The Sisters of Charity of New York have committed themselves to seeking justice through our investments for over 30 years. We want our investments to “do good” while doing well. We do not invest in companies profiting from the defense industry. Through shareholder resolutions we most recently have acted on issues such as polychloral bi-phenyl (PCB) pollution in the Hudson River, the need for renewable energy investment, water use in bottling operations in India, and concerns relating to sustainability practices.
We have dialogued with corporations in which we are invested on issues such as human trafficking, access to medicines, violent video games and bank lending practices. Along with religious investors in the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, we have also written to and lobbied the Securities Exchange Commission on critical matters of shareholder rights and proxy access rules.
In the area of socially responsible investing we also keep a dedicated fund for alternate investments. These are potentially high risk, start-up endeavors related to community development, low income housing and projects in the developing world. Many times such programs have difficulty accessing standard modes of credit or banking services or would have to pay prohibitive rates of interest. The Sisters of Charity of New York see this activity as an extension of our mission.