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CalPERS Pushes for More Environmental Data from Corporations

The CalPERS (California Public Employees’ Retirement System) (CalPERS) Board approved a plan to improve corporate environmental data transparency.

Among the initiatives of the plan is support for  shareholder proposals at Ford and GM—and possibly other auto makers—that request a report on each company’s plans to comply with California’s new CO2 emissions standard.

Other elements of the plan include:

  • Signing on to the Global Carbon Disclosure Project, an international effort to improve transparency of business risks associated with climate change due to rising levels of greenhouse gases (GHG).

  • Exploring opportunities to develop a model greenhouse gases reporting project that ensures timely and standardized disclosure of environmental data in the Utilities industry.

  • Recognizing individual companies that demonstrate best practices in environmental data transparency.

We expect environmental corporate stewardship to play a greater role in corporate governance over the next ten years. Data on the corporate environmental impact will be one of the best sources for investors to measure related investment risks.

—Priya Mathur, Vice Chair of CalPERS investment committee

CalPERS’ push for increased transparency is the latest environmental investing initiative approved by the pension fund. Last year, CalPERS launched a $200 million Environmental Technology Program that will target private equity investments in environmental technology solutions.

CalPERS is the nation’s largest public pension fund with assets of $182 billion, and supports the state in the federal lawsuit filed by automakers and dealers against California’s CO2 emissions reduction law.

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