Establish Socially Responsible Investing Principles at MIT


We commend MIT for joining Climate Action 100+, a network of investors pursuing bold climate action. This is a promising change from the MIT endowment’s history of complacency in the face of environmental and humanitarian challenges. However, we currently lag behind the modern investment community and 11 of our peer schools, including Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Cambridge, and Oxford, in our investment standards. As a stakeholder in the Institute and its endowment, sign this petition to establish socially responsible investing principles at MIT. Read more about why we must act now in our Tech op-ed.

To learn more about student recommendations for MIT's Climate Action Plan, read our reports and submit your feedback on our ideas.

Petition by
Cambridge, Massachusetts

From: [Your Name]

We call on MIT to incorporate three new socially responsible principles: 1) Transparency and Public Commitments, 2) Climate and ESG-Oriented Portfolio Goals, and 3) A Framework for Accountability and Community Input.

We outline three simple steps for MIT to make concrete progress towards these principles.

MITIMCo should become a signatory of the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).
The United Nations PRI is the global leading advocate of responsible investment, with a long-term goal of creating an “economically efficient, sustainable global financial system.” MIT should become a signatory to publicly display its steadfast commitment to sustainable investing and risk management, joining international organizations and peer institutions such as Harvard University and Northwestern University.

MITIMCo should release a Statement of Purpose.
A Statement of Purpose is a publicly released memo which should expand on MITIMCo’s investment principles, establish climate and ESG goals, and articulate the connection between profits, purpose, and values. A statement of purpose will provide a solid foundation for more transparent governance to guide decision-making. We expect that the Statement of Purpose will be followed by measurable goals and accountability to fulfill responsibilities to stakeholders.

The MIT Corporation should reconsider creating a Standing Committee on Investor Responsibility (SCIR).
Unlike its peer institutions, the MIT Corporation does not have a permanent framework to address sustainable investing issues. As a sixth Corporation standing committee, the SCIR should draft the MITIMCo’s Statement of Purpose, represent the interests of undergraduate and graduate students, alumni, and faculty by including at least two members from each group and make its meeting minutes, voting records, and recommendations, as well as the Corporation’s response, public to the entire MIT community.