Associate Karen Martens of the Eco-Justice Committee looks at Goal 3 and provides some suggestions about how to address this goal
Goal 3: Ecological Economics (sustainable production, Fair-trade, ethical consumption, ethical investments, divestment from fossil fuels and any economic activity harmful to the planet and the people, investment in renewable energy).
Determine Current Status:
- Assess practices the Sisters and Associates have with respect to sustainability, fair-trade, ethical consumption, ethical investments, divestment from fossil fuels and any economic activity harmful to the planet and the people and investment in renewable energy.
- The Congregation is attentive to ethical investments.
Suggestions for Current and Future Actions:
- Have an educational/study program for the entire congregation with practical applications to be studied and then presented for consideration.
- Develop “task forces” to work on specific projects which could reflect one of the 7 goals.
- Have a congregation-wide carbon footprint assessment.
- Have a one-time investment in alternative energy installations (e.g. solar panels on Motherhouses).
- Give increased attention to ethical consumption.
- Ethical consumption is about making the connections between a product, where it originated and in what context it has been produced. It requires thinking before shopping to consider how one’s lifestyle affects other people and communities as well as the environment. Ethical consumption is about recognizing the power that each person has, as a consumer of goods and services, in influencing businesses to be more sustainable, ethical and accountable.
- Continue to invest in socially responsible funds and stocks.
- Socially conscious (“green” or ethical) investing practices seek to consider both financial return and social/environmental good to bring about social change regarded as positive.
- Divest from fossil fuel stocks by 2025.
- Institutions are being asked to move their money out of oil, coal and gas companies for both moral and financial reasons. These institutions include universities, religious institutions, pension funds, local authorities and charitable foundations. Desmond Tutu has said that ‘people of conscience need to break their ties with corporations financing the injustice of climate change”.
- Increase investments in alternative energy and green industries by 10%.
- Renewable energy investments are delivering massively better returns than fossil fuels in the U.S., the U.K. and Europe. Green energy stocks are also less volatile across the board than fossil fuels.
- Become knowledgeable about energy policies. Advocate for policies that promote renewable energy. Write letters to legislators and public officials.
- Choose Fair Trade Certified goods to support responsible companies, empower farmers, workers and fishermen while protecting the environment.
- Fair trade is a global movement made up of a diverse network of producers, companies, consumers, advocates and organizations putting people and the planet first.
- Develop materials (video/webinar) to inform and educate Sisters and Associates about fossil fuel disinvestment, green/ethical investing practices, renewable energy, Fair trade goods and ethical consumption practices.
- Develop curricula for high schools and colleges/universities about fossil fuel disinvestment, green/ethical investing practices, renewable energy, Fair Trade goods and ethical consumption practices.