10 June 2010
The Church of England’s national investing bodies have agreed an ethical investment policy on investments in the defence sector recommended by the Church’s Ethical Investment Advisory Group (EIAG).
The EIAG followed its standard ethical method, examining biblical guidance, theology, ethics, Christian tradition and Anglican thinking.
The policy involves a complete bar on investment in companies involved in the production of indiscriminate weapons – companies involved in landmines, cluster munitions, nuclear weapons and the processing, supply or storage of weapons-grade nuclear fissile materials.
For companies involved in conventional weaponry, the EIAG recommended a threshold for turnover from strategic military sales which, once exceeded, should make a company an inappropriate investment for the Church national investing bodies. This threshold, which has been accepted by the investing bodies, is 10% of turnover.
John Reynolds, Chairman of the EIAG, said “While many Anglicans accept that recourse to war may be justified, they are uncomfortable about war and the appropriateness of investing in, and deriving profit from, products purposefully designed to destroy human life”.
Mr Reynolds said: “The more restrictive approach to companies involved in indiscriminate weapons comes from Christian ‘just war’ thinking, which holds that warfare should avoid harm to non-combatants and that means of warfare should be proportionate. “
The Church of England Ethical Investment Advisory Group (EIAG) makes recommendations on ethical investment policy to the Church's three national investing bodies (the Church Commissioners for England, The Church of England Pensions Board and the CBF Church of England Funds).
The EIAG includes representation from the General Synod, the Archbishops’ Council and the Council for Mission and Public Affairs as well as the investing bodies.
The EIAG has no investment powers of its own but acts in a wholly advisory capacity. It is the responsibility of the Trustees of each separately constituted investment body to decide whether to implement the advice given.
The defence investments policy can be found in full here.