FaithInvest has just released an expanded and revised edition of its Good Intentions study, subtitled: What faith groups say about how they invest and how they can do more. The paper updates FaithInvest’s research on what faith groups state about integrating their beliefs, teachings and values to their investment policies and guidelines statements (IP&Gs) and assesses the extent to which faith-consistent investing is pursued.
The data for the 2023 update affirm the original findings, which indicated that while much has been done by faith-based asset owners to integrate faith values with their investable assets – ie, faith-consistent investing – the study also suggests there is much more that could be done.
Mathew Jensen, Director of Investment Solutions at FaithInvest, explains, 'While all major faiths have statements about their beliefs, teachings and values in terms of social principles, environmental beliefs, and other areas of focus and activity, we find that many have yet to articulate and fully integrate these values in their investment practices.'
The paper presents the methodology and updated findings of the study conducted by FaithInvest’s Investment Solutions team, detailing the extent to which faith-based asset owners integrate their faith into IP&Gs, the foundational elements of overall investment governance.
Some of key findings: Just 55% of the studied faith-based asset owners (FBAOs) had a clearly stated faith role in the IP&G, and among this group there is a wide range of the extent to which these principles are pursued. While many scored in the middle to upper middle range of potential faith alignment (based on our proprietary analytical framework), on average this group’s score was just 5.6 on a 10-point scale, indicating that better alignment is achievable for many.
Helpfully, the FCI Analytical Framework described in the study provides a way to assess the current status of faith values integration in IP&Gs, and to identify specific areas and activities that could improve faith-consistent alignment. For FBAOs interested in pursuing greater faith alignment, the methodology used for this study can be applied to any faith organisation’s investment policy and guidelines statement, and the Investment Solutions team at FaithInvest is available to assist any FBAO in its FCI journey.
Mathew Jensen sums up, 'FaithInvest exists to help faith-based asset owners pursue faith-aligned use of assets; let us know how we can help, and let's get to work!'