In keeping with Catholic teaching, we practice active ownership — working on behalf of Catholic institutions to encourage companies to improve their policies and practices. This component provides direct impact to our investing program and can yield reforms that benefit workers, local communities and the environment while also potentially reducing investment risk.
Active ownership is a critical element of CBIS’ Catholic Responsible Investing approach, aimed at effecting positive change at corporations we hold in our portfolios. As responsible shareholders, we believe we are called upon to raise corporate awareness of issues important to Catholic investors. We also believe that by encouraging strong corporate environmental, social and governance performance, we are supporting both the work of the Church and the growth of shareholder value. As a result, CBIS views active ownership as a fundamental responsibility in our stewardship of investment assets — and essential to our uniquely Catholic approach to impact investing.
CBIS’ active ownership program is shaped by Catholic teaching and leverages a variety of tools to address issues related to human dignity, economic justice and environmental stewardship:
- Shareholder Resolutions – CBIS files resolutions that are voted on by shareholders to demonstrate widespread support for addressing Catholic beliefs.
- Corporate Dialogues – CBIS meets with companies in our portfolios to advise them and hold them accountable as responsible corporate citizens whose activities may have global impacts.
- Proxy Voting – We vote more than 3,000 proxy ballots each year, covering over 30,000 unique management and shareholder proposals throughout the world, to inform companies of Catholic beliefs on important impact investing issues.
“As part owners, [individual Christians and church institutions] must cooperate in shaping the policies of those companies through dialogue with management, through votes at corporate meetings, through the introduction of resolutions and through participation in investment decisions.”
— Economic Justice for All, 354