Sydney diocesan trust goes green

Managers of the Diocese of Sydney’s investment fund have announced they will divest fossil fuel and gambling stocks from their £130 portfolio

Managers of the Diocese of Sydney’s investment fund have announced they will divest fossil fuel and gambling stocks from their £130 portfolio in response to church calls for a social conscious investment polity. Glebe Administration Board chief executive Mark Payne told The Australian last week “management has just this week finalised its recommendations to the board,” though it was unclear if the board would sell out now, or at a fiscally appropriate time in the future. Last October the Synod diocesan synod asked the board to divest from gambling stocks. The General Synod of the Anglican Church of Australia last year also urged church institutions to pull out of fossil fuel stocks. Synod asked “each diocese to review the criteria for its investments, to give high prior­ity to ecological sustainability and in particular explore removal of fossil-fuel industries from ­diocesan investment portfolios” Mr. Payne said the board has “done a lot of extensive work around the ethical policy generally because gambling and fossil fuels are only two of the ethical issues that might be dealt with in the ethical policy.” The board will present to the October 2015 meeting of synod new investment guidelines that will present the “ projected impact of the policy on the performance of the portfolio, the risks associated with the investment of the portfolio and the expect­ed distributions.”

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