CalPERS Announces Creation of Sustainability Benchmark for Infrastructure Investments
September 10, 2015
Brad Pacheco, Interim Deputy Executive Officer, External Affairs
Contact: Joe DeAnda, Information Officer
System, Other Global Institutional Investors Partner to Launch Measure
SACRAMENTO, CA - The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) today announced the launch of the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) Infrastructure, a new benchmark that will measure the sustainability of infrastructure investments. CalPERS is a founding member of the initiative, along with seven other global institutional investors.
Once completed in early 2016, it will provide a framework for investors to collect and assess key environmental, social and governance factors, and related performance metrics, across their infrastructure assets.
"We look forward to working with GRESB's platform to gain insights into current and prospective infrastructure assets," said Ted Eliopoulos, CalPERS' Chief Investment Officer. "GRESB has an established and global track record in assessing and evaluating social and environmental factors, which will shed more light on sustainability considerations for investors."
The group of eight investors represents a combined portfolio of $1.5 trillion. In addition to CalPERS, other investors include AIMCo, APG, ATP, Aviva Investors, Mirova, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, and PGGM. "The GRESB Infrastructure tool will allow us to measure the progress and provide us the means to engage with our investee funds and companies," said Patrick Kanters, Managing Director, Global Real Estate and Infrastructure, APG Asset Management.
CalPERS began working with a group of global institutional infrastructure investors in 2014 with the goal of addressing the question of how to develop a global sustainability benchmarking tool for infrastructure assets. This investor-led initiative has partnered with GRESB, an industry-driven organization committed to assessing the sustainability performance of real assets to realize the vision and establish a consistent global sustainability framework for the infrastructure sector. Given the long-term horizon, the fixed location of physical assets, and the societal impact of infrastructure investments, sustainability and broader environmental, social and governance considerations are critically important for infrastructure investors.
"CalPERS is proud to join other investors in support of developing and utilizing this important benchmark," said Anne Simpson, Investment Director for Global Governance at CalPERS.
"Infrastructure is a growing part of our portfolio. This benchmark will give us a tool to integrate sustainable investment considerations into our real assets investment processes in line with our Investment Beliefs pertaining to the three forms of capital: financial, physical, and human," said Paul Mouchakkaa, Managing Investment Director Real Assets for CalPERS.
CalPERS' current infrastructure portfolio invests in energy, power, water, and transportation sectors. The program plays a strategic role within the Fund by providing steady returns and cash yields, defensive growth, inflation protection, and diversification benefits.
For more than eight decades, CalPERS has built retirement and health security for state, school, and public agency members who invest their lifework in public service. Our pension fund serves more than 1.7 million members in the CalPERS retirement system and administers benefits for more than 1.4 million members and their families in our health program, making us the largest defined-benefit public pension in the U.S. CalPERS’ total fund market value currently stands at approximately $290 billion. For more information, visit www.calpers.ca.gov.