(Board of Pensions press release.) In its continuing work of environmental stewardship, the Board of Pensions will make a global environmental fund available to investors in the Retirement Savings Plan of the Presbyterian Church (USA) (RSP) effective January 1, 2017.
The Investment Committee of the Board of Directors of the Board of Pensions on Friday approved adding the Pax Global Environmental Markets Fund Institutional Class (PGINX) to the RSP. Pax Global joins the PCUSA Socially Responsible U.S. Equity Fund and the PCUSA Socially Responsible Balanced Fund as a screened option in the RSP. Pax Global is fossil fuel-free and invests in companies worldwide that produce products or create solutions to drive positive environmental performance, such as alternative energy or waste management technology.
“With Pax Global, church workers who participate in the 403(b)(9) plan will be able to invest in companies working to have a positive environmental impact,” said Frank C. Spencer, President of the Board of Pensions. “While the Church continues to engage energy companies for positive change, Pax Global gives us the opportunity to be environmentally proactive now, through investing.”
Pax Global managers make investments for the portfolio based on the conviction that population dynamics, scarcity of natural resources, inadequate infrastructure, and environmental constraints are creating societal risks that present investment opportunities.
The Board of Pensions Investments team recommended Pax Global for the RSP after studying various fossil fuel-free options. Most environmentally focused options were cost-prohibitive, but the team determined Pax Global to be both affordable and well managed. The sub-advisor to Pax Global, London-based Impax Asset Management, has received numerous sustainability honors, including the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in sustainable development.
The 222nd General Assembly (2016) called on church agencies to consider diversifying the energy sector holdings in their portfolios to expose investors to more companies that are actively responding to climate change. It is in the spirit of that call that the Board of Pensions is adding Pax Global to the church Retirement Savings Plan.
“Being proactive on the environment is a matter of economic justice,” President Spencer said. “When climate change goes unchecked, it is low-income communities, especially communities of color, that are hurt the most. Church workers should be able to support social justice in their investments. Pax Global gives them that option.”