BOSTON, May 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Episcopal City Mission (ECM), an agent for social and economic justice with headquarters in Boston, MA, has decided to divest its endowment from fossil fuels. The unanimous vote of the ECM Board of Directors took place at the May 8 meeting after months of research, reflection and deliberation that included diligent analysis of the potential financial impact of divestment on its investments. The Finances Committee and the Board of Directors were satisfied that ECM's portfolio manager has designed an investment strategy with comparable returns so that their fiduciary responsibilities for the endowment can be exercised without exposure to fossil fuels.
The action of the ECM Board comes in part in response to a Resolution passed by the 2013 Diocesan Convention on "Environmentally Responsible Investing." The Diocesan Resolution calls for a freezing of direct investments in the Carbon Tracker top 200 fossil fuel companies; its asks that the Trustees of the Diocese, congregations, and other affiliated institutions research and identify "best in class" fossil fuel companies and that assets of the Diocesan Investment Trust only include "best in class" fossil fuels companies after November 2013, and it calls for the design of "an alternative investment vehicle that is free from fossil fuel production companies." ECM, an institution affiliated to the Diocese, had already limited its exposure to fossil fuels only to "best in class" companies prior to November 2013. After the November 2013 Diocesan Convention, ECM began to work with its portfolio manager to explore an alternative instrument, free of fossil fuels. On May 8, 2014 ECM adopted it.
After the vote, the Chair of the Board of Episcopal City Mission, The Rev. Noah H. Evans, said: "It is my hope the ECM's actions here will encourage other Episcopal organizations, including our own Diocese's Trustees of Donations and other investors, to take a hard look at their portfolios and whether they are in line with their faith commitments, including social justice and caring for creation."
ECM's Executive Director, Dr. Ruy O. Costa, quoted the teachings of the apostle Paul in his letter to the Christians in Rome that "creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God," and commented: "I hope that what is manifested in our work and through our investments is a theology of caring: caring for our neighbors, caring for the future, and caring for nature."
Episcopal City Mission works for social and economic justice with special attention to the needs of the urban poor. ECM mobilizes Episcopal parishes, individuals and resources in partnership with other community organizations for social structural change. ECM supports community organizing, mission-related investments in affordable housing, community economic development, and public policy advocacy.
SOURCE Episcopal City Mission