The pledge was coordinated by the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) at their annual conference in Montreal, Quebec.
Priya Mathur, CalPERS Board of Administration Vice President stated:
Climate change represents risks and opportunities for a long-term investor like CalPERS. This pledge signifies our continued commitment to better understand our own footprint and help forge solutions to serious climate change issues. We call on other investors to join us in assessing the climate risk in their investment portfolios and using that knowledge and insight in their investment decision.
Mathur represented CalPERS at the PRI annual conference and will participate in an asset allocation session looking at how investors define their investment beliefs and how those beliefs impact the decision-making process.
The pledge commits CalPERS to mapping its carbon footprint in its investment portfolio, starting with equities, by December 2015. The System also commits to using the results of the mapping information to develop an engagement strategy and/or set portfolio carbon footprint reduction targets.
The pledge is aligned with CalPERS Investment Beliefs that state long-term value creation can be achieved by managing financial, physical, and human capital, which includes a strong understanding of climate risks and opportunities. CalPERS’ Beliefs help guide the Pension Fund’s work in engaging companies' managers on environmental practices and its advocacy role on environmental issues.
PRI is an initiative led by an international network of investors working together to put the six Principles for Responsible Investment into practice. Its goal is to understand the implications of sustainability for investors and support signatories to incorporate these issues into their investment decision-making and ownership practices.
CalPERS is the largest public pension fund in the U.S., with approximately $300 billion in assets.