Climate march underscored need for diligence in defending the environment while earning an investment return

An Active Ownership Approach to Protecting the Environment

Multiple organizations collaborated on the People’s Climate March (September 21 in NYC), including local-area community groups, international NGOs, grassroots networks, churches and faith-based organizations, and more, making it one of the largest environmental events ever. But, the March also reminded us that as Catholics, it is our responsibility to care for God’s creation so that it can continue to provide for all humans, both today and in the future. As an investment manager, CBIS provides Catholic organizations with the means to combine their investment approach with their beliefs. An optimal investment strategy brings together financial return goals with the mission of protecting the environment and promoting the common good.

If an organization is committed to having an influence on the environmental activities of companies they invest in, an active ownership approach may be appropriate and effective. We believe that active ownership – in this case, where investors press companies to adopt more environmentally responsible business practices such as pollution controls, energy efficiency improvements, waste reduction, and recycling – can have a meaningful impact on safeguarding the planet’s climate.

To support these efforts, CBIS, on behalf of our participant organizations, leverages investments in various fossil fuel companies to raise awareness and apply pressure to management. We have:

– cast votes on 177 environment proposals over the past 5 years
o filed environmental resolutions with Exxon for 11 of the past 14 years
– engaged 31 companies on environmental issues over the past 15 years
o covered a wide range of companies including Shell, Coca-Cola, Ford, Costco, Dow Chemical, Lowe’s, Newmont, Intel, Chase, Sun, and Kraft
– filed 48 shareholder resolutions on environmental issues over the past 15 years
– signed the Carbon Disclosure Project, joining 767 institutions representing more than $92 trillion in assets to promote corporate transparency on material environmental performance measures
– committed to joining other investors in presenting a statement at the UN Climate Change Summit on steps investors are taking to encourage action on protecting the environment

We believe these collective efforts have led to the smarter use of resources, a healthier environment, and enhanced long-term shareholder value for investors. CBIS was present at the March on September 21 – let us know you were there too!