For-profit

Harrington Investments

Location:

Napa, CA

Formation:

1984

Harrington Investments, Inc. (HII) was founded by John Harrington as a socially responsible investment (SRI) firm. Today Harrington Investments holds $200 million in assets under management[1] and operates with an established a list of criteria to determine if a company is investment-worthy, judging companies favorably for “giv[ing] generously to charitable causes” and judging unfavorably those that “fail to invest adequately in local communities.” [2]

Harrington Investments also dictates the moral character of their clients, stating that their clients are committed to a similar “social and environmental responsibility,” and claiming that their choice of investments will have a direct impact on society as a whole. [3]

As an SRI, Harrington Investments has been involved in aggressive shareholder advocacy since its founding. Once invested in a publicly traded corporation, HII files shareholder proposals as a tactic to impose their left-leaning economic, social, and environmental values on a company. [4] In 2019 alone, HII filed and co-filed proposals against 16 major businesses including Amazon, Coca-Cola, Facebook, Goldman Sachs, Kohl’s, and Wells Fargo. [5]

Key Issues

Harrington Investments currently maintains an online database of 49 shareholder proposals that they have submitted since 2015. The proposals serve to force their organizational agenda, which involves a large number of left-wing priorities, onto larger companies. [6]

Harrington has repeatedly submitted proposals to several large banking institutions in protest of their funding of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). Bank of Nova Scotia, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citigroup have all received numerous proposals and resolutions from HII. Despite HII’s attempts, the banking institutions challenged these proposals and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ruled in the banks’ favors. [7]

Harrington has been bombarding McDonald’s with resolutions for over 15 years. While the bulk of their proposals are deemed as food safety issues, asking for reports on fast food and public health, HII has also asked for reports on McDonald’s political and charitable contributions. HII feigns concern that contributions made by the corporation may not be aligned with “company values,” when it more likely that the contributions are not aligned with HII’s values. This “Charitable Congruency” proposal, as HII calls it, received only a 3.4% vote of support and will not be resubmitted. [8]

Retailers TJ Maxx (2018) and Kohl’s (2019) have both had resolutions introduced by HII in support of animal rights, as neither company has a specific written policy on this issue. While the Kohl’s proposal is still active, the proposal submitted to TJ Maxx was excluded, as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission supported TJ Maxx’s challenge that such a proposal would interfere with their “ordinary business.” [9]

People

John Harrington is the founder of Harrington Investments and the author of Investing With Your Conscience: How to Achieve High Returns Using Socially Responsible Investing, and The Challenge to Power: Money, Investing and Democracy. He is a member of the President’s Circle of the left-leaning investment firm Green Century, [10] a co-founder of far-left telecommunications provider CREDO Mobile (also known as Working Assets), and the managing partner of Global Partners LLC. [11]

Harrington formerly served on the boards of organizations such as Global Exchange, Corporate Accountability International, the Rose Foundation, Progressive Asset Management, Women for Women International, the Collective Heritage Institute (Bioneers), and Pesticide Action Network. He is the former chairman of the California Governor’s Public Investment Task Force, and has consulted with the California State Senate on committees such as Investment Priorities and Objectives, and Energy and Public Utilities. He is a former political coordinator for the California State Council of Service Employees (a state-level division of the SEIU). [12]

Brianna Harrington is a research analyst, and shareholder advocacy coordinator at Harrington Investments, who has formerly worked with Democracy Resources, promoting left-of-center health care policy in California. [13]

Portfolio manager Susan Perez serves on the board of Secure Justice. [14]

Aligned Organizations

Harrington Investments works with other “emerging impact” investment and financial services companies like Calvert Impact Capital, Impact Assets, and Community Capital Management’s CRA Qualified investment Fund. [15]

References

  1. “Our History.” Harrington Investments. Accessed October 29, 2019.  https://www.harringtoninvestments.com/about-us/our-history/. ^
  2. “Our Criteria.” Harrington Investments. Accessed October 29, 2019. https://www.harringtoninvestments.com/investing/our-criteria/. ^
  3. “Who Should Invest With Us.” Harrington Investments. Accessed October 30, 2019. https://www.harringtoninvestments.com/investing/who-should-invest-with-us/. ^
  4. “Investor Advocacy.” Harrington Investments. Accessed October 29, 2019.  http://www.harringtoninvestments.com/advocacy/. ^
  5. “Shareholder Resolutions.” Harrington Investments. Accessed October 29, 2019.  https://www.harringtoninvestments.com/advocacy/shareholder-resolutions/. ^
  6. “Shareholder Resolutions.” Harrington Investments. Accessed October 30, 2019. https://www.harringtoninvestments.com/advocacy/shareholder-resolutions/. ^
  7. “Shareholder Resolutions.” Harrington Investments. Accessed October 30, 2019. https://www.harringtoninvestments.com/advocacy/shareholder-resolutions/. ^
  8. “Shareholder Resolutions.” Harrington Investments. Accessed October 30, 2019. https://www.harringtoninvestments.com/advocacy/shareholder-resolutions/. ^
  9. “Shareholder Resolutions.” Harrington Investments. Accessed October 30, 2019. https://www.harringtoninvestments.com/advocacy/shareholder-resolutions/ ^
  10. “John Harrington.” Harrington Investments. Accessed October 29, 2019. https://www.harringtoninvestments.com/about-us/john-harrington/. ^
  11. “Impact Investing.” Harrington Investments. October 30, 2019. https://www.harringtoninvestments.com/responsibility/impact-investing/. ^
  12. “John Harrington.” Harrington Investments. Accessed October 29, 2019. https://www.harringtoninvestments.com/about-us/john-harrington/. ^
  13. “Our Staff.” Harrington Investments. Accessed October 29, 2019.  https://www.harringtoninvestments.com/about-us/our-staff/. ^
  14. “Our Staff.” Harrington Investments. Accessed October 29, 2019.  https://www.harringtoninvestments.com/about-us/our-staff/. ^
  15. “Impact Investing.” Harrington Investments. October 30, 2019. https://www.harringtoninvestments.com/responsibility/impact-investing/. ^
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Harrington Investments

1001 2nd St #325
Napa, CA