From Preaching to Investing: Attitudes of Religious Organisations Towards Responsible Investment

Céline Louche, Daniel Arenas, Katinka C. van Cranenburgh

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Religious organisations are major investors with sometimes substantial investment volumes. An important question for them is how to make investments in, and to earn returns from, companies and activities that are consistent with their religious beliefs or that even support these beliefs. Religious organisations have pioneered responsible investment. Yet little is known about their investment attitudes. This article addresses this gap by studying faith consistent investing. Based on a survey complemented by interviews, we investigate religious organisations' attitudes towards responsible investment including opinions, practices and the impediments for implementing faith consistent investing. Although our results cannot be generalised because of the non-random character of our sample, six main characteristics of faith consistent investing are drawn: investing is not perceived as being in contradiction with religious values, religious values are important drivers, there is a strong community around faith consistent investing, religious investors are pioneering impact investing, implementing faith consistent investing is not without difficulties, and practices vary across regions. The survey also reveals that faith consistent investing has many commonalities with secular responsible investors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-320
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Volume110
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Faith consistent investing
  • Impact investing
  • Negative screening
  • Positive screening
  • Religion
  • Responsible investment
  • Shareholder engagement

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