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\kə-ˈla-bə-ˌrāt\: to work jointly with others especially in an intellectual endeavor

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In 2020, the Heartland Capital Network convened a distinguished table of pension leaders, pension consultants and investment advisory firms, asset managers, labor and policy leaders to launch a new research consultation on private asset monitoring called the Heartland Capital Col(Labor)atory. We seek to strengthen the "S" in ESG and emphasize the "L" for Labor and other important factors having social impacts.

Through the Col(labor)atory, we have developed screens that focus on the L component for pension plans to use in the selection and monitoring of private asset managers entrusted with pension plan assets. This tool will allow pension fund managers and trustees to screen the investments for those private asset managers who want to deliver competitive risk adjusted returns while scoring highly on jobs, diversity, and worker voice.

A beta version of our report was previously completed by Heartland’s partners in the private asset management field who see labor as an asset not a liability. Along with advisors and institutional investors, we hope to bring responsible managers to a discussion about saving and growing union-represented firms and projects. 

A second more robust survey was distributed in February 2022 to approximately 150 private asset managers who identify as ESG, Responsible, Impact, Labor Friendly, etc.  We received a 30% response. The third version is now out for completion. We especially thank Segal Marco Advisors and Meketa Investment Group for helping us to identify asset managers in this universe.


We grouped the Key Performance Indicators into the following groups and detailed questions on the survey flow from them (these KPI’s and the data points that comprise each section are currently under[DN1]  review):

                   DISCRETE KPI’S                                             

  1. Collective Bargaining Rights

  2. Non-Discrimination and Diversity (DEI)

  3. Responsible Contractor Policy

  4. Employee Board Representation

  5. Supply Chain Labor Standards 

For nearly three decades, Heartland Capital Network has been asserting that the owners and stewards of workers’ deferred wages must act to invest responsibly and prevent the misuse of their hard-earned retirement savings and other assets by financially harmful short-term, low wage, low road schemes.


How do we, as investors, ensure that workers are treated with respect and protected on the job?

How do we truly empower workers, elevate them as stakeholders in the company? 

Based on the input from Heartland’s unique and trusted table, the Col(labor)atory will guide responsible investors who wish to strengthen the “S” in ESG, paying more attention to worker and human rights, wages and working conditions, diversity and inclusion, RCPs, and other critical factors that affect the fairness of the workplace and the stability of our supply chains. Workers need to have a voice on the job.

This page will provide our progress and a compilation of the final results and all survey results will be aggregated and anonymized to ensure the confidentiality of responses submitted by individual organizations and responses will not be utilized for performance evaluation or assessment.  


Picture from the inaugural Heartland Col(Labor)atory meeting on January 24, 2020 

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