On April 10th from 10.30am - 12pm, local climate groups led by 350MASS MetroWest are joining together with citizens of all ages in Wellesley Center to make the MetroWest community aware of the huge impact that the banking industry has on climate crisis and environmental justice. All are welcome to join the rally, specifics are here.
“As a new Chase Bank prepares to open for business in Wellesley, it is an ideal time to let passersby know that JPMorgan Chase Bank provides far more overall funding worldwide for both current and new fossil fuel projects than any other bank in the world,” said Rick Devereux, 350MASS MetroWest.
Other banks in town scoring low on the corporate social and environmental responsibility list due to fossil fuel financing include Citi, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, RBC, and TD Bank.
In spite of the severe warnings from climate scientists and worldwide agreements for lowering carbon emissions in the 2016 Paris Climate Accord, Chase has since funded the carbon-polluting fossil fuel industry with more than $268 billion. Fossil fuels, especially from tar sands, are a major cause of climate chaos.
“Banks are making profits at the expense of the environment and their policies often negatively impact communities of color the most,” said Wellesley College student Suzanna Schofield.
The good news is that the fossil fuel sector is only a small percentage of Chase’s portfolio, so the option to stop its support is within reach.
The demonstrators will be asking the community to learn more, share their knowledge and consider cutting up credit cards, closing accounts and selling shares of banks that support activities that fuel the climate crisis.
Masks and physical distancing required. Rain date April 17th.
Last week after the Massachusetts Legislature put its climate bill on the Governor’s desk for the second time, Governor Baker signed it into law. This sweeping and historic statute is the first piece of climate legislation passed in Massachusetts in over a decade, creating the foundation for bold and robust statewide climate policy for years to come.
Specifically, the Roadmap Bill strengthens Massachusetts’s emissions reduction targets to establish a 50% reduction by 2030, a 75% reduction by 2040 and a goal of Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Having targets like these will hold the Commonwealth accountable to reduce emissions in our energy, transportation and building sectors.
To make these goals, the act stipulates the development of a Net Zero Energy stretch building code, which it empowers communities to adopt by 2022. It also mandates energy efficiency standards for appliances by 2025, and authorizes another 2,400 megawatts of offshore wind power. It also provides protections for Environmental Justice communities.
What does this mean for Wellesley?
Later this month, Wellesley’s Sustainable Energy Committee (SEC) will be updating the Town’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction goals and bringing them to the Annual Town Meeting (ATM) 2021. These goals, contained in Article 24, call for reductions in town-wide GHG emissions of 50% below Wellesley’s 2007 baseline by 2030, 75% below Wellesley’s 2007 baseline by 2040, and net zero town-wide GHG emissions by 2050.
These science-based goals follow State policy, are in line with The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, support Wellesley’s Unified Plan, and echo similar climate actions taken by an increasing number of Wellesley’s peer communities across the Commonwealth. Residents are encouraged to contact their Town Meeting Members letting them know they support these emissions reductions goals for our community.
Wellesley residents and students will mark the one year anniversary of standing up peacefully for the climate on Friday, February 5th and encourage you to join them.
Residents of all ages, and their colorful signs, stand on the lawn in front of the Wellesley Town Hall, on Washington Street/Rt.16 every Friday from 3-4pm.
A year ago Wellesley resident Ken Batts, inspired by Greta Thunberg’s Fridays for the Future movement, decided he would personally stand out every Friday to bring awareness to climate change issues. He wasn't alone.
“It's really a highlight of the week when a variety of community members come together, having interesting discussions, networking and simply having a relaxing, non technology hour in the week,” Batts said enthusiastically. “Plus, the waves, honks and cheers from people driving, biking and walking by are really encouraging.
Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend any Friday at 3pm outside the Wellesley Town Hall. There is a Facebook group called FRIDAYS FOR FUTURE-WELLESLEY, MA with photos and more information.
Bring friends, family and neighbors to stand socially distanced and masked. Feel free to bring a sign or use one in the collection.
