by Lisa McIntosh

The standard current definition of ‘ethical investment’ involves investing in companies that meet certain standards in the environmental, social and governance (ESG) aspects of their operations.

But investing ethically can mean far more than this – especially when we consider the wide-ranging opportunities available to use for good the money with which God has entrusted us. For many people of faith, matching what they invest in with their values is an important aim.

Indeed, investing funds to ‘contribute to meaningful outcomes’ and having social responsibility at the heart of financial decisions are among the core values of LLL Australia’s operations, says Chief Executive Officer Ross Smith.

‘All that we have is a gift from God – including our wealth’, Ross says. ‘If we are to be good stewards of that wealth, we need to be thoughtful about where we invest.

‘As companies become more transparent about their ESG operations, each of us is able to make more informed decisions about how we can be good stewards with our wealth – investing to bring blessings to God’s world and God’s people.

‘Further, investing our funds to contribute to meaningful outcomes can create greater connection, community and purpose. LLL has social responsibility at its core. We aim to support the Lutheran Church by meeting the capital needs of organisations that proclaim Christ as Lord and Saviour and seek to show his love to all people. We do this by providing missional grants, sponsorships and financial allocations to Lutheran organisations.’

Thoughtfully considering and selecting where and how to invest is ‘both a privilege and a humble response to God’s abundant provision for us’, Ross says. ‘Each of us needs to do our research and be mindful that we are selecting an investment that is secure, viable and will serve your individual vision’, he says.

While what each person considers ‘ethical’ can vary according to their values and beliefs, Lutheran Super CEO Stella Thredgold says Australians are ‘increasingly considering’ ESG factors in their investment decisions ‘to ensure alignment with the issues most important to them’.

‘There’s a variety of ways this can be achieved, based on what’s most important to you’, she says.

‘When assessing your super, considering how your money is invested by the super fund will help you assess whether it aligns to your values and views on ethical and sustainable investing.’

Stella says Lutheran Super’s investment manager Mercer Australia has long put sustainability at the forefront of its investment philosophy, with the organisation’s sustainable and ethical super policy stating that ‘taking a holistic approach to investing is paramount’.

*The information contained in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a financial adviser.

With the support of LCA members, the LLL backs Lutheran ‘organisations that proclaim Christ … and seek to show his love to all people’, says CEO Ross Smith. These entities include ALWS, which invests in people through aid and development projects, such as that pictured above.

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