Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) Investment Guidelines

In awarding grants, the Merck Family Fund’s vision is to 1) maintain, restore, and protect the natural environment and sustain a healthy planet for future generations; and, 2) revitalize the social fabric and the physical landscape of the urban community. The investments should not conflict with this goal.

To that end, the portfolio will seek to exclude investing in corporations that:

  • profit from gambling or tobacco products or services;
  • are involved with the exploration, extraction, processing or refining of coal, oil or gas (including but not limited to listings in the Carbon Underground 200TM or the equivalent);
  • are utility companies that predominantly use coal as their fuel source.
  • generate a material portion of their revenues (>10%) from producing nuclear power, or from mining or processing uranium, or gold;

In addition, a committee of the Family Fund may review portfolio holdings and exclude investments in companies involved in other areas not aligned with the Family Fund’s objectives, such as companies that manufacture or sell weaponry.

Whenever possible, investments will be sought in corporations that favor the protection of the environment, diminish the causes of pollution and climate change, and employ environmentally sustainable practices.

In order to further align the Family Fund’s investment portfolio with its vision and objectives, trustees may choose to vote proxies of companies in the portfolio with guidance from respected investment managers, currently Boston Common, Walden, and Generation, or other organizations such as As You Sow.

For more information regarding Merck Family Fund’s financials, please see the Annual Report. The Merck Family Fund’s Annual Returns are available upon request.