Many of us who are fortunate enough to have funds with Vanguard may be upset to hear that it is one of the world’s biggest investors in coal, oil, and gas. But the good news is that when we act together strategically, we can have a major impact and change business as usual. Vanguard is unique because it doesn’t have shareholders; instead, it’s owned by its customers. That means those of us who invest with Vanguard have a special role to play in the Vanguard S.O.S. campaign. Together, we can ensure that Vanguard takes responsibility for driving climate change and deals with its climate problem.
In her blog post for Vanguard customers, EQAT interim campaign director, Eileen Flanagan, wrote, “As soon as Earth Quaker Action Team announced that we had joined the international campaign to pressure Vanguard to become a climate leader (instead of a laggard), we started hearing from Quakers and others who were Vanguard customers, eager to move their money to funds that are not financing climate catastrophe. We are heartened by this desire to invest with integrity, while being clear that the impact of our efforts will be much greater if we wait, organize, and take action together.” Read more of her blog post here.
So, don’t move your money… yet! We invite you to take action with us by:
- Coming to our next action – You can find a list of our upcoming events here. EQAT believes that nonviolent direct action is a crucial element in winning a more just and sustainable economy, as it has been to every major social movement over the last century.
- Letting us know that you’re a Vanguard customer by signing up on our form here – EQAT is collecting information on how much collective money people in our network invest with Vanguard, to be able to tell Vanguard that we are part of a group that holds an unignorable amount with the company. Only one core member of EQAT has access to this list, holding people’s individual financial information in the highest confidence.
- Sending a message to Vanguard – You can use this tool here to tell Vanguard that as a customer you want climate safe products as the default option for investors.
- Meeting with your investment advisor to ask that Vanguard deal with its climate problem – You can use this tool here to prepare for your meeting.
Sometimes people are told misinformation about why Vanguard is powerless to act. Please see our FAQs for answers to the concerns you may hear about our approach. Still have questions? You can write to us here.
Although we are suggesting that people wait to move their money out of Vanguard, anyone who does decide to move to an alternative option can search for investment products on As You Sow's Fossil Free Funds website. They can still have an impact while moving their money by setting up a meeting with their asset manager beforehand to explain why they’re moving their money and the need for climate safe investing options.