By Jean Bednar
As an agency of a historic peace church that believes in nonviolence, Brethren Benefit Trust has long screened out investing the funds of Brethren Pension Plan members and its money management clients in weapons and weapons systems, firearms, and US Department of Defense contracts.
Whenever possible, investments utilized by BBT’s members, clients, and donors are screened according to Brethren Values Investing guidelines, which are consistent with Church of the Brethren Annual Conference statements.
Each year, BBT produces two lists of companies that earn significant revenue from US military operations. One list identifies the top 25 publicly traded defense contractors based on the size of contracts awarded by the Department of Defense, and the other list includes all publicly traded companies that generate 10 percent or more of their revenue from Department of Defense contracts. These lists are then presented to the BBT board at its April meeting.
In addition to these lists, BBT’s investment managers also screen out companies that generate 10 percent or more of their revenues from abortion, alcohol, gambling, pornography, and tobacco. Companies that are egregious violators of environmental or human rights regulations also are screened from BBT portfolios.
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