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Matching Catholic values with investments

  • April 10, 2021

The Global Catholic Climate Movement in Canada has a plan to make Catholic money stand up and speak for the environment, against the climate crisis and in favour of reconciliation with Canada’s Indigenous peoples.

GCCM Canada is inviting all of Canada’s bishops, Catholic universities, fund managers, financial planners and individual investors to a series of online forums on the how-to of investing according to Vatican priorities outlined last year by the Interdicasterial Working Group of the Holy See on Integral Ecology.

“Now is the time to re-animate a discussion about how our investments reflect our Catholic values,” GCCM Canada co-ordinator Agnes Richard told The Catholic Register in an e-mail.

Richard particularly wants Catholic investors and institutions rethinking their investments before the United Nations climate change conference scheduled for Nov. 1-12 in Glasgow.

“Investment decisions from the Canadian Catholic community will, we hope, influence social and political policies here as Canada prepares our commitments at the next UN climate meetings this fall,” Richard said.

An initial session on setting investment priorities April 21 will feature investment strategists Dianne Saxe and Anthony Schein from the Shareholder Association for Research and Education, along with Jesuit Fr. Peter Bisson.

This groundwork session will be followed on April 28 with a discussion of how shareholders can influence the management and boards of directors of companies they’re invested in. World Bank Group consultant Mamadou-Lamine Beye and SHARE’s Sarah Couturier-Tanoh are slated to lead.

A session dedicated to “impact investing” in Indigenous and ecologically-minded entrepreneurs comes up May 5 with Mark Sevestre of the National Aboriginal Trust Officers Association, Stephen Whipp from Leede Jones Gable Inc. and Stephen Nairne of RAVEN Indigenous Capital Partners. 

The ins and outs of positive and negative screens applied to investment portfolios wraps up the series May 12 with SHIFT Action Network’s Patrick DeRochie, Mountain Lion Agriculture’s Jason Dudek and Lorna Gold representing the UK group Faithinvest and the Global Catholic Climate Movement internationally.

The webinar series is part of a larger “Catholic Eco-Investment Accelerator” strategy GCCM Canada has put together with backing from the Catherine Donnelly Foundation, a charitable foundation set up by the Sisters of Service.

The whole thing was set off last year when the Holy See’s working group issued Journeying Towards Care of Our Common Home: Five Years After Laudato Si’

“It is imperative to promote a new vision of the economy capable of taking into account ecological concerns,” the Journeying Towards Care report said.

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