CalSTRS staff proposed scrapping the fund's nearly 30-year-old statement of investment responsibility, replacing it with the United Nations Environment Program financial initiative. Adopting the UNEP principles would put the pension fund in line with other fiduciaries, according to a memo to the board of the $148.8 billion California State Teachers' Retirement System, Sacramento. Alternatively, the board could revise the existing principles and incorporate the UNEP guidelines, the memo said. The board will address the issue at its Nov. 2 investment committee meeting.
CalSTRS' adoption of new emerging markets investing criteria and a review of social and geopolitical risks led the board to direct staff to review the existing guidelines last spring.
The UNEP guidelines, unveiled in April, incorporate environmental, social and corporate governance issues into investment decisions. They also advocate that institutional investors be active owners and seek disclosure of relevant information from companies in which they invest.