It’s no surprise then that in his 2019 Universal Apostolic Preferences, or
UAPs, the Bishop of Rome made “ecological economics” part of his mission to the
Society of Jesus. Specifically, Pope Francis made sustainability and fighting
ecological injustice part of the UAP “Caring for our Common Home”, in which
Jesuits and Jesuit institutions around the world were asked to minister in such
a way as to promote stewardship of the planet and its resources.
In the years since Laudato
si’, the Society of Jesus and her ministries have found novel ways to act
on Pope Francis’ call to protect not just the environment, but the people who
are most vulnerable to the environmental consequences of unsustainable business
practices. In 2016, the Jesuits in English Canada joined a handful of other
Catholic institutions to announce their divestment from fossil fuel assets. In
2017, the Italian Jesuits, joined by a group of Catholic orders, made the samecommitment. In 2018, Seattle University became the first Jesuit Universityto announce fossil fuel divestment in its entirety.
2019 UAPs only redoubled the Society’s commitment to answering the Holy Father’s
call, with Creighton, Georgetown and a smattering of other
Jesuit Universities around the world announcing or completing their fossil fuel
divestment. In 2021, the Jesuit in Britain completed the divestiturefrom fossil fuels across a $500m portfolio that supports Jesuit ministries
across the UK.