New York, March 20, 2023 – The Board of Directors of United Church Funds (UCF) has issued a Climate Justice Statement, declaring UCF’s commitment to addressing global warming through its investment policies and engagements and placing climate justice and racial justice as its highest organizational priorities.
“As a faith-based investor guided by a vision of a just world for all, we acknowledge that there is an urgent need to accelerate the reduction of greenhouse gases and toxic emissions and seek climate justice for all people,” the statement reads in part. It goes on to outline four action steps to which UCF commits:
“We all know that climate change is one of the greatest challenges humankind has ever faced,” said Matthew Illian, UCF’s Director of Responsible Investing. “But we also know that social, racial and economic justice are intertwined with the climate crisis. As our statement makes clear, climate change has a disproportionate impact on Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities and low wealth nations around the world who, paradoxically, are least responsible for the crisis. As responsible investors, we need to address this impact now and work to reduce it.”
UCF’s Climate Justice Statement is the most recent – and most forceful – iteration of UCF’s long-standing commitments to climate justice. In 2014, UCF created the Beyond Fossil Fuels Fund, which screens out companies that are engaged in the extraction of fossil fuels. UCF also engages corporations in their greenhouse gas emissions with other signatories of Climate Action 100+.
In adopting the statement, UCF’s Board of Directors placed the climate crisis as one of its highest priorities for investor action. Edith Guffey, UCF Board Chair, said that the statement adds new goals to UCF’s mission of helping churches and faith-based organizations grow their ministries through values-aligned investing. “As the challenges of the world evolve, so does our mission,” Guffey explained. “There is a business case for focusing on climate justice, but there’s a far more important moral imperative at play: to take into account how climate change affects marginalized communities. Climate justice is racial justice and is now a critical component of UCF’s commitment to achieving Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI).”
In 2020, UCF co-signed the Investor Statement of Solidarity to Address Systemic Racism, which commits to actively engage with, amplify and include Black voices in investor spaces and company engagements, among other efforts. The following year, UCF began to increase the diversity of its asset managers, with a specific goal of at least 60% of its domestic portfolio managed by diverse managers.
Charles Buck, UCF’s President and CEO, made it clear that climate and racial justice will continue to be priorities for UCF. “Our goal is to create a more just world for all,” said Buck, “and we will leverage whatever power we have through our responsible investing strategies.”UCF’s Climate Justice Statement can be read in full here.
About United Church Funds
United Church Funds (UCF) is the leading provider of socially responsible, values-aligned investment management services to United Church of Christ churches and ministries, as well as all faith-based organizations. We offer customized investment portfolios and prudent investment strategies that provide competitive returns while also reflecting our clients’ values in seeking to achieve a just world. UCF also offers endowment governance consulting, planned giving programs and superior, personalized service from our dedicated Client Services team. To learn more about how UCF can help your church or faith-based organization further its mission while achieving its long-term financial goals, please visit www.ucfunds.org, email us at [email protected] or call us toll-free at 877-806-4989.
Click here to download the press release.