|Submission Date||July 28, 2011|
Center for Peace and Global Citizenship
Haverford College participates in projects related to sustainability policy advocacy. The most prominent of these is its Board-level Committee on Investments and Social Responsibility (CISR). CISR has several responsibilities. Initially, CISR oversaw the decision of total divestment from South Africa, which the College accomplished back in 1987. CISR continued on in the late 1980s and early 1990s to develop policies banning investments in certain types of companies, such as defense and tobacco. As Haverford’s portfolio evolved, the College adopted an indexed approach to managing equities through commingled funds, which removed our capability to vote proxies and restrict portfolio holdings. We decided instead to take a proactive approach, deliberately owning shares of companies that draw substantial stockholder resolution interest because of the nature of their business practices. CISR explores business practices of publicly traded stocks in order to identify firms that engage in business practices contrary to those considered responsible by the broader Haverford community. The stocks of the firms identified are then purchased so that Haverford may express it opinion through proxy voting and may also have the opportunity to participate in sponsoring / co-sponsoring a shareholder resolution in order to effect positive change at these organizations. The current holding sof this portfolio are Apple, Chevron, DuPont, ExxonMobil, GE, McDonalds Tyson Foods and Walmart.
At the direction of the CISR, the Haverford Center for Peace and Global Citizenship (CPGC) organized several projects related to sustainability advocacy. First, the Center, in collaboration with the Department of Economics and Haverford alumni, developed a non-credit seminar on sustainable investing. This seminar consisted of six two-hour sessions where students, faculty and alumni discussed the theory of sustainable investing using examples drawn from the College and the business community. Participants met with practitioners (e.g., Haverford’s investment fund manager) and a representative from the Responsible Endowments Coalition (REC), who led a discussion of shareholder activism on college campuses around the country. In addition, the students participated in an on-line investing simulation using software developed by the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Participants were given the opportunity to make “investments” using real market data. At the end of the seminar, the students reported back to the CISR on what they had learned. The seminar galvanized a small group of students to embrace shareholder activism as a means to express their social justice concerns.
Building on this initial effort, the CPGC facilitated further contact with the REC to encourage student training in shareholder activism. This consisted of support for attendance at REC-sponsored conferences, hosting a regional meeting of representatives from other colleges, and a brainstorming session for students and the chair of the CISR to discern student interests related to shareholder activism. As a result of these efforts, student participation in CISR activities has grown from a small advisory role to one where student interests are driving the issues under the Committee’s care.
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staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.
The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.