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church keeps hard line on alcohol sector

April 2005

The Church of England is to maintain its policy of not investing in brewers, distillers and operators of bars and pubs.

The church’s main investing bodies – the Church Commissioners, the Central Board of Finance and the Church of England Pensions Board – have accepted a recommendation from their Ethical Investment Advisory Group that the stance remain unchanged.

Peter Selby, Bishop of Worcester and deputy chairman of the advisory group, said: ‘The prime ethical objection to investing in this area is the social damage caused by alcohol abuse and misuse, such as crime, violence, broken homes and damage to health.’ A deciding factor was ‘a lack of confidence in the present self-regulatory environment’, despite some efforts by the sector, he added.

After a similar review in 1998 the church loosened its policy slightly by allowing investment in selected companies that have diversified into catering, hotels, health and ‘family-focused activities’. The church controls assets of £4.5billion ($8.6bn).



Further Information
http://www.cofe.anglican.org/info/ethical/policystatements/policyalcohol.pdf
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