Economic Social Criteria Investment Screens
Environmental Social Criteria Screen
Approved by the ELCA Church Council – April 21-23, 1990
Updated by the Advisory Committee for Corporate Social Responsibility – May 24, 2007
Approved by the ELCA Church Council – November 2007
Authority: The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has laid out its concern for the environment in a social statement “Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope and Justice” , acknowledging both God’s goodness in creation and acceptance of the care-giving responsibility of Christians.
Wording of screen: The ELCA recommends limiting investments made in corporations which are the most egregious in terms of damage to human health or the natural environment. The ELCA recommends investments in corporations which are taking positive steps toward a sustainable environment.
Definition of Problem: “The earth is a planet of beauty and abundance; the earth system is wonderfully intricate and incredibly complex. But today living creatures, and the air, soil, and water that support them, face unprecedented threats. Many threats are global; most stem directly from human activity. Our current practices may so alter the living world that it will be unable to sustain life in the manner we know.” (Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope and Justice [ELCA, 1993])
Recognizing that various investors will implement this along a continuum, for the purpose of this screen investment might include companies using technologies or operating practices that minimally or less significantly damage the environment. Such damage may be on a continuous basis or may be catastrophic. Investors may look at an industry or sector that harms the environment and distinguish between culling out the worst players and those who are most actively taking corrective measures. Positive investments may be made in companies which are taking corrective measures as well as those corporations which are contributing toward a sustainable environment.
Social policy and studies:
Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope and Justice [ELCA, 1993]
Global Warming; ELCA Churchwide Assembly Action CA01.07.57
Environmental Concerns; ELCA Churchwide Assembly Action CA89.08.108