Southeast Green - Business depends on the environment and the environment depends on business

Why I Marched?

Susan Varlamoff marching at the People's Climate MarchI felt a scientific and moral imperative to participate in the People’s Climate March in Washington D.C. April 29.

As an environmental scientist, I understand the link between climate change and human behavior and as a Catholic, I feel a deep responsibility to safeguard our natural resources for succeeding generations. As a mother of three sons and two grandchildren, I want to leave the Mother Earth in good standing to nourish their bodies and souls. And I know time is not on our side.

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Earth Day, Science March, Creation Care

Earth Day, Science March, Creation Care

This year on Earth Day, thousands will gather in Washington, D.C., and in cities across the country to march for science and protect the deeply held value for truth and facts. They are marching to defend the vital role science plays in our communities and our world. They are marching because science is not partisan; it is not liberal or conservative. And they are marching to demonstrate that our nation values the scientists and the scientific agencies working to make our world safer, cleaner and healthier.

Why should a science march matter to people of faith?

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New Wespath Fund offers Fossil Free Fund for UMC Pension Holders

Effective April 1, 2017, Wespath Benefits and Investments revised the investment guidelines for its Equity Social Values Plus Fund (ESVPF) to provide an option to investors who have a heightened focus on companies’ environmental and social performance. These revised guidelines do not affect any other Wespath funds. ESVPF remains a passively managed global stock fund and Wespath has adopted a customized index called the MSCI World Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) ex Fossil Fuels Index as its new performance benchmark.

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Church investments take on climate change

Photo courtesy of d.light  A young boy holds a d.light solar lamp at his home in the Mathare slum, Nairobi, Kenya. Wespath Benefits and Investments has invested about $30 million in solar projects, including d.light.

A young boy holds a d.light solar lamp at his home in the Mathare slum, Nairobi, Kenya. Wespath Benefits and Investments has invested about $30 million in solar projects, including d.light. - Photo courtesy of d.light

Apollo Kagwe, an herbalist in rural Kenya, relies on a solar-powered lantern to light his way home from work and illuminate his household into the night.

“Without it, I would be blind,” he told d.light, the company that sold him his lantern.

Wespath Benefits and Investments, The United Methodist Church’s pension agency, has invested some $30 million in enterprises such as d.light that provide solar-powered lighting and home kits for people who live off the electrical grid.

The investment in solar lights is just one way Wespath seeks to live out church social teachings while carrying out its fiduciary responsibilities to United Methodist clergy and other investors.

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