Accoridng to the New York Times, one more area for nonprofit accountability (and doing no harm) has been added to the list of practices that can help donors determine whether a nonprofit of their choice should be supported: fossi fuels. Before waxing a little about the movement this is a fine time to remind boards that one of the core tools they have in exercising their fiduciary responsibility and ensurning nonharmful behavior in the pursuit of mission is the development and enforcement of policy.
The poicy realm at question with the topic of fossil fuels is investments, responsible investing. If you, a nonprofit board, has investments anywhere, the folks who care much about the use and abuse of fossil fuels want you to ensure you are not investing in the companies that make their living off of abusing the earth (which I'm thinking we are all, directly and indirectly a party-to to some degree). Disinvestment is the name of the game and the watchdog that will help you can also inform donors whether you have invested.
So...nonprofit boards listen up! You have the responsibility to determine how your assets should be invested. You do not need to sit around and go through every possible investment. You can make a policy broad and narrow enough to inform your staff and investment people. But such a decision is on your shoulders. If you want to do no harm, investment policy is one more area where you can make a difference.