Ecumenical Council in London calls for Churches to take lead in investing for a better future

The Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility (ECCR), a church-based investor coalition working for economic justice, human rights and environmental sustainability, called for churches to align their investments with their mission and values, at a meeting in London yesterday.

Entitled ‘Positive Impact Investment: Too Good to Be True?, financial experts at the meeting debated whether sustainable approaches to capital allocation are the shape of investment to come or likely to remain a niche sector. They concluded that the strength of the capitalist system to mobilize capital creates a huge opportunity  for positive impact investing to create a better world, and that these opportunities will only continue to grow.

As an ECCR spokesperson put it:

In the wake of the financial crisis, the speakers agreed that there is more need than ever for churches and responsible investors to appreciate the risks we run if we do not take into account the social and environmental consequences of investment decisions. BP’s loss of value following the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster was a classic case in point. Companies and fund managers who ignore social issues such as child labor equally run major risks.

The council acknowledged that while ethical and socially responsible investing has increased fourfold in the last decade, it still represents a small percent of  the investment market. But just as the churches have led the way with Fair Trade, meeting members believe they can also play a key role in catalyzing change by  investing sustainably.

For more information read Christians can lead in investing for a better future

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