[Church Investment Group] The Church Investment Group welcomes the Rt. Rev. Andrew M.L. Dietsche, Episcopal Diocese of New York, to its Board of Directors. An advocate for addressing climate change as well as ethical investing, Bishop Dietsche joined the board to help further its mission of encouraging environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing so that Episcopal organizations can join together in shared faith and values while realizing the benefits of scale in investing.
Speaking about the Episcopal Diocese of New York’s, as well as his own, commitment to taking action related to climate change, Bishop Dietsche said, “We are confident that if we don’t take active steps in this area, the time will arrive when young people seeking to come to know God and to know God more fully will no longer see our churches as sacred spaces. We are equally adamant that they must and are to that end determined to make our churches places that are unmistakable marks of our commitment to rejoining the world in a more sustainable way.”
Bishop Dietsche was one of the 17 Anglican bishops from across the world who issued a “Call to Urgent Action for Climate Change” at The World is Our Host conference in South Africa in 2015. The bishops wrote that “the climate change crisis is the most urgent moral issue of our day.” In November of that year, the Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of New York urged the fiduciary bodies of all Episcopal institutions in the Diocese to consider adopting or strengthening ethical investment guidelines and divesting from fossil fuel companies, especially coal companies. In response, the Investment Committee of the Diocese of New York, working in conjunction with the Church Investment Group and ratified by the Trustees, decided to minimize the diocesan portfolio’s exposure to the equity and fixed-income securities of fossil fuel companies.
The resulting diocesan portfolio, using ESG approaches to its equity and fixed-income holdings, minimizes exposure to energy companies.
“A company’s behavior impacts the real world and they are a critical component in the solution,” says JoAnn Hanson, Church Investment Group president and chief executive officer. “ESG investment approaches identify those companies which have proactive strategies relating to climate change, as well as other important social and governance matters. Investors, in turn, can profitably invest with proactive companies and influence the behavior of the corporate world.”
“Fossil fuel-free investing is gathering momentum,” Hanson added, “and it has given us an opportunity to introduce the church to ESG principles. Episcopal organizations can help to finance positive change while earning a good return on their investments.
The group uses the investment firm Hirtle Callaghan as its chief investment officer. “Our relationship with Hirtle Callaghan allows us bring the strength of multi-billion-dollar purchasing power and investment experience to work for church organizations,” noted Hanson.
Episcopal organizations interested in ESG and fossil fuel-free investing should contact Hanson at email@example.com.
The Church Investment Group is a 501(c)(3) non-profit entity working exclusively for the Episcopal Church. CIG has been designed to allow Episcopal organizations to invest in the same fashion as the largest endowments or pension plans through management by full time professionals who employ a consistent, value-oriented investment philosophy.