Environmental, Social And Corporate Governance vs Biblically Responsible Investing

 

Biblically responsible investing (BRI) is an investing principle in which Christians choose to invest in companies that align with biblical values.  Companies involved in activities such as alcohol, tobacco, gambling, pornography, and abortion are screened out when selecting stocks, or mutual funds.

 

ESG, stands for Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance and like BRI, ESG is also a values based investing principal.  Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) involves avoiding investing in companies heavily associated with firearms, fossil fuels, or other activities that may harm the environment. Additionally, ESG promotes inclusivity among various groups of people, including those who are part of the LGBTQ+ community.

 

Shana Burt, host of Financial Issues with Shana Burt commented on the difference between BRI and ESG saying, “ESG is values based investing that is much different than BRI. ESG is a movement that broadly seeks to promote green energy and inclusion. BRI seeks to avoid companies that use company funds to promote an un-Godly agenda or things that are against fundamental Biblical values. 

 

Shana goes on to say that, “Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance has a tremendous impact on corporate America, mostly because the big three financial firms, BlackRock, State Street, and Vanguard, control, not own, so many shares of publicly traded companies, that these companies are having to cave to their demands.”

 

Because ESG investing has become a hot button term, other values based investing has gained notoriety as well.  That includes BRI and SRI, Socially Responsible Investing.  Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) is an investment strategy that combines financial returns with a commitment to fostering positive social impact. SRI investors often opt for companies and funds that champion various causes, including environmental sustainability, social justice and diversity, the pursuit of peace, the promotion of public health, and adherence to moral principles. This approach not only seeks profitable outcomes, but also actively contributes to creating a better and more ethical world. 

 

ESG (Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance), BRI (Biblically Responsible Investing), and SRI (Socially Responsible Investing) are all investment approaches that incorporate ethical and values-based considerations into investment decisions. However, they have distinct focuses and principles. Here are the main differences:

 

Focus and Values:

  • ESG (Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance): ESG primarily considers environmental, social, and governance factors in investment decisions. It evaluates how a company’s operations impact the environment, how it manages its social responsibilities, and how it governs itself.
  • BRI (Biblically Responsible Investing): BRI specifically aligns investments with Christian values. It avoids companies involved in activities deemed incompatible with Christian beliefs, such as alcohol, tobacco, gambling, pornography, and abortion.
  • SRI (Socially Responsible Investing): SRI is a broader category that encompasses a wide range of ethical and social considerations. It includes factors like environmental sustainability, social justice, peace, health, and morality.

Targeted Companies:

  • ESG: ESG investing focuses on companies with strong ESG performance or those making efforts to improve in these areas. It may include companies from various industries.
  • BRI: BRI screens out companies that engage in activities contrary to Christian values, resulting in a narrower selection of investments.
  • SRI: SRI can cover a diverse set of criteria, depending on the investor’s preferences. It may involve avoiding or supporting companies based on specific social and ethical issues.

Scope:

  • ESG: ESG is broader in scope and can be applied to investments in various sectors and industries.
  • BRI: BRI has a narrower focus, primarily on investments aligned with Christian beliefs.
  • SRI: SRI is flexible and can encompass a wide array of ethical and social considerations, making it a versatile approach.

Screening Criteria:

  • ESG: ESG criteria are often standardized and may vary depending on the industry or region.
  • BRI: BRI uses specific religious texts and teachings to determine screening criteria.
  • SRI: SRI criteria can be customized by individual investors or funds to address various ethical, social, and environmental concerns.

 

In summary, while ESG, BRI, and SRI all involve ethical considerations in investment decisions, their primary focus, values, scope, and criteria differ significantly. Financial Issues holds strong to the truth of biblical values, supporting only companies that do not participate in things that would dishonor Jesus Christ.  To follow our biblically responsible investing strategy, which enables you to self direct your investments, go here and become a Financial Issues partner.  With a partnership you will gain access to our Biblically Responsible investment stock list, partner conference calls and investment commentary that is updated frequently.  Make the most of your money by becoming a partner.

 

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