Read More About CPG's Socially Responsible Investing
The Board and management of The Church Pension Fund have one overriding goal: to ensure that the benefits promised to current and future members are available when needed. To make good on those promises, CPF has, over the past century, built a broadly diversified portfolio of securities invested across the globe in a variety of investment strategies, with investments in over 1,000 publicly traded companies and more than 300 private investment funds.
In the early 1970’s, while recognizing the fiduciary responsibilities of the trustees were paramount, the Board began to examine the moral, social, and ethical implications of CPF’s investments. Since then, CPF has actively reviewed and submitted shareholder resolutions on a wide spectrum of issues and has taken into account the concerns of the Church when voting its proxies. Today, we continue to use our shareholder influence in collaboration with the Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility of the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council and the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society.
In 2001, as part of our ongoing commitment to uphold the values of the Church, CPF’s investment team committed to seek out external investment managers with expertise in identifying opportunities that offer fully competitive returns while also providing important social benefits. Thanks to their efforts, our portfolio now includes economically targeted investments, such as microfinance, affordable housing and urban redevelopment; investments with women- and minority-owned firms; and environmentally responsible investments that include “clean tech” innovations such as solar, wind and biomass fuels.
An example of the environmentally responsible investments CPF is investing in is the Wastewater Opportunity Fund. In April 2015, CPF committed to invest 20 million dollars in the Wastewater Opportunity Fund, which is focused on developing and expanding the use of anaerobic digesters, an ecological process that is widely used in Europe but not yet common in the United States. Wastewater uses this process to transform organic waste, some of which would have ended up in landfills, into renewable, sustainable energy, thereby reducing the use of fossil fuels. In addition, the construction and operation of its facilities will create some two million hours of employment and approximately 130 permanent jobs. From an investment perspective, it is expected that Wastewater will provide a very attractive risk-adjusted return to the CPF portfolio.
Socially Responsible Investing Update
Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) has become an increasingly popular topic in recent years and was a focus for the 78th General Convention, leading many to call on the Church and its related bodies to act responsibly as they implement their investment strategies. However, we have seen a changing investment landscape in which many investors are moving away from traditional SRI screening strategies to those focused on more proactive environmental, social and governance (ESG) related investments. Read more here.