Ideas and Impact

Assets in Action: How Catholic Institutions are Using Their Investments to Counter Climate Change

This report explores three Catholic organizations’ varying efforts to advance the clean energy economy in ways that align with their missions.

In his second encyclical, Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home, Pope Francis issued a passionate call to action on climate change. “Human beings,” he wrote, “while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start.” In response, many Catholic organizations are contemplating how to align their investment strategy with their core mission and values. This report highlights several inspiring examples of Catholic organizations that reflected on their financial and moral imperatives and found innovative ways to invest in a clean energy economy while also divesting their assets from fossil fuels. For instance, the Franciscan Sisters of Mary in St. Louis has divested its assets of fossil fuels while making environmentally responsible investments in areas such as sustainable land use, renewable energy, and waste and pollution reduction. The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia is leading the way on shareholder advocacy, influencing corporations and businesses to reduce their carbon footprints. Arabella believes each of these case studies offers useful insights for Catholic organizations considering how to answer the Pope’s call as well as others who wish to move toward a more mission-driven investment approach.

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