A prayer gathering aimed at increasing awareness about the adverse effects of financial investments in fossil fuels will be held at the entrance to Vanguard’s global headquarters in Malvern on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. The event is hosted by Earth Quaker Action Team, along with Philadelphia-area Quakers, and the Quaker silent worship climate action is open to people of all faiths and beliefs.
Vanguard, a financial giant specializing in mutual funds, investments and retirement tools, has long profited as one of the largest investors in fossil fuels despite the well-publicized dangers these fuels contribute to the world’s climate crisis.
In addition to the prayer vigil, banners will be on display to explain the purpose of the gathering to employees as they enter the Malvern campus.
Simultaneously, Quakers from across the nation – from North Carolina to Colorado, from Montana to Hawaii – will join a virtual service hosted by Quaker Earthcare Witness, with a live stream of the Pennsylvania event.
EQAT believes Vanguard has the influence necessary to persuade corporations within its financial portfolios to transition away from ventures that negatively impact the environment.
A report recently issued by Majority Action, a national not-for-profit working to empower shareholders to hold corporations accountable to high standards of corporate governance and social responsibility, found Vanguard to rank at the bottom of the asset management industry, along with Fidelity, for its consistent lack of holding accountable the boards of the major polluters in its portfolio.
“Stewardship is a core value to many Quakers and also one of Vanguard’s stated values, but protestors assert that Vanguard is currently failing to responsibly steward its customers’ savings for a livable future,” said Earth Quaker Action Team in a press release.
The group asserts that Vanguard invests about $270 billion dollars in coal, oil, and gas and that corporate leadership has refused to take meaningful action on this issue.The prayer action is part of the ongoing global Vanguard S.O.S. campaign. Over the last two years the group has encouraged the financial powerhouse to exit its investments in fossil fuel companies that refuse to transition their businesses to be in alignment with a livable future.