Pope Francis makes it clear in Laudato si’ that there is an “inseparable” bond between nature and society. He implores Catholics to approach the environment in a way that “respects our unique place as human beings,” but recognizes we must remedy “the damage we have done” to the Earth’s climate. CBIS has been at the forefront of efforts pushing companies to improve their activities related to the use of fossil fuels, deforestation, agriculture, and other land-use. Like the Holy Father, we believe that Catholic teaching provides “ample motivation to care for nature” and together with our Participants continue this work that is “an essential part” of the Catholic Faith.
“Yet only when ‘the economic and social costs of using up shared environmental resources are recognized with transparency and fully borne by those who incur them, not by other peoples or future generations†’ can those actions be considered ethical. (195)”
It is with a sense of responsibility that we engage a wide variety of companies on these issues. We attempt to raise concerns about the social and environmental responsibilities of businesses that can unfortunately be overlooked or “reduced to a series of marketing and image-enhancing” measures.
Maximizing profits without regard for the impact on society and the environment may lead to short-term gain, but at the expense of longer-term well-being and the rights of future generations.
Check back frequently for our insights on Laudato si’ – we will release our review and analysis of the Pope’s encyclical later this summer.
† Benedict XVI, Encyclical Letter Caritas in Veritate (29 June 2009), 50: AAS 101 (2009), 686.