“In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule… Money must serve, not rule!” (Evangelii Gaudium, 56-58)
Our corporate engagements focused on environmental sustainability have two focus areas: encouraging companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ensuring access to water for all.
We want companies to promote policies and practices that will improve the environmental impacts of their corporate activities, especially in industrial sectors that make significant contributions to greenhouse gas emissions. We do this to live out the call of Pope Francis in Laudato Si’, to care for creation and for people and communities most impacted by climate change. We also do this to encourage companies to help realize the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. We carry out this work in collaboration with other engagements of faith- and values-based investors at ICCR.
In 2018, JCIR began a new engagement with American Airlines to learn how the company is managing plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions risks through its operations and value chain. The aviation industry currently accounts for two percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. economy and American Airlines is behind other aviation companies in the efficiency of their Trans-Atlantic fleet. Our goal is for the company to adopt science-based targets to monitor and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to increase transparency in reports on the company’s operations. These targets are based on international standards set by CORSIA (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation).
Communities, businesses and ecosystems throughout the world depend on clean freshwater to survive and prosper. Yet, as global demand for freshwater continues to grow, rising pollution and increasingly depleted water levels are causing many water sources to show signs of stress. The United Nations warns that in the coming decades, over half the world will live in water scarce regions. Freshwater availability, quality, and affordability are critical problems that require faithful engagement to find solutions to the global crisis of water sustainability.
In 2019, JCIR began an engagement with EQT Corporation, the largest producer of natural gas in the United States. While the company has shown some improvement in its water management and reporting practices, it still lags behind peers in the oil and gas sector. Like all natural gas companies, EQT’s operations have significant water impacts through its use of water in hydraulic fracturing and disposal of contaminated water. JCIR will focus on addressing gaps in the company’s water sustainability policy and public reporting. The company has a concentrated presence in the Appalachian Basin, including operations in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.