Responsible Ownership

The Responsible Investment at Harvard Coalition asks that Harvard University and Harvard Management Company adopt and apply the following position on responsible ownership to all funds and companies in which it holds a controlling stake–that is, it is a majority shareholder, majority owner, or full owner.

For examples on companies that Harvard directly owns, please see:

DoubleTree Allston

Agricola Brinzal in Chile

EVASA and Las Misiones in the Ibera Wetlands

Scolopax in Romania

As a nonprofit educational and research institution, Harvard University and its subsidiary Harvard Management Company have a responsibility to ensure Harvard does not negatively impact the world. As such, Harvard will act to ensure that the policies of the companies of which it is holds a controlling stake comply with the following regulations:

1. Legal Compliance. Companies of which Harvard owns a controlling stake must comply with all local, national and international laws and treaties in all areas where the company is operating, whether or not these laws are rigorously enforced by local authorities.

2. Environmental practices. Companies of which Harvard owns a controlling stake must release detailed reports on current emissions and environmental impact and their plans for sustainable practices. They must also commit to concrete reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.

3. Labor practices. Companies of which Harvard owns a controlling stake must recognize workers’ right to collective bargaining and union representation, even if these rights are not enshrined in local legislation, as well as parity in wages and benefits between directly hired and sub-contracted employees.

4. Land rights. Companies of which Harvard owns a controlling stake must not infringe on any legitimate land tenure rights, including where such rights are not formally recorded, and must seek to prevent all violent conflict over land tenure rights.

5. Non-discrimination policies. Companies of which Harvard owns a controlling stake must state and abide by a comprehensive non-discrimination policy that forbids discrimination in hiring or employment based on race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, veteran status, or disability.

6. Transparency in corporate governance. Companies of which Harvard owns a controlling stake must produce and publish online annual reports disclosing all political contributions and lobbying activities, position and compensation of the top ten highest-compensated employees, and conflicts of interests.

3 thoughts on “Responsible Ownership”

  1. I have writing about corporate social responsibility to workers for 25 years. I am a law prof at Stetson Law School. I am currently looking at how we need to motivate institutional shareholders to make Big Food corporations accountable. This work highlights steps shareholders can take to alleviate corporate control of the global food economy. You are doing great work! I think you should connect with the Harvard Law School’s student organization for Food Law and Policy. If we are to save the planet, we need to rethink our global food system. Institutional shareholders like Harvard will play a major role. I would like to help anyway possible. best regards, Marleen O’Connor oconnor@law.stetson.edu 7276444860

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