Sample letter to email HR
Your Human Resources manager is one of the main decision makers for choosing which 401(k) options are available. Get the ball rolling by emailing them now.
Dear Benefits Manager,
Can we please add a climate-friendly investment option to our 401(k) line-up? I'd like an option to invest our retirement savings without investing in fossil fuel companies, and to have the shares I own voted for a positive climate future. The inclusion of fossil fuel companies in our current plan options adds unnecessary risk and volatility to our holdings from a purely financial perspective.
In particular, the Sphere 500 Climate Fund (SPFFX) is an affordable option that avoids fossil fuels and major contributors to deforestation. When the ~415 companies it invests in have shareholder votes related to climate change, the fund votes in the long-term economic best interest of shareholders, which aligns with taking climate action.
The Department of Labor enacted new rules at the end of January making it clear that climate-friendly investing is allowed in 401(k)s, and saying that employee preferences can be taken into account when choosing investment options for plan lineups. This may be a good time to revisit our investment options, given what a mission-driven company we are.
Sample letter to your 401(k) provider
In a position of influence at a company that does not currently offer any climate-friendly investment options to employees? Use our template to request one today.
Dear 401(k) provider,
Can you please add a climate-friendly, and in particular fossil fuel-free, option to our 401(k) lineup? We would like to offer our employees a low-cost climate-friendly investment option so that they can choose to avoid the outsized risk and volatility associated with the fossil fuel sector.
I recommend a few resources that can help you review good options:
- fossilfreefunds.org - a website that provides visibility into how much fossil fuel company exposure mutual funds have. It is searchable by ticker. This website is run by the non-profit organization As You Sow.
- oursphere.org - the website of a public benefit corporation that provides financial products that are designed to make it easy for companies to offer climate-friendly investment options.
Please let me know what the next steps are.
Together you can make a difference.
Companies listen to their employees. If enough speak up wanting a change, it will happen. We'll be creating an activist kit to help you in your efforts.