Group Encourages Boycott of Mitsubishi

Citing the firm's alleged destruction of the world's diminishing rainforests, the Environmental Action Committee (EAC) passed a resolution last night encouraging University members to boycott Mitsubishi products for one year.

"The Resolution calls on the University to take a position on Mitsubishi's actions and is a good step for Harvard which encourages responsible business practices," said Kathleen L. Peggar '98, the EAC Co-chair of Earth Day.

The boycott comes after environmental activists accused Mitsubishi of destroying rainforests around the world through irresponsible logging practices. EAC is a student-run environmental group which works to impact the environment on a local and international level.

"The destruction of forests has detrimental impacts on the indigenous inhabitants and natural bio-diversity," the EAC Resolution states. "The livelihoods of tens of millions of native forest peoples worldwide is threatened by deforestation."

EAC member David S. Grewal '98 said his group will send a copy of their resolution to Mitsubishi. Harvard would join an international boycott of Mitsubishi, he added.

"We want to encourage Mitsubishi to move to sustainable development," Grewal said.

"A move towards compliance with guidelines set by an international commission would be a good faith measure in our eyes," he added.

The resolution passed last night is similar to those being implemented at other universities, Grewal said. The University of Colorado at Boulder is actively boycotting Mitsubishi products and the University of Washington is considering a similar ban.

EAC members say they hope the Harvard boycott in particular will attract the attention of Mitsubishi President Minora B. Makihara '54.

"We definitely hope Makihara will take note of the boycott," Peggar said.

Grewal said the resolution passed after members reached a consensus about the issue.

Both Grewal and Peggar said that EAC members debated on whether to ask the University to ban on-campus recruitment by Mitsubishi as well. "Concerns were voiced about taking opportunities away from students who are third parties to theissue," Peggar said.

Ultimately, the committee decided to leave theissue of recruitment to the Harvard community,Peggar said.

"We left out the part on campus recruitment,and the option has been brought up that the EACmay provide information to the office of CareerServices about Mitsubishi's practices," Peggarsaid. "We're definitely not trying to negativelyaffect students in any way."

The EAC plans to introduce a similar resolutionin the Undergraduate Council, Grewal said.