Sustainable Investment

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Climate Change

We urge companies and public policy makers to create more sustainable business practices and policies, and have done so for more than two decades. Our Avoid—Engage—Invest framework helps us identify and prioritize where climate change-related risks and opportunities are likely to occur.

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Ethical Exclusions

The General Board seeks to avoid investing in companies that produce and/or provide products and services that are not aligned with United Methodist values. Our six exclusions relate to: alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, adult entertainment, weapons, gambling and privately-owned correctional facilities.

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Public Policy / Position Statements

The General Board periodically writes letters to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding proposed rules. We also collaborate with other investors seeking to influence regulatory or public policy leaders by cosigning letters and position statements.

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Human Rights

The General Board seeks to influence change to improve the lives of those affected by human rights abuses, while helping to provide financial security to our participants and clients. The U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights provide the foundation for our activities.

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Active Ownership

The General Board works to promote corporate sustainability and increase value for investors by engaging companies and public policy makers on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, actively voting proxies and managing excessive sustainability risk.

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Strategic Partners

The General Board works in partnership with other sustainable investors and organizations dedicated to corporate accountability and sustainability. Our sustainable investment strategic partners complement the General Board’s full range of sustainable investing activities.

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Positive Impact Investments

The General Board offers affordable housing, community development and other loan opportunities for low-income, underserved populations around the world through its Positive Social Purpose Lending Program.

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Proxy Voting

The General Board’s proxy voting guidelines promote well-run companies with strong and accountable leadership, remuneration that is linked to financial and social performance, and the integration of ESG issues into business practices.

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Sustainable Investment Report

This annual report summarizes our investment philosophy in action—describing our long-term investment approach with a sustainability focus, designed to protect the future financial security of 91,000 plan participants and institutional investors.

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Except where noted, our investments are screened in accordance with the Social Principles of The United Methodist Church. The board of directors approves these guidelines.

The General Board was one of the original signatories to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), a multi-stakeholder initiative dedicated to promoting and incorporating environmental, social and governance factors into investment decision-making. Learn more about the PRI and the General Board’s involvement in this initiative.

 
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