The congregation invests in equities and other financial instruments to provide for the care of our elderly and infirm members. We have been blessed with resources from generous donors and we are conscientious stewards of the fruits of our labor. Responsible stewardship involves using our assets in ways that maximize the economic power from these assts to promote justice and avoids uses that promote injustice. Socially responsible investing is a national movements that has grown exponentially since the late 1970s.
The Congregation uses three strategies in its exercise of corporate responsibility:
1. We channel investments toward socially responsible purposes. In particular, we consider investments in corporations which:
- Manifest responsible stewardship of the earth’s resources and engage in environmentally sound practices;
- Respect the dignity of the human person in employment practices, humane work environments and in production of safe and healthy products;
- Utilize corporate profits responsibly as with profit-sharing and just wages for employees:
- Encourage and foster the hiring and advancement of women and minorities
- Are operating or investing in the post apartheid South Africa, are promoting equal rights of all citizens regardless of race and are contributing to the building of social structures;
- Are engaged in conversation away from military-oriented research, development or production.
2. We divert investments away from destructive uses. In particular, we refrain from investing in businesses which:
- Manufacture nuclear weapons;
- Are among the top 25 weapons contractors;
- Own nuclear power facilities;
- Develop or produce biological or chemical weapons;
- Produce tobacco and/or tobacco products
- Produce abortifacients; perform embryonic stem cell or fetal tissue research;
- Ignore the World Health Organization’s recommended practices in underdeveloped countries;
- Lend money to and/or refinance loans for regimes whose policies and practices repress the political, economic and religious rights of its citizenry;
- Fail to attain satisfactory Community Reinvestment Act ratings;
- Produce or distribute pornographic materials or services.
3. When considered an activist investor, the plan may:
- Retain/buy shares in companies which have destructive or unethical practices in order to gain the right to file resolutions;
- Attend shareholder meetings;
- Meet with the management over issues;
- Vote the proxies;
- Write letters to encourage positive movements and to educate on issues of difference.
The congregation is a member of the Conference on Corporate Responsibility of Indiana and Michigan (CCRIM), the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) and other appropriate groups that evaluate investment opportunities. The Councilor for Finance oversees the voting of proxies for all stocks held by the congregation. The congregation may choose to own equities and fixed income securities in companies that perform poorly in social responsibility ratings for the purpose of applying pressure, as a shareholder, to correct this situation.