CalPERS Releases Second Report on Progress Towards Sustainable Investments and Operations
May 1, 2014
External Affairs Branch
Robert Udall Glazier, Deputy Executive Officer
Brad Pacheco, Chief, Office of Public Affairs
Contact: Joe DeAnda, Information Officer
SACRAMENTO, CA - The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) today released its second report chronicling the Pension Fund's efforts on sustainable investing and leadership at the Ceres Annual Conference in Boston, Massachusetts.
Speaking before a global audience of environmental leaders, Anne Stausboll, CalPERS Chief Executive Officer and co-chair of the Ceres Board of Directors, said the work CalPERS does is part of its effort to help build a sustainable global economy.
"Sustainability continues to be at the heart of what we do," said Stausboll. "We recognize that in our own operations, and in the companies and markets in which we invest, sustainability issues have the potential to impact financial performance. This new report highlights what CalPERS is doing to address those issues in the best interest of our 1.6 million members and their families."
The report, Towards Sustainable Investment & Operations: Making Progress, focuses on the Pension Fund's work to achieve the sustainability goals it set for itself in CalPERS first sustainability report. That report, Towards Sustainable Investment: Taking Responsibility, was released in 2012 and outlines CalPERS journey to create a new fiduciary framework to integrate sustainability across the Pension Fund's investment portfolio and how it will help achieve long-term, risk-adjusted returns.
For CalPERS, the concept of sustainability is grounded in economics and focuses on the three forms of capital that lead to long-term value creation - financial, physical and human. This year's report shows what CalPERS is doing to address sustainability issues in its investment portfolio, the global financial markets and its own operations. Featured initiatives in the report include:
- CalPERS Investment Beliefs - a set of 10 beliefs adopted in 2013 that advocate CalPERS engage investee companies and external managers on sustainability issues, including environmental practices, fair labor practices, health and safety, responsible contracting and diversity
- The Sustainable Investment Research Initiative - a research effort to drive innovative thought leadership that will inform and advance CalPERS understanding of sustainability factors and the impact they have on financial performance
- CalPERS Cross Asset Class Team on Sustainable Investment - a staff driven team that evaluates peers' initiatives and looks at global best practices to advance CalPERS progress on sustainable investment
- The Sustainable Operations Program at CalPERS offices - the Pension Fund's own practices to reduce water and energy and implement other sustainable practices at its Sacramento, California, headquarters and Regional Offices across California
"As a long-term investor, sustainability is central to our mission and must be considered in all of our decisions," said Anne Simpson, CalPERS Senior Portfolio Manager and Director of Global Governance. "While we are making progress on reaching our goals, we recognize that there is still much work to do. We look forward to the challenge and look to our partnerships and collaborative efforts to increase our reach and impact."
CalPERS is the largest public pension fund in the U.S., with more than $285 billion in assets. CalPERS administers health and retirement benefits on behalf of 3,064 public school, local agency and state employers. There are more than 1.6 million members in the CalPERS retirement system and more than 1.3 million in its health plans. For more information about CalPERS, visit www.CalPERS.ca.gov.