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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Investing with purpose

ELCA leaders take corporate social responsibility seriously

What does it mean for the church to practice corporate social responsibility?

According to the ELCA Web site, it means operating on two beliefs: “God’s business involves all of life” and “God calls the Church both corporately and individually to use all that is committed to our care to practice good stewardship of the creation, pursue justice, care for people in need, and to seek things that make for peace.”

Photo illustration by Michael D. Watson / PhotodiscPatricia Zerega, director for corporate social responsibility, ELCA Church in Society, calls it “a long-term dialogue .... We keep bringing up with companies the many reasons corporate social responsibility is so vital.”

The ELCA Board of Pensions, which owns the stock involved, files the shareholder resolutions with companies, Zerega said. “But our office holds dialogues before and after with corporations, some of which have a goal of removing a proxy resolution before it gets to the table,” she said. “So they work with us to resolve our concerns.”

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