Saturday 22nd October 2016                 Change text size:

Church investors ‘making a real difference’ on pushing for sustainability

Elliott Brown via flickr

The Church Investors Group (CIG), an organisation connected with churches across Britain and Ireland, has claimed further success in its efforts to improve the environmental performances of businesses.

The group, made up of 44 members holding combined assets of £12 billion, has lead a campaign urging “laggard” firms to their approach to environmental, social and governance (ESG) risk.

In October, a study into FTSE 350 companies, by CDP, formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project, revealed that 72% of the 53 firms that the CIG contacted to express their members’ concerns had improved their CDP score.

In the CIG’s annual report, released this week, it was revealed that 38% of the lowest rated companies, as scored by FTSE’s ESG ratings, made improvements after being approached by members.

Of the 56 FTSE 350 companies the group engaged, it is reported that three took the extra steps required to reach the standards needed to enter the FTSE4Good index.

Richard Nunn, the outgoing chair of the CIG, said, “Church investors are unique in that, through our Christian witness and stewardship of God’s creation, we have a responsibility to try to guide the financial market as a whole to where we need it to be.

 “The continued results of our engagement programs hearten me that, together, church investors are making a real difference for the better in company practice.” 

This week the CIG elected Bill Seddon, the current chief executive of the central finance board of the Methodist church, as its new chair for 2014 to 2016.

Further reading:

Church improves emissions performance of 53 former ‘laggards’

Quakers: fossil fuel investment ‘incompatible’ with Christianity and low-carbon goals

‘The church must see caring for the environment as part of morality’

Church of England urged to use theology as motivation for fossil fuel divestment

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