“We can do better and we must do better. Harvard Business School has to lead the way.”
Harvard must lead the way.
Harvard has also made efforts to lead the way in green development, by setting university-wide goals and priorities in the areas of emissions and energy, campus operations, nature and ecosystems, health and well-being and culture and learning. This is well documented in the Harvard University Sustainability Report, “To meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. When governments, firms, and other organizations consider their possible paths toward sustainable development, they should focus on implications for the well-being of individual people aggregated within and across generations. Well-being depends, of course, on conservation of natural resources and the environment.”
For Harvard to lead the way, its leaders should walk the talk. This article examines the conduct of some of our very own and the alignment with Harvard sustainability vision.
Gujarat Positra Port Company Limited was promoted by a company SKIL infrastructure with the purpose to construct, develop, maintain, build, equip, hire, own, operate, transfer or otherwise deal with ports, shipyards, jetties, harbors, docks, etc. at any port in India or elsewhere and to carry on business of providing port services including handling any other services to carry on business of Inland and Sea Transport including goods, passengers etc. Records in the public domain accessed by HNS show that the project encountered wide spread resistance for its potential to severely damage the local environment. As reported by a leading Indian Daily, thankfully India’s environmental watchdog scuttled this project.
Dean Nohira once publicly stated “it’s easy for people to believe in their own sense of moral responsibility; but what happens when they are put under pressure by bosses or tempted by large short-term gains?” Its ironical that Dean Nohria who has taken such an exalted moral position seems to have subjugated his preaching’s for commercial benefits. Dean Nohria was a Director in Gujarat Positra Port Company Limited and was also amongst the 10 largest stakeholders of SKIL Infrastructure, the company behind the damaging port project. Public records also indicate that Dean Nohria held his stake in SKIL Infrastructure through an offshore Mauritian entity called M2N2 partners limited. This offshore entity was named in the infamous panama leaks database that is today publicly available.
Developing countries like India are already hesitant to buy into lowering their carbon footprint because it comes at a premium for them compared to first world countries. They are going through their own industrial revolution now but must adhere to a carbon footprint standard by developed countries did not need to follow many years earlier. Professor Nohira knows this better than anyone since he is from India AND has a PHD from Harvard. With much knowledge and power comes great responsibility. In this light, Professor Nohira has failed miserably both morally and ethically.
It has also been said that character is doing the right thing even when no one is looking. Dean Nohria would have to answer himself and the community at Harvard as to why he betrayed the values that harvard holds dear?
Harvard students and alumni are looking and, thankfully, Harvard’s Presidential search committee has noticed as well. Though Dean Nohira was the consensus front runner...
Harvard chose stability and ethics in a difficult time with the current administration over “Green Greed” habits and fund-raising Dean Nohira would have brought.
We are proud that Harvard choose wisely. HBS now needs to look at themselves in the mirror.
Harvard is Not for Sale.