Archived News Item

Institute to Implement Fossil Fuel Free Divestment Strategy

A gathering of sisters and colleagues to listen to and engage with Amy Woolam Echeveria, Board Chair of the Global Catholic Climate movement, when she was in Melbourne, Australia at The Mercy Hub in 2018. The event was organised by Adele Howard RSM in conjunction with Deirdre Gardiner RSM and Fr Peter O’Neill of the Columban Fathers (Click here to read more about this gathering).


In line with the Investment theme of the Institute’s Sustainable Living Policy,  the Institute is aware of the link between fossil fuels and the harm they cause to the environment through greenhouse gases created by mining and using these types of fuels. The leadership team of ISMAPNG has approved a 3-5 year strategy for the Institute’s investment portfolio to divest from fossil fuels.


A number of contributing factors led to embarking on this journey such as the wishes of the sisters, the 2017 Chapter Statement to embed environmental sustainability across the Institute, the Sustainable Living Policy, Laudato Si, and the Global Climate Catholic Movement with their promotion of a fossil fuel free divestment pledge. Members of the Finance Advisory Council, along with the Environmental Sustainability Manager and the Chief Financial Officer worked diligently over many months with the Institute’s investment advisers to implement a strategy that will ensure the Institute has nil investment exposure to companies that support fossil fuels, such as oil, gas and coal.


Following this decision, Institute Leader Eveline Crotty RSM signed the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) pledge in January 2019, which means that the Institute has joined over 100 Catholic organisations across the world in making this public commitment. This was acknowledged in a media release from GCCM in May. It must be noted that this is not a fast process for full divestment, as the complexities of indirect investments across hundreds of companies within a specific unit trust, means ongoing work with Investment Fund Managers to remove companies within this trust that may hold fossil fuel equites.


As part of the Sustainable Living Policy there are a number of guiding principles which include sharing knowledge and experience with others. To support this, a case study of the process for Divestment was prepared to assist others who may wish to consider this decision.



Messages to: Chris Hill – Environmental Sustainability Manager