Search Results for: Mercy Investment Services

Investing in People and Planet

April 12, 2019

By Amanda LePoire, Director of Communications, Mercy Investment Services

As the socially responsible investment program of the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Investment Services looks closely at how to use the sisters’ financial resources to support their five Critical Concerns.

One of Living Greens Farm’s vertical growing operations.

In addition to engaging companies on environmental issues, Mercy Investment Services invests in projects that positively impact the environment, people and communities around the world.

Through the creation of the Environmental Solutions Fund in 2015, Mercy invests in companies focused on renewable energy, energy and water efficiency, materials recycling, green buildings and sustainable agriculture.

The fund includes 16 investments that, in 2017, created 3.9 gigawatts of clean energy and avoided 3.7 tons of carbon dioxide.

Projects include global solar and wind projects and other environmental solutions such as recycling, waste reduction and technology.

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Invertir en las personas y en el planeta

April 12, 2019

Por Amanda LePoire

Como programa de inversión socialmente responsable de las Hermanas de la Misericordia, Servicios de Inversión de la Misericordia examinan detenidamente cómo utilizar los recursos financieros de las hermanas para apoyar sus cinco Asuntos Críticos.

Una de las operaciones de cultivo vertical de Living Greens Farm
Una de las operaciones de cultivo vertical de Living Greens Farm

Además de involucrar a las empresas en temas ambientales, Servicios de Inversión de la Misericordia invierte en proyectos que tienen un impacto positivo en el medio ambiente, las personas y las comunidades de todo el mundo.

A través de la creación del Fondo de Soluciones Ambientales en 2015, la Misericordia invierte en empresas centradas en las energías renovables, la eficiencia energética y del agua, el reciclaje de materiales, los edificios verdes y la agricultura sustentable.

El fondo incluye 16 inversiones que, en 2017, crearon 3.9 gigavatios de energía limpia y evitaron 3.7 toneladas de dióxido de carbono.

Los proyectos incluyen proyectos globales de energía solar y eólica y otras soluciones ambientales como el reciclaje, la reducción de residuos y la tecnología.

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Empowering Immigrants—Mercy Funds at Work

January 23, 2018

By Sarah Smith, director, Mercy Partnership Fund

Children and staff at the ARWO Learning Center in Portland, Maine. Credit: Coastal Enterprises, Inc.

Children and staff at the ARWO Learning Center in Portland, Maine. Credit: Coastal Enterprises, Inc.

Imagine being an immigrant trying to settle into a new country and community. Learning a new language, finding work and developing relationships in your new home can be a challenge. Alain and Damas are two immigrants from the neighboring nations of Burundi and Rwanda who recognized the need for a collaborative, empowering space to support the immigrant community in Portland, Maine.

The Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center

With technical assistance from Genesis Community Loan Fund, their vision of the Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center came to fruition in the summer of 2017. The modern center promotes civic engagement, language acquisition and economic inclusion among the thriving immigrant community. Alain and Damas envision the center as a hub for immigrant entrepreneurs, who create 25 percent of all new businesses nationally. Immigrants can access customized digital language learning curriculum, business training and technical assistance, as well as workspace, to establish their own small businesses.

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Bringing Hope to Children

June 29, 2015

By Pat Zerega, senior director of shareholder advocacy, Mercy Investment Services

A student at Hamro Ghar School, for children rescued from the carpet industry, creates inspiring artwork. Photo via GoodWeave on Facebook.

A student at Hamro Ghar School, for children rescued from the carpet industry, creates inspiring artwork. Photo via GoodWeave on Facebook.

Nearly a decade ago, a friend introduced me to the book The Carpet Boy’s Gift by Pegi Deitz Shea and Leane Morin.  It is a simple children’s book with a story of a boy being indentured to work in the carpet looms. Though I had heard stories about children working in the carpet industry, I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Children ages four to 14 are kidnapped or sold and forced to work as many as 18 hours a day to weave rugs destined for export markets such as the United States and Europe. They are subject to malnutrition, impaired vision, deformities from sitting long hours in cramped loom sheds, respiratory diseases from inhaling wool fiber and wounds from using sharp tools. Those working as bonded laborers have no chance to earn their freedom and frequently earn little or no money. Carpet manufacturers say they like children in their factories because their fingers are considered ideal for the intricate motions required for weaving.   Read More »

Bringing Diversity to the Boardroom

May 19, 2015

by Mercy Investment Services staff

Sisters of Mercy work for equality of women, celebrating their contributions, advocating for their rights and speaking out against gender discrimination.

Sisters of Mercy work for equality of women, celebrating their contributions, advocating for their rights and speaking out against gender discrimination.

Glacial: that’s how participants at a board diversity summit in 2011 described the progress on increasing the number of women on U.S. corporate boards.

To address this lack of diversity, business leaders, investors, corporate governance experts and others formed the Thirty Percent Coalition. To close the gap between the number of women and men serving in these key leadership roles on U.S. corporate boards, the Thirty Percent Coalition aims to have women compose at least 30 percent of the board members at U.S.-based publicly listed companies by the end of the year.

