Ethical Investment

Statement

As a Christian Church we are tasked to co-operate with God’s active presence in the world and with proclaiming the values of the kingdom of God. This means that the Church has a particular interest in promoting all that furthers justice and peace, that enables full human flourishing, that honours creation and that builds creative human communities.

The Church in Wales wishes to have an investment policy that is ethical and consistent with the furtherance of our aims and objectives. We believe that it is entirely appropriate and possible to operate such a policy alongside the requirement to achieve the best returns from our investments, and to use our investments as an ethical means of contributing to the cost of ministry and mission in the Province.

Our aim is to invest in successful companies that are committed to developing their business in the interests of their shareholders, customers, local communities and employees by operating:

  • Responsible employment practices.
  • Conscientious corporate governance.
  • Policies and practices which demonstrate a proper regard for the environment and for the well- being of the created order.
  • Policies sensitive to the human rights and wellbeing of individuals and communities in which they operate.
  • Fair trading practices.

In its policy for investment, the Church in Wales will use its best endeavours not to be associated with companies whose products or policies conflict with these aims or to invest in companies which:

  • Are responsible for the wanton despoliation of the environment.
  • Are responsible for anything that threatens peace, security and communal well-being.
  • Exploit, demean, corrupt or degrade humankind, especially the poor or the financially vulnerable.
  • Are indifferent to the well-being of animals.

We recognise the complexities surrounding the activities of companies in which we can invest, and reserve the right to make investment decisions on a case by case basis. We will endeavour to engage with companies which are in actual or potential breach of this policy or where concerns exist over governance and social responsibility issues before considering disinvestment.

It is the policy of the Church in Wales not normally or knowingly to invest in any company:

  • which derives more than 20% of turnover  from a primary focus on gambling, or the production or sale of alcoholic beverages or tobacco products;
  • which derives more than 5% of turnover from pornography, predatory lending activities or the proliferation of armaments beyond areas of legitimate defence and international peace-keeping:
  • which derives more than 10% of turnover from the extraction of thermal coal or the production of oil from tar sands.

The Church in Wales wishes to be a well informed and responsible investor, and to this end is represented on the Church Investors Group, which is a means of accessing research, obtaining reliable information, sharing best practice with other member organisations, and exercising combined shareholder influence.

A valuable relationship exists between the Investment Committee and the Church in Wales Ethical Investment Group to which the Committee refers problematic cases, and from which it receives an annual report.