What is the Value of Engagement?

Blog entry

When a company in our investment portfolio is not advancing sustainable business practices, we don’t simply ignore the problem or sell our holdings.

That would be like stuffing dirty laundry into a closet and shutting the door.

Out of sight, out of mind? Out of the question.  

CalSTRS chooses to engage companies because engagement has proven to create change in the marketplace and contribute to the long-term value of the companies in which we invest.

Engagement refers to communication and decision-making through meetings, shareholder proposals,  investor coalitions letters and proxy voting.

For example, CalSTRS is directly helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

CalSTRS recently led the effort of a coalition of investors to engage with Duke Energy, an American electric power holding company.

As a result, in September 2019, Duke announced an updated climate strategy that would reduce its 2005 carbon emission levels by half or more by 2030. Duke also set a goal to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

We are also a signatory for the Principles for a Responsible Civilian Firearms Industry. CalSTRS and our partners are pushing for retail standards such as requiring purchasers to be 21 years old to buy any firearm, no sales without passing a background check and no sales of military style rifles.

We know many of these issues matter to you personally. Engagement not only leads to meaningful change—it benefits your pension’s long-term health in the process.

These efforts to promote sustainability don’t just refer to the environment. Your retirement fund needs to be sustainable as well, which is why CalSTRS uses all the tools at our disposal to engage companies.

Read the latest edition of The Value of CalSTRS Engagements to learn more.