Press Release: Wespath Releases 2015-2016 Sustainable Investment Report
February 13, 2017
For Immediate Release
Contact: Colette Nies, Managing Director, Communications
(847) 866-4296 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Glenview, IL—Today, Wespath Benefits and Investments (Wespath) released its 2015-2016 Sustainable Investment Report.
Investing in a Sustainable Manner
Investing in a sustainable manner means Wespath incorporates the consideration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into investments across asset classes and in the selection of external asset managers. We believe these efforts support long-term value creation while having a positive impact on the environment and society.
General Secretary Barbara Boigegrain noted: “This report illustrates our progress over the past two years in our sustainable investment approach with new investments in companies that we believe will support the transition to a low-carbon economy while providing diversification to our funds. We intensified our shareholder engagement on critical ESG issues with companies in which we invest, and created positive change as a result. We broadened our partnerships with like-minded investors around the world, scaling our impact and supporting more sustainable and responsible corporate and investment practices.”
Sustainable Investment Report Highlights
Positive Social Purpose Lending Program—25th anniversary
This program has invested over $2 billion in market-rate loans to support affordable housing and community development across all 50 states, and microfinance opportunities in developing countries.
Impactful corporate engagement efforts
Shareholder resolutions asking Chevron and Occidental Petroleum to stress-test their portfolios of assets for resilience to a low-carbon economy received unprecedented support. Simon Property Group, Comcast Corp. and Equifax all improved board diversity as a result of Wespath’s engagement efforts.
Enhanced External Manager ESG Integration process
A refined methodology allows Wespath to evaluate and benchmark how its external managers integrate ESG issues into investment decision-making.
Chief Investment Officer Dave Zellner said: “We recognize that macro-economic trends linked to ESG issues impact the companies in which we invest. These include a growing global population and increased strain on natural resources, as well as concerted global policies aimed at curbing the Earth’s rising temperatures. As sustainable investors, we are dedicated to understanding the risks as well as unique investment opportunities these trends present for the funds we manage on behalf of participants and institutional clients.”
The Wespath 2015-2016 Sustainable Investment Report is available at https://www.wespath.org/investments/sustainable-investment-report/.
About Wespath Benefits and Investments
Wespath Benefits and Investments (Wespath) is a not-for-profit administrative agency of The United Methodist Church, with Church-authorized fiduciary responsibility for the benefit plans it administers and the assets it invests.
Prudent investment management decisions are an ongoing, long-term priority, supporting benefit plans for over 100,000 participants and approximately $21 billion in assets managed on their behalf, and for many United Methodist-affiliated endowments, foundations and other institutions.
Wespath is the largest reporting faith-based pension fund in the world and among the top 100 pension funds in the United States. Its sustainable investment activities are carried out by Wespath Investment Management, the agency’s investments division.