The Pope means business.
Capitalism met Catholicism on Tuesday, as some of the world’s biggest business leaders announced a new partnership with Pope Francis.
The alliance, known as the Council for Inclusive Capitalism with the Vatican, aims to create a more inclusive, fair and sustainable economic landscape by taking pledges toward sustainable development goals focused on areas such as climate action, peace and justice, quality education and gender equality.
“An economic system that is fair, trustworthy, and capable of addressing the most profound challenges facing humanity and our planet is urgently needed,” Pope Francis said in a statement.
The Council comprises 27 core members known as the Guardians of Inclusive Capitalism, who represent companies with over $2.1 trillion in market capitalization and 200 million workers.
Members include Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky, Salesforce CEO and founder Marc Benioff and Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga. The Guardians will meet annually with Pope Francis and Cardinal Peter Turkson, leader of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development at the Vatican, to pursue their vision and values.
“The fact that different religions need to come together on all matters is just the crying need of the times in our world,” Banga said in the Council’s video introduction. “Faith cannot be used to pull us apart. Faith is meant to bring us together.”
The Council’s founding, spearheaded by Managing Partner of Inclusive Capital Partners Lynn Forester de Rothschild, illustrates a collaborative effort of the environmental, social and governance-focused practices occurring in the economic landscape already.
Earlier this year, JPMorgan Chase announced that it would commit $30 billion to advance racial equality over the next five years while Apple and Microsoft unveiled plans to become carbon neutral and carbon negative, respectively, over the next 10 years.