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Community Articles

Faithfully Invest in the Care for Creation

Posted September 8, 2022

The following is a guest post from members of FaithInvest, an international, not-for-profit network for faith groups and faith-based institutional investors. Founded in 2019 to empower faiths to invest in line with their values, their aim is to grow the movement of faith-consistent, values-driven investing worldwide, for the benefit of all people and the planet.

Ecological Economics, one of the seven Laudato Si’ Goals, acknowledges that the economy is a sub-system of human society, which itself is embedded within the biosphere–our common home. It aims in part to “correct the present disparity between excessive technological investment in consumption and insufficient investment in resolving urgent problems facing the human family.” (LS 192)

Resources from FaithInvest are available via the Laudato Si’ Action Platform Resources page. Type “FaithInvest” in the search bar to learn more.

If you have any individual or corporate advice or experience with faith-based investing that you would like to share, we’d love to hear it! Please contact us at info@laudatosiactionplatform.org

Please note: neither FaithInvest nor the Laudato Si’ Action Platform advise on investment decisions or manage funds for the faiths.

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FaithInvest provides a network for faith-based investors and opportunities for education, exchange and collaboration. These opportunities include face-to-face meetings, online webinars, resources and guides, and regular newsletters and working groups focused on topics such as Faith-Consistent Investing Plans, Policies and Guidelines.

We also have a  private, member-only portal that enables people to connect with other active faith-based asset owners, as well as to access resources such as our Manager Database, which provides information on asset managers.

 

“FaithInvest exists to empower faith groups to invest in line with their beliefs and values.”

 

For those who need more focused support, our Investment Solutions team can provide a range of curated services specific to their needs, including support for assessing the degree of faith-alignment in portfolios, by using our proprietary analytical framework to examine Investment Policies and Guidelines. 

Inspired by Pope Francis’s 2015 encyclical Laudato Si’, we also have an online Living Laudato Si’ resource hub for organizations considering how to use their financial assets and investments for the common good. It also connects users to the Laudato Si’ Action Platform, which we have both contributed to and continue to gain valuable insight, action and inspiration from.

 

“The Living Laudato Si’ hub has reflections, guides and resources on ecological economics, as well as inspiring case studies.”

 

Align Your Faith Beliefs with Your Plans & Policies

The first step to implementing faith-consistent investing is to create, or update, your investment policy statement and investment guidelines.

Your investment policy and your investment guidelines are the essential governing documents that set out how your faith’s values inform and direct your faith’s investments. They establish a strong foundation for faith-based organizations to communicate internally what they care about, and represent externally to your investment fund managers about the kind of strategies and opportunities you want them to align to. 

 

“Most faith-based boards have not yet fully integrated and aligned their faith beliefs into their plans and policies.”

 

FaithInvest has a guide and other resources to help you do this, as well as an active and engaged working group focused on this issue.

 

From Values to Investment

Our three-week October 2022 Livable Future Investing Workshop—a unique partnership between FaithInvest and Francesco Collaborative—brings together asset stewards from a variety of contexts and institutions to reflect on the economic and structural dimensions of the pressing societal challenges we face, especially the ecological crisis.

It introduces and applies frameworks rooted in Catholic Social Teaching to multiple asset classes—from public equities to alternatives—and also introduces some of the leading edges of CST-embodied investing – including non-extractive finance, cooperatives and catalytic capital. 

 

Inspired by Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Si’, the Livable Future Investing Workshop workshop connects asset stewardship with the Christian call to care for creation.

 

By integrating reading, writing and reflection with an intensive cohort experience, our goal is to create space for learning and collaboratively embark on what many of us know is our most important work.