UK - California's state treasurer Phil Angelides has called on CalPERS and CalSTERS to pay more attention to environmental corporate governance issues and invest some $500m in the burgeoning environmental technology sector.
The goal of Angelides’ Green Wave initiative is to improve long-term financial returns for pensioners, as well to limit the risk to pension funds posed by corporate environmental liabilities.
“Shareholders need to know if the companies they own are going down the prudent path, by adopting environmental practices that will enable them to survive and thrive in a world of increasing environmental concern and regulation,” said Angelides. “Or whether those companies are taking the path of denial, risk, liability and cost.”
The funds have been urged to devote $500m to private equity and venture capital investments to develop “clean” technologies.
An additional $1bn is earmarked for investments in environmentally screened stocks through leading active equity managers. Angelides emphasised that performance of selected managers must equal or exceed that of the funds’ existing managers.
Also on the cards is a reassessment of the funds’ combined $16bn in real estate investments to ensure these investments are maximising their opportunities to use clean, efficient energy and green building standards and practices.
At Angelides’ request, CalPERS has began studying a clean technology private equity programme and is expected to report its research to the board on 15 March.
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