Through the lens of faith and the promotion of human rights, Seventh Generation Interfaith Coalition for Responsible Investment builds a more just and sustainable world for those most vulnerable by integrating social and environmental values into corporate and investor actions.
Although it is a moral and legal fiduciary responsibility as trustees to ensure an adequate return on investment for the support the work of our ministries and clients, our members believe their stewardship embraces broader moral concerns. As part owners, they must cooperate in shaping the policies of companies they hold stock in through dialogue with management, voting at corporate meetings or through proxies, introduction of resolutions and participation in investment decisions. While the motivation for our work is grounded in the values and principles of our member organizations, it also stems from the practical conviction that business leaders who choose to serve the common good build more profitable businesses over the long-term. This concept challenges antiquated, deeply embedded business models, and yet, as a result of our questions, more and more companies are making this shift with increasingly positive results.
While our coalition engages corporations on a host of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, since our inception our principal focus has been on the social impacts of corporate operations and policies. Therefore, our engagements are framed within a human rights construct. Whether the issue is labor pay and work conditions, sustainable agriculture, access to affordable healthcare, or impact of climate change, it is the impact on people, usually economically vulnerable people, who inspire us to act. Our Coalition supports our members in this work, providing resources, opportunities, and a shared forum to learn and engage with each other as we promote a culture of corporate social responsibility.
As a pioneer of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), SGI has been successfully working with like-minded colleagues throughout the country including faith-based institutions, asset management companies, unions, pension funds and colleges and universities that collectively represent over $200 billion in invested capital. Our history and success demonstrates that utilizing our power as stakeholders has sparked a momentum that has engaged other sectors of society beyond religious institutions in involvement for social change.
We also collaborate with Ceres, a non-profit organization advocating for sustainability leadership that mobilizes a powerful network of investors, companies and public interest groups to accelerate and expand the adoption of sustainable business practices and solutions.