New TV Ad Targets Vanguard Customers, Employees: “If it’s bad for the environment, it’s bad for your retirement”

April 3, 2023

Contact: TJ Helmstetter on behalf of Vanguard S.O.S. / tjhelm@gmail.com


Ad Will Air Online and On Cable Systems in Chester County, PA – Surrounding Vanguard Headquarters, Where Vanguard’s Top Execs Live and Work 

MALVERN, PA — A new television and digital ad is warning Vanguard’s customers of the risk that climate change poses to their retirement futures. The ad will begin airing today (Monday, April 3, 2023) on CNBC on cable systems in Chester County, Pennsylvania – the home of Vanguard’s headquarters and where many of the company’s top executives and employees live. The ad will simultaneously run on streaming television platforms (OTT/CTV).

This new spot, entitled “Reaping What They’ve Sown,” is part of a larger ad strategy targeting Vanguard customers and Vanguard employees, from the Vanguard S.O.S. campaign. The purpose of the campaign is to shine a spotlight on Vanguard’s role in fueling the climate crisis and urging the company – the world’s second largest asset manager – to improve its climate practices for the sake of its own clients and the planet.

Click here to watch REAPING WHAT THEY’VE SOWN. 

 Despite acknowledging that climate change is a material risk to investors, Vanguard has failed to release a comprehensive plan that integrates climate risk into its investment strategies. In March, more than 1400 investors sent a letter to Vanguard’s general counsel warning that the firm may be breaching its fiduciary duties by failing to mitigate climate risk.

The world stands to lose close to 10% of total economic value by mid-century if climate change stays on the currently-anticipated trajectory, and if the Paris Agreement 2050 net-zero emissions targets are not met.

Vanguard has $300 billion invested in fossil fuels – making it the #1 or #2 biggest investor in fossil fuels worldwide. Vanguard’s climate actions lag far behind even slow-moving peers like BlackRock and State Street. According to a 2021 report, Vanguard could lose at least $3 trillion by 2050 if it fails to act on the climate crisis. 

“Vanguard has known for years that climate change poses a substantial risk to the economy at large and to their own clients’ portfolios, yet the company has done next to nothing to mitigate the risk to safeguard its clients’ long term investments and take responsibility for continuing to fuel the climate crisis through its investments,’” said Roberta Giordano of the Vanguard S.O.S. campaign. “We’re airing this ad where Vanguard’s executives and employees work and live so they are reminded first-hand of the consequences of their decisions. This is part of a larger strategy to engage Vanguard and to educate the firm’s clients about the risks to their portfolios.”

“Reaping What They’ve Sown” is up on cable television (including CNBC) and streaming platforms in Chester County, Pennsylvania, starting April 3rd.

Ad transcript is below:

All the work, the cut corners, it all felt worth it…

To be here with our grandchild.

Investing with Vanguard helped us seed our retirement dreams,

and now we’re reaping what they’ve sown.

I’m so sorry, little one. 

Climate change is crushing those dreams. I hope it’s not too late.

When you save with Vanguard, you’re an owner…of catastrophic climate change.

If it’s bad for the environment, it’s bad for your retirement.

About Vanguard S.O.S.

Vanguard S.O.S. is an international campaign pushing Vanguard to chart a new course away from climate catastrophe and toward truly sustainable and responsible investing. The network is made up of civil society organizations, social movements, and financial experts working together to secure a climate-safe future for everyone.