CalSTRS’ Clean Technology Advisory Board Convenes First Meeting
Sacramento – The California State Teachers’ Retirement System broke new ground in the arena of environmental investing this week with the convening of its first-ever Clean Technology Advisory Board.
The role of the advisory board will be to provide CalSTRS staff with an independent view of the different strategies within the various segments of the clean (or environmentally friendly) technology industry. The goal is to help CalSTRS develop clean technology investment strategies that provide risk-adjusted returns commensurate with the existing CalSTRS Alternative Investment Program. The advisory board will not be making recommendations on specific investments.
The group consists of seven members outside of CalSTRS staff, representing the fields of science, engineering, policy and business. The members include:
- Roy Doumani, board member and Chief Operations Officer of the California Nanosystems Institute
- Bob Epstein, entrepreneur, engineer and co-founder of four information technology companies (Sybase, GetActive Software, Zight and Britton-Lee)
- Leo Gerard of United Steelworkers of America and the Apollo Alliance, a coalition within the labor, environmental, business, urban and faith communities in support of good jobs and energy independence
- Peter Liu, Principal of LM Investments and co-founder and Vice-Chair of the China-U.S. Energy Efficiency Alliance
- Keith Raab, co-founder, President and CEO of the Cleantech Venture Network, a grouping of member investors managing more than $3 billion in clean technology investment assets
- Russell Pullan, head of Venture Capital and Fund Investments for The Carbon Trust, a London-based private, limited company that invests government funds in new, clean energy and low-carbon technologies
- Glenn Yago, Director of Capital Studies at the Milken Institute
Winston Hickox of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System also attended as an observer.
The first meeting, held Monday at the CalSTRS office in Sacramento, featured discussion of each member’s viewpoints on clean technology and energy investment opportunities. The group agreed that the clean technology investment area should be approached in a proactive manner, and that the creation of the advisory board was timely.
According to Réal Desrochers, Director of Alternative Investments for CalSTRS, “We are very fortunate to have the expertise of this exemplary advisory panel available to CalSTRS. Clean technology, including clean energy, is a rapidly growing sector of our economy. With the guidance of this group, CalSTRS will be able to reap the rewards of being in a leadership position as new technologies – such as nanotechnology – fulfill their promises to provide innovations in energy, pollution abatement and cleanup, and medicine.
“We can help jumpstart the future of California and the world, and we can do it while earning strong returns for our beneficiaries.”
The Clean Technology Advisory Board is expected to meet approximately three times a year. The next meeting, to be held in March 2005 in San Francisco, will include a discussion of unrecognized opportunities within the clean technology industry. During the interim, members will be interacting further to develop the advisory board objectives.
CalSTRS is the third-largest public pension fund in the United States, with a current market value of $115 billion. It provides retirement, disability and survivor benefits to California’s public school educators from kindergarten through community college, serving more than 735,000 members and their families. For more information, visit the CalSTRS Web site at www.calstrs.com.