CalSTRS Marks Success in Sustainability Proposals
Proposal is withdrawn at Sysco after modification of new sustainability initiative.

News release

WEST SACRAMENTO, CA – The California State Teachers´ Retirement System (CalSTRS) today announced it has withdrawn its shareholder proposal at Sysco Corp. (NYSE: SYY) after the foodservice giant agreed to include water risk management and sustainable agriculture in the company’s new sustainability initiative.

Sysco also agreed to respond to the Carbon Disclosure Project water survey in 2013 and to meet with CalSTRS to provide updates on their sustainability initiative’s progress. Sysco will develop clear and transparent sustainability management strategies and take appropriate actions that support it.

CalSTRS submitted five proposals on environmental matters this year. Three other proposals were withdrawn as companies agreed to improve their climate risk management disclosure efforts or agreed to prepare sustainability reports. A proposal at ConocoPhillips, asking for a report on the financial risks of its oil sands operation, did not pass but received nearly 30 percent backing, a high level of support for an environmental proposal.

“Companies that report on environmental, social and governmental practices are more responsive to the global business environment, allowing them to realize value from these efforts,” said Jack Ehnes, CalSTRS chief executive officer. “Transparency about water risk and other sustainability issues is important as it is a significant risk facing investors.”

The CDP Water Disclosure sends a questionnaire to approximately 300 of the world’s largest corporations in water-intensive sectors, including chemicals, Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG’s), food and beverage, mining, paper and forest products, pharmaceuticals, power generation and semiconductor manufacturing. The questionnaire asks companies to measure and disclose information on water usage, the risks and opportunities in their own operations and their supply chains as well as water management and improvement plans.

The California State Teachers’ Retirement System, with a portfolio valued at $146.6 billion as of August 31, 2011, is the largest teacher pension fund and the second largest public pension fund in the United States. CalSTRS administers a hybrid retirement system, consisting of a traditional defined benefit, cash balance and defined contribution plan, as well as disability and survivor benefits. CalSTRS serves California’s 852,000 public school educators and their families from the state’s 1,600 school districts, county offices of education and community college districts.