ESG Portfolios are Performing Well Enabling Fossil Free Investing
If you missed Sustainable Wellesley’s Banking on Our Values event you can watch it here and read on for expert insights on ways to build portfolios that align with your personal values and/or your organization’s mission.
How do I get started?
Consider an Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investment strategy. ESG refers to the three central factors in measuring the sustainability and societal impact of an investment in a company or business. These criteria are a gauge for determining the future financial performance of companies.
As the financial industry embraces sustainable investing, there are hundreds of ESG index and mutual funds to choose from, including those with lower fee ratios. Finding good ESG scores is easier than ever by looking on Morningstar, Bloomberg and a corporation’s website. Most investment management firms also offer tailored guidance for institutional investors and private wealth clients.
It is possible to replicate any sort of investment model with ESG flavors, at every asset point, risk level and investment amount. In fact, ESG’s did better over the last year during COVID-19 due to awareness around climate and social factors.
Become an educated investment consumer
Do your own research or ask if you are invested in fossil fuels via your savings or a portion of your paycheck.
What is your next step?
We are grateful to our panelists Sumeit Aggarwal, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Finhive, Glenn Migliozzi, Lecturer in the Finance Division at Babson College, and Heidi Vanni, Chief Client Officer at Boston Trust Walden, for their time and insights. This event would not have been possible without the impressive student event organizers Jacob Landau (WHS) and Jacob Nichols (Babson).
Let’s keep this discussion going.
Sustainable Living Wellesley Facebook page was all a flutter as the new year began. It all started with Courtney’s simple question about what others are doing for sustainable swaps in their homes.
This is such a great question as we all aim to ditch the bad habits from last year and aim for new ones that go easier on the planet (and our wallets)!
A key factor in finding sustainable items is getting items that can be reused numerous times rather than once.
Let's start in the kitchen:
Moving on to the laundry room:
Closet. Yup, we said it. Your closet!:
We loved the communal idea generation on a topic near and dear to all of us. These items may seem small individually, but at large can make a difference.
These were just a few ideas shared in that chat. For more ideas, join Sustainable Living Wellesley Group on Facebook!
Thanks to Kate Lapierre for contributing to this story!
On Thursday, January 28, from 6-7:30 p.m., Sustainable Wellesley will sponsor a panel discussion entitled Banking on Our Values, inviting the community to learn more about investing in companies that prioritize climate action and equity. Financial experts Heidi Vanni, Chief Client Officer at Boston Trust Walden, Sumeit Aggarwal, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Finhive, and Glenn Migliozzi, Lecturer in the Finance Division at Babson College, will share their expertise and field questions on the non-financial factors that influence investment decisions. Personal and professional investors will learn from this conversation on the short- and long-term benefits of incorporating these investment strategies and how one may begin to embrace them.
Heidi Vanni is Managing Director and Chief Client Officer at Boston Trust Walden, a Boston-based investment management firm that invests in publicly traded companies. On behalf of clients, the firm seeks to advance sustainable business practices around climate, equality and governance. Ms. Vanni works with both institutional and private wealth clients, building portfolios that enable them to align their investments with their mission or values.
At Finhive, a Massachusetts-based social enterprise building personal finance into the core capabilities of communities and small businesses, Co-Founder and Managing Partner Sumeit Aggarwal is focused on narrowing the gender gap in investing and finance. Finhive hosts training sessions on topics like investing and financial health for individuals, and consults with small businesses providing cash flow analysis, budgeting, profit margin analysis, pricing strategies and other financial topics.
Babson College lecturer Glenn Migliozzi, teaches courses in personal finance, alternative investments and business ethics. Prior to joining the Babson staff, he held a range of financial positions from corporate finance director to hedge fund manager. In his free time, Migliozzi supports agencies that address food insecurity, financial literacy and legal services.
Organizers and moderators Jacob Nichols, President of the Babson Sustainability Club and Sustainability Intern at Babson; and Jacob Landau, a Sustainable Wellesley Intern, speaker at the October 2020 Wellesley Climate Rally and Wellesley High School junior, will guide the conversation about how values-based investing can maintain or improve financial returns, while better meeting social impact goals.
