Sustainable Investment

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Sustainable Investment Report

This report provides an overview of Wespath’s sustainable investment activities throughout 2015 and 2016. Wespath incorporates the consideration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into investments across asset classes and in the selection of external asset managers.

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Sustainable Investment Strategies—2016 Highlights

Wespath's comprehensive approach to sustainable investment supports our role as prudent fiduciaries and our aspiration to have a positive impact on the environment and society.
 

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Positive Impact Investments

Wespath 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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Ethical Exclusions

Wespath 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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Video: Sustainable Investment Strategies

Kirsty Jenkinson explains how our internal framework of Avoid—Engage—Invest drives our sustainable investment activities. Our process supports long-term value creation, while having a positive impact on the environment and society.

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Human Rights

Wespath Benefits and Investments (Wespath) 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

Wespath 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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Public Policy / Position Statements

Wespath 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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Sustainable Investment Strategies Infographic

This infographic provides a visual snapshot of Wespath's comprehensive approach to sustainable investment. We strive to have a beneficial impact on the environment and society.
 

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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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Proxy Voting

Wespath’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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Strategic Partners

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

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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.

Wespath 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 Wespath’s involvement in this initiative.

 
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