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FaithInvest article in The Fletcher Forum

We are delighted to share an article written by FaithInvest CEO Martin Palmer which has been published by the Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, part of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in the US.

Titled 'Refining Development through Faith-Consistent Investing', the article outlines the seismic shift that is taking place among faith groups – even if some are not yet fully aware of it. That shift is the growing movement of faith-consistent investing, which is resulting in increasing numbers of faith groups looking closely – in many cases for the first time – at how and where they place their funds, and asking whether their money truly reflects their beliefs and values.

Martin outlines the development of the environmental movement among faith groups in the 1980s and 1990s, which led to a growing awareness of the faiths as stakeholders in the planet, with large amounts of land, buildings and forests, and how this awareness inevitably led to questions about faith finances.

And he highlights the potential power of using faith investments to protect people and planet. As he says in the article:

Faith groups are significant stakeholders in the planet, managing half of the world’s schools, a quarter of its healthcare, and 7-8% of its habitable landmass. They have influence over four-fifths of the world’s population and hold billions of dollars of investments on global stock markets... Considering the size of their assets and their influence, if more religious groups adopted values-driven investing, investments by faith groups could be a crucial tool to mobilize more funding to address global development challenges and to tackle climate change.

As someone who not only witnessed but in many ways brought about and shaped the faith environmental movement, the article includes personal memories of how Martin worked with HRH Prince Philip, the WWF International President, to invite the world's major faiths to consider how they could help protect the living planet.

It was the first time that faith leaders had been asked to consider the environment as a faith issue – and the secular environmental movement was distinctly unimpressed: 'Back then, the idea that religious groups had anything to do with the environment was unheard of and seen by many as pointless, if not ridiculous,' says Martin.

But the results are undeniable. 'Today, every significant religious group has issued a statement or declaration about why they consider this care of people and the planet as fundamental to their faith,' he says. And there are millions of environmental projects globally 'in parishes, synagogues, mosques, temples, gurdwaras sacred sites, holy rivers, pilgrimage routes, and other places of spiritual power throughout the world'.

Read the full article by clicking the link below:


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