Social justice is one of the key components to LMU's mission. The university is committed to practicing the highest standards of social responsibility in all of its business engagements.
LMU contracts with companies that provide services such as food, construction, janitorial, apparel, paper products and coffee in order to operate a fully functional institution. The university has been active in educating companies that we contract with of standards they must comply with such as paying a fair living wage, practicing environmental stewardship and providing sweatshop free apparel. All of the companies that we have worked with have adapted to our higher standard and the effect is not only felt on campus but in the larger global business community as socially just practices are becoming more widely accepted.
LMU has been a leader in contracting with companies that share our commitment to ethical business practices. Below are several examples where we have been actively making these changes.
Fair Trade Coffee
Since 2004, all LMU/Sodexo food service locations and the student-managed LION's Den have been serving Fair Trade Certified Coffee. Using Fair Trade Certified Coffee ensures that small farmers receive a fair price for their coffee beans so that coffee farming families not only have enough money to keep their farms, but enough money to afford higher education, healthcare and housing.
All LMU apparel is 100% sweatshop-free. Follett Higher Education Group and Adidas Corporation supply our Bookstore, Bookstore Annex and the Athletics Department with apparel. The two companies are committed to conducting business affairs in a socially responsible manner. Also, they follow the Vendor Labor Practice Code in order to ensure that the companies that they work with maintain socially responsible business practices.
Additionally, alumni apparel is also sold with a 100% sweatshop-free guarantee. The Alumni Association is currently exploring adding an organic cotton line to the apparel options available on their Web site.
Los Angeles Living Wage Standard
Every employee of the LMU community and contract employees meet or exceed the base Los Angeles living wage standard. The living wage standard is approved by the L.A. City Council and is higher then the California minimum wage due to adjustments for cost of living in L.A. Although LMU is not legally bound to the standard, the LMU administration believes it is socially responsible to pay employees and employees of our contractors a fair living wage. The Office of Business and Finance annually assesses outsourced companies for compliance to the L.A. living wage standard.
Socially Responsible Investment
On December 3, 2001 the LMU Board of Trustees approved the Statement of Investment Guidelines, Objectives and Policies. As stated in the policy, "Within the perimeters of this principle and in consideration of its social responsibility in investing, the university will weigh: (1) excluding from the portfolio securities of firms whose policies are inimical to the values the university espouses; (2) investing in firms that demonstrate a high level of social concern; and (3) influencing the social behavior of invested forms through the exercise of ownership rights." Giving consideration to social responsibility, the Board of Trustees has taken a proactive step in investing LMU's endowment in ways that are consistent with LMU's social and ethical goals.