Press Release: Wespath Releases New Sustainable Investment Report
Highlights net-zero ambitions, COVID-19 response, engagements on key ESG issues, and more
For Immediate Release
Contact: Julie Capozzi
Managing Director, Communications
Glenview, IL—Wespath Benefits and Investments (Wespath) today released its new Sustainable Investment Report. The report provides an overview of Wespath’s organization-wide approach to sustainable investment and shares highlights from 2019 and 2020—including the agency’s latest work on climate action, COVID-19 response, engagements on human rights and more.
Wespath General Secretary and CEO Barbara Boigegrain said, “The publication of this biennial report follows what has been an unprecedented and challenging year that thrust the world into dual public health and economic crises. This situation, which affected so many people on so many levels, further underscores the importance of Wespath’s long-standing commitment to sustainable investment.”
“A rising tide lifts all boats,” added Dave Zellner, Chief Investment Officer. “This report demonstrates the many ways that—together—we can be the tide needed to help achieve our sustainable economy vision, improve outcomes for people around the world, and deliver investment results that meet or exceed the expectations of our participants and institutional clients.”
The report is built around Wespath’s belief that investors must create and support a sustainable global economy—one that promotes long-term prosperity for all, with equal opportunities for advancement; social cohesion, with reliable access to basic necessities; and environmental health, with resilient ecosystems.
The report’s “Sustainability Stories” further explore certain concepts and initiatives, including Wespath’s approach to asset manager engagement, the 30-year anniversary of the Positive Social Purpose (PSP) Lending Program and a primer on the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
In the years covered by the report, Wespath:
- Became the second U.S.-based investor to join the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance (Alliance) and co-leads the Alliance’s Asset Manager Engagement working group
- Continued efforts to integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) best practices with more than 50 external asset manager partners, covering a combined +$27 trillion (USD)
- Financed approximately 1,200 affordable housing units in 2019 and 2020 through the PSP Lending Program
- Wespath’s 260 employees joined in the response to 2020 events, leading to over $14,000 in staff donations to 19 organizations supporting COVID-19 relief and social justice efforts
About Wespath Benefits and Investments
Wespath Benefits and Investments (Wespath) is a not-for-profit agency that has been serving The United Methodist Church (UMC) for over a century. In accordance with its fiduciary duties, Wespath administers benefit plans and, together with its subsidiaries, including Wespath Institutional Investments, invests over $28 billion in assets on behalf of over 100,000 participants and over 130 United Methodist-affiliated institutions (as of December 31, 2020). Wespath funds invest in a sustainable manner that supports long-term value creation while having a positive impact on the environment and society and upholding the values of the UMC. Wespath maintains the largest reporting faith-based pension fund in the world. For additional information about Wespath Benefits and Investments, please follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.