The General Board of Pension and Health Benefits of The United Methodist Church (GBPHB), and its Wespath investment management division, announced the implementation of two new investment guidelines.
The guidelines provide direction for identifying and managing the excessive sustainability risk that could potentially affect the value of assets held on behalf of benefit plans and institutional investment clients. One guideline relates to climate change; the other relates to human rights.
The GBPHB board of directors approved the two guidelines for implementation this year. GBPHB Chief Investment Officer David Zellner explained, “Climate change and the protection of human rights are two specific issues that can affect company performance and our investment returns. They are also important issues for members of The United Methodist Church, participants in the benefit plans and other stakeholders. The new guidelines are intended to influence our engagement priorities, but they may also lead to the exclusion from our investment funds of securities of certain high-risk companies until the risk of holding them has been mitigated.”