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Memorandum January 17, 2012

To:
AU Community
From:
Neil Kerwin, President
Subject:
Statement of Social Responsibility Principles for AU Business Partners

The university's strategic plan, American University in the Next Decade: Leadership for a Changing World, includes as Goal 7:

Act on Our Values through Social Responsibility and Service

American University is known for its politically and socially engaged faculty, staff, graduates, and students, who are recognized as the most politically active in the nation. We will strengthen our culture of service and social responsibility. Life at the university will be marked by rich opportunities for service, an active pursuit of sustainability, a steadfast sense of ethics, and a vigorous commitment to the city and people of Washington, D.C.


American University strives to be an institution that demonstrates its commitment to social responsibility through its everyday policies and practices within the campus community, in the city it calls home, and beyond. To this end, AU is taking steps to strengthen its culture of service, responsible business practices, sustainable behavior, and respect for the dignity accorded to others so that the university is regarded as a leader among its academic peers.

Some time ago, AU committed to developing a statement of principles to guide its selection of business partners and working relationships with them. To that end I issued a draft statement to the campus community on November 10, 2011 and asked for comment and suggestions for revision. I also reviewed the statement with the University Council. As a result of these consultations, I have made a number of revisions to the final statement.

Statement of Social Responsibility Principles for American University Business Partners
American University is committed to conducting its business affairs in a socially responsible manner consistent with its educational and public service mission. AU expects a similar commitment to compliance and ethical business practices by all of its business partners; therefore, AU will select and maintain agreements with those companies that conduct their business in a manner consistent with AU's Statement of Social Responsibility Principles for AU's Business Partners.

American University expects business partners that enter into a written service or licensing agreement with the institution to adhere to the following minimum standards and practices:

A. Compliance: AU business partners are expected to comply with all applicable federal and District of Columbia legal requirements and, where applicable, with the legal requirements of the state or country in which products are manufactured. Where this policy conflicts with or differs from the applicable federal, District, or the state or country of manufacture laws, the higher standard shall prevail. Compliance shall specifically include compliance with all applicable employment and environmental laws.

B. Environmental Compliance: Business partners will be committed to the protection and preservation of the global environment and the world's finite resources, and conduct business accordingly. Business partners should be familiar with the university's commitment to carbon neutrality by 2020 and be able to assist as necessary.

C. Ethical Operations: Business partners shall conduct their business in an ethical manner that reflects the values of honesty, integrity, trustworthiness, and respect for the unique intrinsic value of each human being. Business partners should adhere to the applicable codes of conduct in their particular industries

D. Employment Standards: A business partner's employees should be present at work voluntarily, in an environment which does not place them at undue risk of physical harm, be fairly compensated, and not exploited in any way.