Institutional investors are calling on Nike, Inc. to withdraw from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce because of the group's "particularly antagonistic role in climate negotiations."
In a letter sent to Nike President and CEO Mark Parker on Tuesday, shareholders led by Green Century Capital Management are calling on Nike to pull out of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce because of the trade organization's intense opposition to climate legislation.
Nike is a founding member of Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP), actively supports climate legislation, and has made multiple public statements that demonstrate company's commitment to sustainable business.
Green Century Funds commended Nike for the leadership position it has taken on environmental issues such as climate change, but took issue with the companies unwillingness to challenge the Chamber of Commerce views which run counter to those of BICEP.
"We have been following Nike’s responses to the Chamber’s activities and were pleased to see that the company has publicly announced its disagreement with the Chamber on the specific issue of climate change," writes Kristina Curtis President of Green Century Equity Fund. "However, as a long-term shareholder of the company, we are dismayed that Nike has not taken a more aggressive stance despite this clear misalignment of its positions with those of the Chamber on climate."
Yesterday, Exelon, one of the largest electric utilities in the country, joined PG&E and PNM Resources by announcing they would be leaving the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over the group's staunch—and expensive—opposition to climate legislation.
"While we understand that companies join trade associations for many reasons, we firmly believe that Nike’s publicly stated positions on climate, founding membership in BICEP, and strong sustainability reputation should compel the company to follow PG&E’s and PNM Resources’ lead," writes Green Century's Curtis.
Perhaps the largest and best-funded lobbying organization in the country, the Chamber of Commerce has said it will spend $100 million fighting climate legislation in Washington.
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