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ARC Home > Projects > Sacred gifts :
Methodist money

USA: United Methodists commit $40 billion to ethical investments

The United Methodist Pension Board in the US is spearheading a drive to convert all the denomination’s funds to ethical investments, a move affecting up to US$40 billion of church assets. Currently some 30 per cent of the Church’s funds are invested in some form of ethical portfolio.

As part of this Sacred Gift the Board is promoting a broad-based socially responsible investment scheme, throughout the seven million members of the United Methodists’ congregations. The scheme includes environmental stewardship considerations.

"What is the good of having a nice house without a decent planet to put it on?" - Henry David Thoreau
The Pension Board screens its investment portfolio, worth an estimated US $13 billion, for a whole range of eco-justice considerations and uses its proxy votes to encourage corporations to adopt environmentally friendly codes and practices.

It has now expanded its ethical investment work to include positive as well as negacontact with church-related foundations, national and regional boards and agencies, health care institutions, universities, camps, and individual congregations.

In addition, the Pension Board is actively involved with interfaith efforts to widen the commitment of religious institutions worldwide to ethical investment schemes.

Since 2000 the Pension Board has become one of the key groups developing 3iG and it plays an increasingly important role in helping other faiths move to socially responsible investing.

The Board is encouraging Methodists worldwide to develop similar schemes.

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