CalPERS investment committee on Monday will consider a staff recommendation to include a 14-point checklist in the systems corporate governance policy to gauge companies commitment to the environment, according to the investment committees agenda. Issues on the checklist include tracking of carbon emissions and development of climate-change initiatives. Staff at the $237.3 billion California Public Employees Retirement System, Sacramento, also suggested that the system work with the Investor Network on Climate Risk to develop a survey evaluating public equity investment managers ability to evaluate climate risk in the companies in which they invest.
The committee will also consider using board diversity when considering placing companies on CalPERS focus list of companies with poor performance or poor corporate governance. Staff could also urge proxy voting services to include board diversity in their recommendations.
The changes are being proposed in response to two separate requests from California Controller John Chiang.
Meanwhile, CalPERS increased its commodities exposure last month. The fund had $950 million invested in commodities as of March 31, up from $450 million a month earlier, confirmed spokesman Clark McKinley. Some $700 million is run through market-neutral, relative value strategies and the rest is indexed, according to the agenda.
The system also will invest $100 million with Lazard Asset Managements Korea Corporate Governance Fund, said Mr. McKinley. The fund will invest in small-cap to midcap Korean companies that will benefit from improvements in their corporate governance. CalPERS runs a $6 billion corporate governance portfolio.