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Harvard Signs on to Responsible Investment Movement

Harvard gold and crimson domeHarvard has become the first American university to adopt a code of investment principles backed by the UN, the Guardian reports.

Managers of Harvard’s $33 billion endowment will now be guided by a code of responsible investment principles that take into account environmental and social factors such as water and human rights, the university announced. The move comes six months after rejecting as call to divest its fossil fuels investments.

The new guidelines do not commit Harvard to selling existing holdings in fossil fuels.

But campaigners still claimed the step as a victory for a divestment movement that has now spread to more than 500 university campuses and other institutions across America and Europe.

Under the new initiatives announced by Harvard president, Drew Gilpin Faust, the university will ask alumni and donors to help raise $20 million for climate research.

The university will also join the Carbon Disclosure Project, requiring Harvard to report on its carbon footprint.

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