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What SHINE Does



Together with companies and experts across Harvard, SHINE advances ideas and practices that further the positive impact on the health of the communities and the environment in which companies operate.

As part of a Center for Health and the Global Environment based at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, SHINE draws on the talents of affiliated faculty, student scholars, and its member companies.  SHINE projects may include faculty and students from the Harvard Business School, the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the Sustainability Management Program of the Harvard Extension School, and the Harvard Divinity School, as well as many alumni working in the public and private sectors across the globe. 

Together, we are developing the framework, metrics, methodology, tools, training, and infrastructure for companies seeking to measure and document the amount of good that they are already doing for human health and the environment, and assess where else they can invest their efforts.  SHINE members contribute to these resources both financially and intellectually.

By providing publications, tools, training, and exchange forums, we help companies:

  • Publish case studies and analytics from the Wellbeing Index and other metrics.
  • Co-define and refine the standards for reporting on sustainability and health targets
  • Apply rigorous metrics to demonstrate success and results of sustainability and health initiatives
  • Articulate the value of sustainability and health initiatives to corporate leadership
  • Gain insights and advice from experts and peers
  • Pool knowledge about concepts, best practices, resources, and tools for advancing sustainability and inclusion of workplace well-being standards in reporting
  • Find inspiration from others striving to bring about transformative change within their companies and the world

Together with our members, SHINE is developing the infrastructure that will help every company reach for NetPositive sustainability. Components of this infrastructure include:

SHINE Work Experience and Well-Being Measurement

SHINE has launched new metrics, grounded in research, for gathering health information about the impact of work experiences on human potential and stress. Building a database of “health and wellbeing” handprints  aims to improve health, reduce health care costs, and maximize productivity by measuring leading indicators of health that are influenced by work activity.

Leading indictors allow us to predict whether we are on track to achieve our goals, and signify when we need to adjust our activities to increase the likelihood of better outcomes. The work experience and well-being measurement will identify pathways between how an employer crafts employee work experiences—for example, by providing access to material resources and offering training to develop skills and competence—and the impact of those work experiences on employee stress, performance, personal lifestyle, perception of well-being, illness, and injury.

Wellness programs that follow only lagging (“after the fact”) indicators of health miss out on the opportunity to prevent negative health consequences before they occur. While it’s true that lagging indicators such as injury, disease, or personal behaviors related to illness are essential for signifying whether or not we’ve achieved our goals, wellness programs that include an everyday emphasis on raising human performance, happiness, and well-being add value by avoiding illness and injury down the line.

The SHINE Framework for NetPositive Accounting

The SHINE Framework for NetPositive Accounting is a comprehensive and data-driven system for assessing both the negative and positive impacts of an organization by drawing from methods for lifecycle analysis and footprinting standards. The framework enables companies to compare their footprints and handprints on a growing set of sustainability dimensions such as human health, climate change, biodiversity, and water consumption.

SHINE advances the framework with input from its members, and in collaboration with partners who set standards in the fields of sustainability and health. These partnerships allow SHINE to proactively inform and constructively influence such standards-setting processes, and also highlight when SHINE should adopt standards to maintain consistency with global consensus standards.

Questions we seek to answer through SHINE Network activities:

  • What types of handprints achieve the greatest scale and profitability?
  • Do NetPositive targets drive innovation and efficiency?
  • Will the target of NetPositive drive sales?
  • How do NetPostive companies encourage and improve employee well-being?
  • Do companies with flourishing employees experience better retention, productivity, and profits?
  • How is the investment community looking at NetPositive?
  • In what ways is health and well-being of employees material to company value for investors? 

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