top of page

Daoists launch a major commitment to ethical investing

Press release: In a significant commitment to ethical investing, the China Daoist Association is supporting the establishment of the first Daoist Investor Hub in Hong Kong in 2024 to advise its followers on investing according to Daoist beliefs and values.

The decision is part of a major expansion of Daoist programmes to protect nature and support sustainability. As well as providing guidance on Daoist values, the new Daoist ESG/SDG Investor Hub will develop resources and trainings on investing in line with ESG (environment, social, governance) principles and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

The Hub will be run by the newly formed World Taoist Federation, a network recently established to connect followers of Daoism/Taoism across the world and liaise with international faith and secular organisations. Advice and support will be provided by the China Daoist Association, FaithInvest and the University of Hong Kong which will also house the Hub.

Launch of the World Federation of Daoism at the 5th International Daoist Forum  in Maoshan, China
Launch of the World Federation of Daoism at the 5th International Daoist Forum in Maoshan, China

FaithInvest CEO Dr Lorna Gold said: 'This is a significant announcement from the China Daoist Association. FaithInvest looks forward to collaborating with the Hub partners, providing advice and support on developing a faith-consistent investing education and training programme for Daoists, modelled on what we offer other faith traditions.

'FaithInvest was founded in 2019 to support faiths to invest in line with their values, and we're really delighted to be able to support Daoism – followed by millions of people in China – to develop Daoist –consistent investing principles.'

Martin Palmer, Founding President of FaithInvest, eminent China scholar and a keynote speaker at the recent 5th International Daoism Forum in Maoshan, China, on 24-25 September, described the Forum's decision to focus on Daoist-consistent investing as 'a major commitment by a faith to enable not just religious institutions such as temples, but also individuals and families, to put their money where their beliefs and values should lead them'.

The idea for the Hub was prompted by affluent Daoists approaching the China Daoist Association, the platform for collective Daoist voices in mainland China, for advice on how to use their wealth in line with traditional Chinese values. There are estimated to be significant numbers of Daoist millionaires in China, and several billionaires. According to Credit Suisse, the number of dollar-millionaires in China totalled 6.2 million individuals, ranking second after the US in the world.

Wong Tai Sin Temple, Hong Kong
Wong Tai Sin Temple, Hong Kong

David Palmer, a professor in Hong Kong University’s Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences and the Department of Sociology, said the launch of the Federation was an important event in the history of Daoism.

'It's especially encouraging to see that the Federation hopes to contribute Daoist wisdom to efforts within the world of global climate finance to develop principles of sustainable investment,' he said. 'At the University of Hong Kong, we are planning to establish the Culture, Commerce and Sustainability Hub where, in collaboration with the Federation and FaithInvest, we will support research and training on Daoist investment principles.'

The World Taoism Federation has been welcomed by international bodies such as UNEP, UNDP and the Green Climate Fund. The Fund's CEO Mafalda Duarte said the climate crisis required insights from diverse traditions: 'I look forward to opportunities for collaboration.'



Faithinvest's Founding President Martin Palmer and the Daoist ESG/SDG Hub's Senior Assistant on Daoism and Investment Fan Ziwei

5th International Daoist Forum

Held on September 24-25, 5th International Daoist Forum included Daoist and academic figures from 39 countries and regions discussing the contemporary value of Taoism, ecological governance, international practice. Martin Palmer was a keynote speaker and welcomed the launch of the World Taoist Federation. He had to deliver his address remotely by video, due to Covid. You can watch it below.

More information


Notes for Editor

FaithInvest is a UK-based international non-profit organisation founded to empower the faiths to invest in line with their beliefs and values, for the benefit of people and planet. We support faith-based asset owners to develop faith-consistent investing policies and guidelines to enable them to align their investments and their values

Available for interview

  • Dr Lorna Gold, Martin Palmer and Professor David A Palmer (no relation) are available for interview. Please contact Susie Weldon (contact details below).

  • Dr Lorna Gold is the Chief Executive of FaithInvest. She has more than two decades' experience of engaging faiths on environmental, climate and economic justice. She is a leading voice on faith-consistent investing in the Catholic Church and supported the Irish Bishops' Conference to divest from fossil fuels in 2018. She is Chair of the Laudato Si' Movement and was a member of the Vatican's Covid Commission Economics Taskforce for two years.

  • Martin Palmer is an international specialist on all major faiths and religious traditions and cultures. He is the author and editor of more than 20 books on religious and environmental topics. He fell in love with Chinese culture after spending a year working in an orphanage in Hong Kong aged 18. He has translated many ancient Chinese texts, is a regular contributor to the BBC, and is a lay preacher in the Church of England. He has been working with the faiths on their investment programmes since 2001.

  • Professor David A Palmer is a Professor jointly appointed by the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences and the Department of Sociology at the University of Hong Kong, which he joined in 2008. He has published award-winning books, including The Religious Question in Modern China (co-authored with Vincent Goossaert) and Qigong Fever: Body, Science and Utopia in China, as well as numerous articles and papers on Chinese religion, the Bahá’í faith, transnational religious movements.

Media contacts

Susie Weldon, Director of Communications, FaithInvest

Steven Owen, Strategic Marketing & Communications, FaithInvest


bottom of page