Sisters of St Joseph of Peace divest from fossil fuels


The Sisters of St Joseph of Peace have announced they have completed the divestment of their UK investment portfolio. The sisters made the decision to divest in 2018 and were 100% fossil free in 2019. 

The decision to divest is part of a wider commitment made by the Sisters of St Joseph of Peace to reduce their carbon footprint and pray, study and act to promote a sustainable lifestyle – a process that started in 2008. The sisters developed a Land Ethic recognising ecological sustainability as one of the most urgent religious and moral challenges of our time.

‘The climate crisis calls each of us to conversion of heart and change in behaviour,’ said Sister Bridgetta Rooney, a trustee of the congregation’s charity. ‘We felt compelled to divest of fossil fuels to reflect our values. We are also committed to using our resources to make positive investments that will help the transition to a zero-carbon future.’

Sisters of St Joseph of Peace at the Nottingham Climate Strike (photo credit: Sisters of St Joseph of Peace)

The decision in the UK is inspiring change in the US too, where the congregation is now researching how to divest from fossil fuels in the rest of their portfolio.

‘We are learning from our sisters here in the United Kingdom who paved the way,’ said Assistant Congregation Leader Sister Susan Francois. ‘We believe that care of creation is an essential element of peacemaking. The time is now to act, to put our values into action on behalf of Earth and all creation.’

The Sisters of St Joseph of Peace are striving to take a holistic approach with their investment policy. In addition to divesting from fossil fuels, for the last three years the congregation has also actively invested in a fund which focuses entirely on sustainable investments.

James Buchanan, Bright Now Campaign Manager for Operation Noah, said: ‘We are delighted that the Sisters of St Joseph of Peace have decided to divest from fossil fuels. We hope this will inspire more Catholic religious orders and other institutions to rapidly shift investments out of fossil fuels and into the clean technologies of the future.’

Could your church, religious order or Christian organisation make a commitment to divest and join the global divestment announcement? Get in touch with Bokani Tshidzu at bokani.tshidzu@operationnoah.org if you are interested or would like to learn more.

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