Why 30 percent? At the time of the summit, the number had been nearly stagnant for five years—less than 15 percent. Additionally, a number of European governments have moved toward mandating or recommending that women compose 30 percent of the board.

Shareholders are actively using their voice to make this happen, with moderate progress. For example, in 2014, women held 19 percent of board seats at S&P 500 companies. Twenty-seven percent of S&P 500 boards have one female director. The Thirty Percent Coalition has been contacting companies in both the S&P 500 and Russell 1000 to help them increase their diversity. See the Catalyst report for more information.   Read More »

The Many Forms of Modern-Day Slavery

February 24, 2015

By Pat Zerega, senior director of shareholder advocacy, Mercy Investment Services

As football fans gathered for Super Bowl XLIX, faith-based investors and other advocates concerned with human trafficking watched the festivities with a different mindset. Large-scale sporting events such as the Super Bowl, World Cup and Olympics have become a platform for those raising awareness of the growing human trafficking industry.

Polaris_Digi_Bulletin_R2

Ads like this one from the Polaris Project help trafficking victims know where help is available.

In the days leading up to the Super Bowl, law enforcement agencies in several states arrested 23 people on suspicion of sex trafficking and rescued 68 victims of trafficking, including 14 juveniles. For several years, members of the faith community have contacted hotels in the local area to encourage them to train their staff on how to spot trafficking victims and what to do if they believe someone is being trafficked. This expands beyond the Super Bowl and is a year-round effort. Investors continue to ask companies in the travel and tourism industry to provide education and training for staff, and investors have offered resources such as a hotel letter that consumers can use in their travels.   Read More »

Sustaining the Spirit of Advent

December 29, 2014

By Amanda Lepoire, Mercy Investment Services

A magical Christmas light display in Kensington, Maryland.

A magical Christmas light display in Kensington, Maryland.

It’s been almost two years since my husband and I welcomed our first son. The 41 weeks and one day leading up to that moment flew by in a blur of preparations. While nine months can seem like a very long time (especially when you’re pregnant), we had a never-ending to-do list: painting his room, buying furniture, updating our health insurance, attending newborn care classes at the hospital, choosing a pediatrician. The list went on and on.

But after the months of preparation, a mere 46 hours after his birth, I was wheeled to the curb of the hospital with our son (securely strapped in his car seat thanks to helpful nurse) riding on my lap. He loudly protested during this process, obviously aware of the fact that while, in the hours since his grand entrance, a bevy of nurses, doctors and visitors supervised our every move, his care was now being fully entrusted to two rookies. After bringing him into our house, I looked at my husband and said, “So, what do we do now?”   Read More »

Feeding the World: World Food Day – October 16, 2014

October 14, 2014

By Donna Meyer, Ph.D., director of shareholder advocacy, Mercy Investment Services

In this world of plenty, 805 million people—or one in nine worldwide—live with chronic hunger and regularly do not have enough food to live an active life. More than 70 percent of food insecure people live in rural areas of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Near East. This number rises when including people who face seasonal food shortages or who do not eat a varied diet that includes protein, vitamins and minerals. The numbers grow increasingly alarming when considering the impact on women and children:

  • 60 percent of the world’s hungry are women.
  • An estimated 26 percent of the world’s children are stunted due to malnutrition.
  • Almost 5 million children under the age of 5 die of malnutrition-related causes every year.

Faith communities around the world believe that access to food is a very basic human right, and every human being has a fundamental right to be free from hunger and to have access to adequate food.   Read More »

Health care for all

June 25, 2014

By Donna Meyer, director of shareholder advocacy, Mercy Investment Services

cc license (BY-NC-SA) flickr photo shared by Lesley Looper

cc license (BY-NC-SA) flickr photo shared by Lesley Looper

Recently, I hosted lunch for a Sister of Charity of the Incarnate Word, who manages CHRISTUS St. Mary’s Clinic in Houston, Texas, and the management staff of one of Houston’s federally qualified health centers. We discussed how these two organizations could collaborate to increase the number of children vaccinated in Houston.

The lack of access to vaccines is just one example of the disparity in health care across the United States. A recent healthcare scorecard released by the Commonwealth Fund paints a bleak picture of the country’s health care system. Of the 50 states, Texas—the second largest state—ranked 44 out of 50 based on the scorecard’s indicators: access and affordability; prevention and treatment; avoidable hospital use costs; healthy lives; and equity. Even while Texas shows a need for improvement, the situation is even direr in other Southern states. Mississippi ranked the lowest for all the indicators.   Read More »

Joining Forces to End Human Trafficking at the Super Bowl

January 29, 2014

By Mercy Investment Services Social Responsibility Team

Photo of a person with chains around their wrists.As football fans throughout the United States eagerly await Sunday’s Super Bowl in New Jersey, advocates in the surrounding areas have been working for months to raise awareness of a different kind of gathering happening this week. Human trafficking incidents are expected to rise in the days leading up to the Super Bowl, and organizations such as Mercy Investment Services, the Pennsylvania Coalition for Responsible Investment and the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment are educating local businesses on how to spot human trafficking and how to respond.   Read More »