Religious organizations divesting in gun companies, protecting our environment

Repost of an email from the Pension Boards of the UCC
[Editor: I usually refrain from posting articles from my faith community, the UCC.  But this report is an exception – it’s encouraging to hear about interfaith efforts to control gun violence and promote environmentally-friendly projects through responsible investment policies.  – R.S.]

Corporate Social Responsibility

December, 2018

“…action to change laws, influence corporate behavior, and work together as a society to bring about life-sustaining change is the co-creative call of God in our lives to do much more.”

 —Rev. Richard Walters, Director
Corporate Social Responsibility for the Pension Boards

Working Together for Our Future

The Pension Boards, through its Faith and Finance Initiative, investment policies, and discernment around its social justice ministry, has responded to the overwhelming call of acting on the issue of gun violence in our country. The Pension Boards has joined with ecumenical partners in calling for specific action to reduce gun violence and live out our commitment to the UCC’s Three Great Loves initiative by engaging in life-sustaining rather than death-dealing action. An extension of our witness to the corporate world has resulted in bold action described in the article below. We invite your response.

The Pension Boards Adds Gun Screen to Investment Policy

Religious organizations, including the Pension Boards, have called for common sense measures to reduce gun violence without interfering in Second Amendment Constitutional rights of legitimate gun owners for several years, even before the most recent mass shooting at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue. PBUCC, however, decided that more action was necessary.

On August 1, 2018, the Investment Committee of the Pension Boards’ Board of Trustees voted to eliminate direct investment in U.S. companies engaged in the production of small arms ammunition or firearms, including pistols, revolvers, rifles, shotguns, or sub-machine guns, and that derive 10% or more of revenues from sales.

Prior to the vote, on May 9, the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Committee of the Pension Boards voted unanimously to recommend that the Investment Committee consider an appropriate screen, or policy, regarding firearms.  Read the full article.

Catalyzing Corporate Change

In the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) newsletter, read about the more than 100 corporate wins ICCR members scored during the 2018 proxy season, demonstrating the environmental/social concerns shared by mainstream investors. ICCR is a coalition of over 300 institutional investors working together to promote more just and sustainable corporate practices.  READ MORE

Green Bond Issuers

On page 11 of “A Just World For All: Strategies for Sustainable Investment,” read how notable green bond issuers held by the Pension Boards’ investment portfolio are using proceeds to finance environmentally-friendly projects.