For Five Decades, A Faithful Voice for Justice
People of all faith traditions have long recognized that the way capital is invested can either mitigate or exacerbate some of the world’s most critical challenges and, for this reason, have invested their endowments in a “socially responsible” manner. In 1971, the founding congregations of ICCR decided to employ a more direct strategy by using their financial stake in some of the world’s most powerful companies to promote a corporate response to the human rights abuses occurring under the racist apartheid system in South Africa. They did this by filing a shareholder proposal requesting that General Motors, and later other U.S. domiciled companies, stop doing business in South Africa until such time as apartheid was abolished. While we were only a part of this important movement, the echoes of this origen story remain strong in our coalition and propel our actions to this day.
Fast forward over five decades: the field of sustainable investment is now both mainstream and global with trillions in assets under management adopting these practices. Forward-looking corporations now champion the importance of measuring and disclosing their societal and environmental impacts and recognize the need to prioritize all their stakeholders including their workers, customers and the communities where they operate.
As Nelson Mandela said, “After climbing a great hill, one finds that there are many more hills to climb.” ICCR members, inspired by their faith and values, are ready and motivated to climb the next hill.