Impact and Justice

Active Ownership

In keeping with Catholic teaching, CBIS through its CRI process takes an active approach to ownership, working on behalf of investors to encourage companies to improve their policies and practices. Shareholder advocacy is assumed to be an essential aspect of CBIS’ fiduciary duty, and beyond reducing investment risk and improving shareholder value, engagement with companies can benefit employees, local communities, and the environment.

CBIS’ Active Ownership Program is shaped by Catholic teaching and leverages a variety of tools to promote human dignity, economic justice, and care for creation:

  • Corporate Engagements CBIS meets with companies in its portfolios to advise them and hold them accountable as responsible corporate citizens whose activities may have global impacts.

  • Shareholder Resolutions
    When progress is not made, CBIS files resolutions that are voted on by shareholders to demonstrate widespread support for addressing Catholic beliefs.

  • Proxy VotingCBIS votes more than 3,000 proxy ballots each year to inform companies of Catholic beliefs on important investing issues.

CBIS believes that Active Ownership is the most effective way to raise awareness and change perceptions in the management suites and boardrooms of national and multinational companies

From a Catholic perspective, ethical and socially responsible investing, as the strategy has come to be known, requires us to evaluate specific investments in terms of how those companies or entities protect life, promote human dignity, act justly, enhance the common good, and provide care for the environment.

Proxy Voting

CBIS has proxy voting guidelines that are regularly updated to address changes in the investor landscape. The guidelines help direct our decision-making process related to core environmental, human rights, and governance issues including climate change, energy efficiency, diversity, employee safety and health, director independence, and excessive compensation. Each year, we vote approximately 30,000 management and shareholder proposals across 3,000 proxy ballots to positively influence the behavior of companies we invest in.

We publish our voting record for all proxies voted by CBIS across all of our investment products worldwide, allowing investors to better understand our voting process and how it aligns with our position on each issue.


For the Catholic investor, the decision to buy a security or shares in a fund should involve an evaluation of whether it is appropriate for the Church to profit from those activities, in light of both the public stance the Church has taken on an issue and the dictates of personal conscience.

In CBIS’ view, an effective discernment policy takes into account both the teachings of the Catholic faith, as well as the legal obligation faced by fiduciaries to prudently invest capital in a diversified and risk-controlled portfolio.

CRI’s Catholic investment screens – designed to be consistent with USCCB guidelines — aim to identify those companies involved in activities that fundamentally contradict Catholic moral and social teachings and exclude them from the investment universe, so that Catholic investors do not profit from those products or services.

CRI and Portfolio Construction

CBIS uses a four-step portfolio construction process.
Our Catholic Responsible Investing Program is an overlay to manager’s process.

unscreened portfolio
Remove restricted
companies: Life Ethics,
Violence, Tobacco
and Pornography
screens are generally
a small portion of
benchmark weight
Managers substitute comparable companies for screened companies
Reweight across unrestricted names
CBIS CRI Portfolio