The Sustainable Investments (SI) Program helps the Investment Office deliver returns through the identification, analysis, and management of high-value sustainable investment risks and opportunities that may affect our investment returns.  

The SI team implements this in four ways:

  • Research to understand how a topic may affect our investments
  • Integration of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risks and opportunity considerations into investment decision-making
  • Engagement with companies and managers to understand, mitigate, and/or manage ESG risks and opportunities  
  • Advocacy with government bodies and standard setters on topics that can affect our returns

Functional Organization

As a total fund resource deployed to meet a variety of high-value needs for the Investment Office, the SI team leverages our expertise across a wide-range of sustainable investment topics, including human capital, climate change risk, integrated reporting, and financial market structures. We:

  • Act as problem solvers who connect dots across and between SI topics and investments, both proactively and reactively
  • Help our Investment Office to clearly identify and understand sustainable investment drivers that can impact long-term profitability
  • Work with our asset classes to identify "Why Wouldn't You" opportunities to make attractive returns while also having a positive impact on society and the environment
  • Work closely with Global Equity's Corporate Engagements Program on developing engagement strategies for sustainable investment issues, particularly emerging ones, that affect our publicly traded portfolio

Strategic Priorities

The Investment Office executive staff developed the INVO 2020 Vision (PDF), a five-year strategic plan that defines long-term direction and support of the CalPERS 2017-2022 Strategic Plan (PDF) while addressing management of our investment portfolio in a cost-effective, transparent and risk-aware manner.

In both our enterprise plan and INVO 2020 Vision, ESG risk integration is noted as a strategic objective to highlight the importance it has, and the difference it can make in the long-term sustainability of our fund.

Strengthened Governance

SI's Managing Investment Director, Beth Richtman, chairs the Governance and Sustainability Subcommittee (GSS) to the Investment Strategy Group. The GSS convenes bi-monthly, with senior members from each asset class and program area alongside CalPERS enterprise colleagues.

The GSS is the Investment Office's key cross-asset body for ensuring ESG risk considerations are integrated into the investment decision-making process through discussion of, and education on, SI topics that can affect our returns.

Reports & Updates