Article by Kip Coerper, organist and choirmaster for St. James’ Episcopal Church in Skaneateles and a GreenFaith Fellow. He offers reflections on Creation Care in the monthly “Green Corner.”
When it comes to speaking up for God’s creation, how can we let our voices be heard at the corporate and government level?
Sign petitions that come your way via 350.org or Sierra Club or any number of environmental organizations. Sign letters to corporate leaders and to your congresspeople. Establish an environmental advisory committee to your town or Village Board. Run for local government office on an environmental platform.
Since global warming and climate change are at tipping points now, it is imperative that we act not only locally, but globally. Governments and corporations are beginning to talk about the need to pay attention to their climate footprint. However, their actual movement on environmental issues is quite minimal. There seem to be supportive words but not substantive action.
The reality of that inertia is often related to the bottom line— the dollar. So a way forward to lean into environmental action is to remove our dollars from being invested by companies that are harming creation. The divestment movement is gathering momentum and having a positive impact on corporate environmental choices. You can join that movement by finding out where your money is invested and redirecting those funds into organization that care about Environmental, Social, and Governance criteria. ESG companies are producing as good and better returns than companies that invest in fossil fuels and other climate destroying technologies.
Some places to find out how to divest and move your money into money making opportunities that are also sustainable and pass the ESG criteria are:
- Hansen’s Advisory Services in Central New York at hansensadvisory.com
- Rivers and Mountains GreenFaith Circle provides a service to walk you through the process of divestment. They will be providing a workshop next fall, in-person at St. James’ Episcopal Church in Skaneateles and on Zoom.
When thinking about divestment, think about where your gift money goes. Do you donate to your alma mater? Ask where they invest their money. If it is not in ESG companies, suggest to them that you would like to see a more environmentally responsible balance sheet before you give them more funds.
Individual investors do have a choice. We can make our voices heard in the marketplace. We vote with our pocket book. Buy from socially and environmentally responsible organizations and invest with socially and environmentally responsible institutions. God’s green earth will thank you.