CalPERS CEO: “The Companies We Invest In Have to Be Sustainable”

Calpers

CalPERS CEO Anne Stausboll sat down with the Financial Times for an extensive interview last week.

She talked about her push to make CalPERS an agent of change on social and environmental issues, including the use of shareholder power to engage with companies about sustainable business practices.

Here’s that excerpt, from the Financial Times:

Where Ms Stausboll is most passionate about the power of Calpers to make a difference is in the social and environmental sphere. A vegetarian on moral grounds since her university days, she began her career as a lawyer fighting for equal pay for female workers. On her way to the top she has moved back and forth between Calpers and Californian government, working as deputy to the state treasurer, Phil Angelides, at the turn of the century, when he was pushing for US public pension funds to use their power as shareholders to encourage greener business practices.

Today, Calpers is urging corporations to assess the risks that climate change pose to their businesses; it will be putting motions to shareholder meetings demanding as much. The idea is these shareholder resolutions will be a not-so-subtle nudge to executives to push for more environmentally friendly practices, not just at oil and gas companies but in the insurance sector, in agriculture and across corporate America.

“Our portfolio has to be sustainable for decades and generations, and . . . to make the portfolio sustainable, the companies we invest in have to be sustainable,” she says.

The interview also covers CalPERS’ push for corporate board diversity, the fund’s corruption scandal and its quest to reduce investment expenses.

Read the full interview here.

 

Photo by  rocor via Flickr CC License

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