Investment Ideology

Investment Ideology

We are called to be the Church

The United Church of Canada Foundation’s approach to investing is based on the words of A New Creed:

We are called to be the church:
To live with respect in creation;
To love and serve others;
To seek justice and resist evil

In following the words of A New Creed, the Foundation strives to be faithful stewards of the gifts and generosity of our congregations. That means more than ensuring financial returns – it is about caring for all creation and all of our relationships.

Connect with the Foundation

We believe that accountability is an important aspect of faithful stewardship. If you have any questions or concerns about our apporaches to investments, please reach out to us. Call the Foundation office at 1-866-340-8223, or fill the form out below.

    Environmental, Social, and Governance criteria

    The Foundation, along with the Treasury Fund of the General Council, and the Pension Plan of The United Church of Canada, has developed a set of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria that help guide our investments. Together, we work to ensure that the financial workings of the United Church of Canada never stray from the mission, vision, values, and beliefs of the United Church.

    The three national investment bodies support the beliefs that:
    • responsible investing is a positive force influencing corporate behaviour through encouraging responsible actions;
    • responsible investment is more than negative screening;
    • engagement can be a powerful tool to change corporate behaviour;
    • promoting ESG issues in the companies in which we invest serves both parts of our mandate: to generate good financial returns while honouring the values of the organization we serve and the denomination.

    We believe in being active participants in the organizations we choose to invest in. We seek to improve their ESG practices in areas such as sustainable environmental practice; fair treatment of customers and suppliers; responsible employment practices; conscientiousness with regard to human rights; sensitivity toward the communities in which they operate; respect for free, prior, and informed consent; and best corporate governance practice.

    Learn more about our Sustainable Portfolio Program, which was developed in partnership with Genus Capital Management, by clicking the icon to the left.

    Investment exclusions

    Maintaining high ESG standards means identifying investment opportunities that are not aligned with the values of the United Church. We believe that economic issues are faith issues, as they are at the heart of ensuring a dignified life for all people and impact our abilities to live with respect in creation.

     

    Historically, the United Church has identified several business activities that are inconsistent with the Church’s values. The Foundation has named securities of companies materially engaged in these areas as unsuitable for investment. These business activities include tobacco, gambling, adult entertainment, and antipersonnel weapons. Companies that engage in these business activities in a material way are not considered applicable for direct investment.

    Managing our investments

    Each of the national investment bodies is advised by a separate Investment Committee comprised of expert volunteers. The Foundation seeks their advice and wisdom when making larger, meaningful investments. We are also closely partnered with other financial planning firms and organizations which help manage our assets and empower the Foundation to support the work of the United Church.

    Fiduciary obligations of the Foundation

    The Foundation operates within the legal framework for investment by charities and pension funds. As an organization, the Foundation is separate legally from the General Council of the United Church of Canada. That means that the Foundation’s board is responsible to its donors (that’s you), and not to the General Council. This grants the Foundation more flexibility in using our investments to empower the work of the Foundation directly.

     

    It is normal practice for foundations and pension funds to have independent trustees to ensure the best interests of and protect those they serve. As trustees, they have legal obligations to discharge their fiduciary responsibilities. They must make their own decisions to adopt or not adopt investment / divestment recommendations.

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