STAR Lab Harvard

The Sustainability, Transparency, and Accountability Research (STAR) Lab brings together a group of scholars at Harvard University conducting research assessing new business initiatives aimed at improving accountability and sustainability and generating positive social and environmental impacts. Among these initiatives are programs addressing farming practices, factory conditions, employee engagement and education, energy and water consumption, carbon emissions, charitable giving and volunteering, public health and safety issues, and new product labeling and marketing communications designed to empower consumers to make better-informed decisions for themselves, their communities, and the environment.

STAR Lab is driven by the belief that new research is critical for the design and evaluation of these initiatives and for understanding their impacts on business, social, and environmental outcomes. Harvard has an extraordinary set of researchers working on these issues at the Harvard Business School, Harvard Kennedy School, and in the Departments of Economics and Government. STAR Lab supports collaborations among these scholars and builds partnerships between the group and a select set of companies that are demonstrating leadership and innovation in accountability and sustainability.

Through these efforts STAR Lab fosters:

Innovation: Generating new ideas for approaches to improving accountability and sustainability while also building business value
Testing: Evaluating these innovations by conducting rigorous field experiments with companies and other partner organizations
Collaboration: Working together on the research across academic disciplines and partnering with companies and other organizations to design and improve their products, services, and organizational practices
Teaching: Creating classes and course materials to share research insights with students at Harvard and at other universities around the world
Influencing: Sharing research insights in publications oriented to academics, practitioners, and the general public.

STAR Lab is directed by Michael Hiscox. It is hosted by the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School and supported by the Harvard Business School, the Foundations of Human Behavior Initiative at Harvard, and Harvard’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.