We're delighted to share with you this great story from the Church Times, the UK-based independent Anglican weekly newspaper, which highlighted our recent Good Intentions report assessing the extent to which faith-based investments are alighted to faith values.
The article says the report shows faith-based investors could be doing more to align their financial investments with their values, and quotes our Good Intentions 2023 study which found that just 55 per cent of the studied faith-based asset-owners had clearly stated the part played by faith in their investment policies and guidelines.
Even among those who did, there was a wide range in the extent to which these principles were pursued. Of the 87 organisations assessed, 36 per cent were involved in impact investing, in which the intention was to generate positive social and environmental benefits, alongside a financial return.
The report goes on to quote FaithInvest CEO Dr Lorna Gold at our meeting co-hosted with Operation Noah last month, who said faith-based asset-holders had a vital part to play in using their investments for good, considering the billions of pounds that they had under management.
'We are on the cusp of a great change, but the question in all of this is where is the moral leadership, as well as the financial leadership, coming from,' she said. 'In all our investment decisions, there’s a moral risk, there’s an economic risk, and there’s an environmental risk.'
The influence that faith-based investors have is two-fold. Combined, they control billions of dollars’ worth of investment, and have been described as the 'third largest economic power on earth' by Iyad Abumoghli, of the UN Environment Programme.
But, second, as the Church Times report says, faith institutions are seen as moral actors, what they choose to invest and disinvest in carries influence beyond their specific financial holding. It is why church groups have been urged by scientists and campaigners to disinvest from fossil-fuel companies that cause climate change, because the financial backing of churches has been used by oil and gas giants to build social respectability and wield political influence.
Read the Church Times article in full.