Verdical Group Divests From Fossil Fuels, Tobacco, Prisons, and Firearms
By Drew Shula
I could not be more excited to announce that Verdical Group has officially divested from fossil fuels, tobacco, prisons, and firearms. I started a company to do things differently and prove that for-profit companies can be forces for good. Our divestment decision is part of that journey. I also simultaneously did this in my family’s personal investment account.
We vote with our dollars every day. What do you want your money supporting? I believe that if you’re truly dedicated to helping solve the climate crisis, then you can’t invest in big oil companies that are inherently self-interested in maintaining the status quo, carbon-intensive economy. Divestment is one of the most impactful things you can do to help change the world for the better and support our inevitable low-carbon economy of the future.
We’re not a huge company (15 team members), but we do have an investment account with Charles Schwab. The account was invested primarily in a variety of mutual funds. Mutual funds often have 100+ stocks within them including companies we didn’t want to be supporting.
Divesting can seem complicated, but it’s really pretty simple. If you have your money invested in the stocks of big oil companies (Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Shell, bp, etc.) you are funding and supporting their pollution. It’s the same thing if your money is in mutual funds that have these stocks in them.
There are now many options for ESG and sustainability-focused mutual funds that screen out these companies that hurt people and the environment. Here are the stock tickers for some of the funds we’re now invested in if you want to check them out: GRID, SUSB, ICLN, DESIX, DFSPX, DFSIX. Let me know if you have others you like!
DIVEST IN 3 SIMPLE STEPS:
- Call your financial advisor and tell them you want to do this. This is the exact language I used, “Please eliminate from our portfolio all holdings for investments in companies that generate revenue from company-owned reserves (including oil, coal, and natural gas reserves), the operation of private prisons, and the sale of either civilian firearms or tobacco.”
- Sell (or divest) your current holdings you want to eliminate.
- Buy new holdings for things you want to support.
I’ve been learning about divestment over the past couple of years in big part thanks to Bill McKibben – check out this article to learn more.
Money talks. Whether for your company or in your personal life, start the process to divest today.