Is Your 401(k) Full of Climate Risk?

By Andrew Montes, Director, Digital Strategies

Since we launched Fossil Free Funds – our online app allowing you to measure the climate risk of your mutual fund investments – we’ve seen a tremendous response from people who want to make sure their money isn’t invested in fossil fuels. Some care about carbon pollution, some about financial risk, and many care about both. But whatever the reason, a growing number of people care and can now take action. People are excited that they can make small changes to their 401(k) or personal investments and make a big impact toward building the clean energy future. This growing demand for funds that are fossil free has incentivized many fund managers to drop the fossil fuel holdings from their mutual funds, increasing the number of diversified SRI funds by 50% since the new year and increasing assets under management in these funds by $700 million. Based on this success, we’re expanding our horizons—the Fossil Free Funds database now has over 6,500 funds from six countries, including the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Denmark. Our U.S. coverage has grown to 3,000 funds, and more funds under our searchlight means more fossil fuel investments made transparent. We’re also planning to add new features to the tool, like carbon footprinting and how funds vote their proxies on climate issues.

Lastly, we’ve taken on the problem of people’s savings being invested through their employer’s 401(k) plan with no fossil free option available. Our 401(k) Toolkit is a handy resource for people looking to add options to their company’s retirement plan. Employees can learn how to organize and effectively articulate their concerns to their plan administrator. More than 20,000 people have signed a petition asking their companies to offer fossil free options and we’ve written letters to 100 major U.S. companies asking them to offer at least one socially responsible, fossil free option in their 401(k) plans. We’ll let you know what they have to say.

We will keep working hard to shine the light on risky fossil fuel investments – sign up at to stay tuned!

Fossil Free Funds