HKS Student Government endorses RI@Harvard

Last night, the HKS Student Government voted to adopt the following motion:

Whereas  Harvard has a history of investing in ethically questionable activities, and the lack of transparency around Harvard’s investments makes it impossible for the community to know whether such investments exist today.

Whereas  The HKS endowment has been, and may currently be, invested in activities that are in direct conflict with the School’s mission to promote the public good. 

Whereas  Harvard should be proactive in incorporating responsible investment policies into its portfolio, rather than reacting to individual divestment campaigns on a case-by-case basis. 

Whereas  In October of 2011, a group of Harvard students, alumni, and community affiliates formed the coalition for Responsible Investment at Harvard with the intention of working with Harvard’s administration towards the promotion of more responsible investment practices for the University’s endowment.

Whereas This coalition has identified several recommendations for change, including:

(i)                 The integration of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into all investment decisions, a move pursued by many large institutional investors, such as CalPERS;

(ii)                The expansion of the mandates of the Corporate Committee on Shareholder Responsibility (CCSR) and Advisory Committee on Shareholder Responsibility (ACSR) beyond proxy voting to include considering:

a) petitions for the submission of a shareholder resolution to a particular company, submitted by the Harvard community
b) petitions for divestment from a particular company, submitted by the Harvard community

(iii)               The establishment of a social choice fund to provide donors with the opportunity to invest their commitments in activities that have a high return to Harvard and to society as a whole.

Be it resolved that the HKS Student Government officially endorse the aforementioned list of recommendation.

Be it further resolved that the HKS Student Government circulate notice of this endorsement to the Harvard University President, Provost, the Deans, and the CEO of the Harvard Management Company.

Be it further resolved that the HKS Student Government engage with the Harvard administration to see these goals implemented.

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