR 36594; File No: S7-16-22)] and encourage you to maintain the following provisions:

  • Funds that are not focused on sustainability factors should not be allowed to use sustainability-themed names;

  • Funds should not be allowed to use a name like “ESG,” “Sustainable,” or “Green” unless the label genuinely reflects a major focus of their investment strategy;

  • Funds with names like “ESG,” “Sustainable,” or “Green” should describe how they define those terms and their strategies, including how they engage with companies to improve their sustainability performance and what impact they are seeking to achieve; and

  • Environmentally-focused funds should disclose the full set of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the companies they invest in, including Scopes 1, 2, and 3 emissions, without taking into account carbon offsets or credits.

We also encourage the SEC to include the following recommendation in the final rule:

  • Funds should list their top 3 investments in a prominent location in their description to investors; and

  • ESG funds that do not have a strategy around GHG emissions should state so affirmatively in their prospectus.

The SEC’s proposed mandatory, standardized disclosures are a vital step towards protecting and providing investors the information they need to make well-informed investment decisions. We appreciate the opportunity to comment on and strengthen these SEC rules.