April 22, 2016

Communications & Stakeholder Relations
(916) 795-3991
Brad W. Pacheco, Deputy Executive Officer
Wayne Davis, Chief, Office of Public Affairs
Contact: Jeanie Esajian, Information Officer
newsroom@calpers.ca.gov

Pension Fund reduces environmental footprint by far exceeding targets

SACRAMENTO, CA - The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) far surpassed targets in green building practices, energy consumption, and water conservation, according to its annual Operational Sustainability Report (PDF).

"Sustainability is part of our culture and our core values," said Anne Stausboll, CalPERS Chief Executive Officer. "We take pride in our conservation efforts, and we're committed to being good stewards of our natural resources."

The report tracked the pension system's progress over the last year and highlighted the impact of its water conservation initiatives, with consumption of water reduced by 44 percent, or 14.3 million gallons above the 2013 baseline, exceeding the target reduction by nearly 20 percent. This was accomplished, in part, by removing turf/lawn landscaping, installing drip irrigation for plants and trees, and installing low-flow plumbing fixtures.

"Exceeding expectations in water savings after four years of drought is a testament to the perseverance of our staff," said Douglas Hoffner, CalPERS' Deputy Executive Officer for Operations and Technology. "Many of these initiatives will remain part of our culture here long after there is a specific urgent need for conservation."

"Organic waste diversion resulted in 4.45 cubic yards per week of recycling and 18.49 tons of food waste diverted from landfills to alternative fuel. Waste management efforts sent to recycling included a total of 100 percent of all metal products, 84 percent of plastic products, 81 percent of paper products, and 52 percent of printing and writing paper.

Adding to efforts to increase the number of zero-emission vehicles in state fleets, an additional 13 electric vehicle charging stations were installed in CalPERS' headquarter garages to support staff and members' demand.

Other accomplishments included:

  • Achieving a 79 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, or 5,131 metric tons of CO2e, by 2015, which outpaced the state-required goal of 20 percent by 2020
  • Decreasing by 28 percent total data center energy use per square foot, and total grid-based energy consumption by 7 percent in its headquarters buildings
  • Participating in the "Imperfectly Delicious" program to use fruits and vegetables that have slight cosmetic imperfections, making use of 2.5 tons of produce that would have been left to rot in fields, and saving the estimated 112,900 gallons of water used to grow the produce.

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 1.8 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 $297 billion. For more information, visit www.calpers.ca.gov.

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