CalSTRS Reveals Study Results on Sustainable Investments

News release

 Sacramento, CA  – California State Teachers’ Retirement System has today released the results of its study on market opportunities for sustainable investments in public securities conducted by Pension Consulting Alliance, Inc.The study, commissioned by CalSTRS, outlines the growing opportunities for institutional investors to achieve a “double bottom line” in sustainable investments.A double bottom line return means that a reasonable financial return and environmental objectives for long-term sustainability are both met inone investment.

The study findings present a snapshot of the growing interest in the sustainable, or environmentally responsible, investment opportunities for the institutional community. Interest is broadening due to heightened concerns over issues such as: climate change, globalization and industrial competition in emerging markets, and increasing demands for energy.

Also noted in the study is the rapid evolution of managers that employ an environmental screen on investments. Pension Consulting Alliance Inc. notes that in 1990 there were zero environmentally specific products found in the marketplace. At present, 11 firms offer 21 products that are considered environmentally specific. Furthermore, these products are being offered by a range of firms from large global financial institutions to very small independent firms.

“CalSTRS is closely studying the opportunities in this area,” states Christopher J. Ailman, chief investment officer of CalSTRS. “As long-term investors, it is our responsibility to take into account sustainable environmental policies that may affect the future growth and stability of our investments.”

The study will be presented to the Teachers’ Retirement Board on December 7. Full results may be found here.

With a $131 billion investment portfolio, CalSTRS is the third-largest public pension fund in the United States. It provides retirement, disability and survivor benefits to California’s public school teachers from kindergarten through community college, serving more than 755,000 members and their families.

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