Center for Ethics

Pledge of Social and Environmental Responsibility

What is the Pledge of Social and Environmental Responsibility?

The Pledge reads as follows:

I Pledge to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job I consider and will try to improve these aspects of any organization for which I work.

According to the Graduation Pledge Alliance:

In a sense, the Pledge operates at three levels: students making choices about their employment, schools educating about values and citizenship rather than only knowledge and skills; and the workplace and society being concerned about more than just the bottom line.

Taking the Pledge is a voluntary decision, and likewise you must determine what constitutes environmental and socially responsible behavior.


What should I consider before making the decision to take the Pledge?

What does social responsibility means to you?
According to the Pledge, social responsibility is self-determined. What do you believe in? Workplace accessibility for everyone? Contributing to local charity and social change efforts? The value of all cultures? Respecting worker privacy?

What are socially responsible career fields?
Explore socially responsible career fields by using a variety of resources from organizations, from independent sources, from advocacy organizations, and, of course, from simply talking to the organization's employees.

What will I get for agreeing to take the Pledge?

A certificate, wallet card, and green ribbon will be available for each you to pick up at the University Center the weeks before and during final examinations. Wearing the ribbon makes a public statement of your intent to consider the well-being of the world and its inhabitants, both in your choice of career and in the decisions you make while in the workplace.


What have students and faculty said about the Pledge?

Aaron Strauss, coordinator of MIT's 2000 Pledge campaign:

People can crunch code and do lab experiments without considering what their company is doing. By taking the Pledge, they will more likely ask questions such as, "Does the waste my lab produces end up in the Charles River?

Harvard University grad Sinead Walsh:

Sinead never considered herself the "environmental type." But the Pledge led her to bring about change:

I started making changes in my life, such as turning off lights, trying to reuse and recycle.

Christine Miller, 1990 Manchester grad and Pledge signer:

I look at it like you have a job for a while, but you have to live with yourself forever. I would rather make a decision that I could say, 'Yeah, I made that decision' and be proud of that decision, rather than going against what I truly believe in because I might make some extra money doing it.

         *(Miller influenced her employer to refuse a questionable governmental chemical contract).

John Hebert, M.A., Webster University class of 2004:

Although I chose to attend Webster U. for reasons of convenience and program study, my degree is worth that much more to me because of Webster's emphasis on social and environmental responsibility. While many organizations today may espouse values without taking any real action toward them, Webster's students and faculty take action toward their ideals.


Has the Pledge been endorsed at Webster University?

Yes, the following committees, clubs, associations, and departments have endorsed the Pledge:

Office of Academic Affairs
College of Arts and Sciences
Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts
School of Business and Technology
School of Communications
School of Education
Center for Ethics
Accessibility Committee
Environmental Studies Committee
General Studies Committee
International Studies Committee
Multicultural Studies Committee
Women's Studies Committee
Behavioral & Social Sciences Club
Literature Club
Philosophy Club
Students for Gender Equality
Students Working Against Depression
Webster Animal Rights Team
Webster Pride Association
Yoga and Pilates Club


Where can I get additional information about the Pledge?

For comprehensive information about the history of the Pledge, ideas to consider, socially responsible jobs and internships, and much more, visit the Graduation Pledge Alliance