At their meeting on April 21 in the City Center dining room, the Board passed—with considerable input from Ecosattvas Hakusho Ostlund and Qayyum Johnson—a resolution to send the following letter to the Investment Committee:
Dear Members of the Investment Committee:
In order that we can discharge our fiduciary duties to ensure that the endowment funds are productively invested, and also to attempt to develop an investment strategy that is consistent with the moral and ethical standards of our Zen Buddhist practice, the Board of Directors would greatly appreciate it if you could respond to the following questions. We fully understand that some of the responses will be best estimates and that the uncertainties of the marketplace mean that estimates are just that.
What would be the probable effect on investment return if the endowment funds were shifted into socially responsible funds, defined as follows: excluding companies with significant (≥5%) revenues from firearms, tobacco, alcohol, gaming, pornography, weapons (conventional or otherwise) and companies that are involved in major, recent controversies concerning human rights, workplace discrimination, labor relations, poor environmental practices or employee safety controversies?
What would be the probable effect on investment return, if the endowment funds were shifted into socially responsible funds, which also excluded companies with significant (≥5%) revenues from companies in the Carbon Tracker 200, nuclear energy and industrial agriculture?
Chair of the Board of Directors
San Francisco Zen Center
The board also approved the budget for fiscal year 2015-16.