The trustees recently held their annual meeting with the Lodge’s investment managers. Our aims for the investment fund are to produce:
• income to help meet the annual running costs of the Lodge
• capital growth to support the temple rebuild project and in the longer-term protect the value of the fund from the effects of inflation.
Last year we further strengthened our ethical investment criteria which included making best endeavours to exclude investments in palm oil production or deforestation. We also excluded investments in companies that produce violent computer games.
An amazing phenomenon unfolded this year. The impact of the White Eagle Lodge’s ethical investment strategy over the last twelve months had a positive effect on performance of +1.56%. Normally application of ethical criteria to financial investments results in a reduction in performance.
Our ethical criteria caused our investment managers to invest more heavily in companies which provide technologies addressing climate change. This includes a U.S. energy company producing increasing amounts of energy from solar, thereby allowing closure of coal-fired power stations. The demonstrated success of this approach will hopefully encourage other companies to do the same.
Another investment is in a company that makes carbon fibre used for wind turbines and aimed at producing lighter weight aircraft which reduce the carbon footprint of air travel.