Register for this free event here. Sign up today. Space is limited to 100 participants.
Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Thursday, January 14, 7:30pm join a community discussion about housing in Wellesley with:
Jennifer has served local, regional, state, and national housing, community development, and planning organizations and she recently became a Climate Reality Leader with the Climate Reality Project.
The discuss will center around how Wellesley’s zoning created our desirable community, but also contributes to Wellesley’s increasing lack of affordability. How can we ensure that Wellesley’s housing supports our values? What action steps can we take to allow a greater diversity of people to call Wellesley their home?
To register for free Zoom event, please click here.
This event is presented by the League of Women Voters of Wellesley, and the Wellesley Free Library and sponsored by many organizations, including Sustainable Wellesley.
Help Get The State's Climate Change Roadmap legislation enacted this session. Simply Call/write the Governor TODAY
Please Call the Governor’s office at (617)725-4005 and email him.**
GREAT NEWS: The Mass. Legislature is poised to approve a dramatic revision of our state climate laws. An Act Creating a Next-Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy (S.2995) is the strongest effort of its kind in the country.
WE NEED YOUR HELP TO HELP THIS BILL CROSS THE FINISH LINE: The Governor may want to weaken it or veto it outright. Thus, he needs to hear from YOU. Please urge the Governor to sign S.2995, the new climate bill, by emailing him here or calling his office at (617) 725-4005. Let him know you want him to pass this and why it is important to you. Once you do, please share this request with friends and family in the Commonwealth via social media or anyway you can.
Governor Baker has until Thursday, Jan. 14th to sign this bill, so make reaching out to him a priority.
This legislation moves us forward in some important ways:
We thank the work of legislators and advocates who have gotten us this far.
Advocates at Mass Climate Action have some talking points here.
These are just a few of the spots open this election season.
If you are interested in making a difference, read on.
There is a spot with your name on it.
The Town of Wellesley depends on community volunteers who hold elected offices in municipal government, lead boards and committees, and serve as Town Meeting members.
The nomination period for all elected officials opens on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at noon. Candidates for public office must be Wellesley residents.
Due to COVID-19, nomination papers are available by appointment only at Wellesley Town Hall. Interested candidates should email the Town Clerk or call 781-431-1019 ext. 2252 to pull papers.
The last day to obtain nomination papers to run for Town-wide office is January 8, 2021. The last day to obtain nomination papers to run for a Town Meeting member seat is January 22, 2021.
The Annual Town Election is scheduled for Tuesday, March 2, 2021.
For students at home this holiday season looking for something to do, here are 3 ideas.
1) EVERY Friday, you can join the weekly climate vigil from 3-4pm on the grounds of Wellesley Town Hall (525 Washington St., Wellesley). Bring your friends, family and neighbors to the this local Greta Thunberg inspired Fridays For Future event. Wear a mask, and feel free to bring a sign about why protecting the climate matters to you!
2) Share your/family/local friend/local business/neighbor's story with us! You know you get inspired by others so let us get inspired by you/them! We know you are doing something cool for the planet, and we want to hear about it. Check these out ideas and then write to us about local climate friendly acts, or send in a video!
3) Collect the cardboard and newspapers in your house and bring them to the RDF. As you can imagine, those items are in high demand and the Wellesley RDF ("dump") is being offered a lot of money for them. Help recycle high quality goods and make money for the Town!
4) Sustainable Wellesley is redesigning its logo and is inviting you to submit entries. Wellesley residents (students too) are encouraged to participate and can submit up to three entries in .png, or .jpg format. Submissions will be accepted until December 31, 2020 here. A mood board for some inspiration is here.
Have another climate friendly idea/interest you want to talk about, join forces on, etc.? Simply email us at email@example.com. We are a group of volunteers and a platform to inspire and raise awareness around lower impact living. "We" includes You!