There are three mandates for biblically responsible investing: avoid, embrace, and engage. In April, I wrote a blog going deeper into the avoid mandate:
Last month, I focused on embrace:
The last mandate, engage, emphasizes working with companies to advocate for positive changes. This really focuses on taking an action and pushing companies for change.
This might be the most important mandate. A lot of Christians talk about wanting certain things to change, but it takes action to actually see those changes. It's not up to the government to mandate and protect Christian values. Christians need to band together to advocate for positive changes.
In this short blog, I'm going to discuss some specific things Christian investors can do as well as provide some examples of engagement being done. It's not enough to only invest in the good companies and avoid the bad companies; action needs to be taken. Eventide and Inspire are two of our BRI partners that engage with companies to advocate for positive change. Let's first look at an example from Eventide:
Forced labor in the solar industry
When people want to make an impact with their investments, it's more obvious to not invest in companies who profit off of products that harm others (ex. Drugs, alcohol). However, it's also important to look at the labor practices and how the employees of the company are treated. One of Eventide's core investment ideals is respecting the value and freedom of ALL people. They won't support forced labor at any stage in a company's supply chain. If Eventide finds out about forced labor in any stage with a company they are invested in, they will engage with the company to address the issue – if the supplier is unwilling to change and/or the company is unwilling to cut ties with the supplier, Eventide will divest in the company.
The solar industry has a lot of labor practice issues (see more here). Eventide is currently working on engaging with the solar supply chain who have the power to change sourcing and asset managers who have the power to move capital. They understand that this is a change that can't happen overnight; therefore, they are proposing a phased approach. Check out the article for more details on how Eventide is engaging in this industry to advocate for a positive change.
If you'd like to learn more about other examples of Eventide engaging with companies/industries with their Business360 model, go to:
Inspire and Smuckers
Back towards the beginning of the year, Inspire Investing posted a campaign against the J.M. Smucker Co. (well known for Smuckers peanut butter). Inspire started this campaign after they signed on to the "Business Coalition for the Equality Act". Although their desire in this was to support their LGBT employees by creating a safe workplace, which is a good thing, there are issues with the Equality Act for women, children, and religious people.
Inspire's petition campaign was started to show Smucker's leadership those who do not support their decision with the Equality Act. Check out the petition here:
This is a very simple and small thing Christian investors can do to advocate for positive change.
Another example of engagement include working with non-Christian companies to create a safe space for Christian employees to have their voices heard. Larger companies such as Target, Apple, and Google have all established Christian employee groups, even though they don't share Christian values. The graphic below shows other companies that have Christian Employee Communities and Employee Resource Groups from non-Christian companies.
Our ultimate goal through Biblically Responsible Investing is to glorify God in everything that we do. We want to shine the light of God and make an impact in our communities. About halfway through each month, I've been covering a different aspect of BRI in order to educate more people on what it is. Let me know either by commenting on this post or emailing me what other topics you'd like me to cover relating to BRI.