Monday, April 21, 2008

CalPERS Expands Environmental, Diversity Corporate Governance Guidelines

From CalPERS:

"CalPERS Expands Environmental, Diversity Corporate Governance Guidelines - Supports State Legislation on Climate Change

SACRAMENTO, CA – The CalPERS Board today signaled the importance of environmental disclosure and diversity of corporate boards by expanding corporate governance guidelines for portfolio companies.

The new guidelines will be added to the System’s Global Principles of Accountable Corporate Governance. These principles are used by CalPERS to vote proxies, engage management and boards of equity companies, and implement initiatives.

Both guidelines were proposed by State Controller John Chiang, a member of the CalPERS Board of Administration.

The environmental guidelines are aimed at getting companies to disclose and act upon climate risks like carbon emissions that, if unaddressed, could diminish investment returns.

To stay in step with changes in the marketplace, the pension fund’s Board adopted new corporate board diversity guidelines which will create best practices, including the practice of requiring that diversity be included among factors used to assess corporate board nominees. Also adopted was an action to develop a white paper on the topic of diversity and corporate boards to document the current profile of corporate boards and identify the best strategies for ensuring diversity of boards.

CalPERS is the nation’s largest public pension fund with assets totaling approximately $240 billion. It provides retirement and health benefits to some 1.5 million State and local public employees and their families. For more about CalPERS, visit www.calpers.ca.gov."