From 2016 through the first half of 2018, 165 institutional investors and 54 investment managers controlling $1.8 trillion in assets under management filed or co-filed ESG shareholder resolutions, U.S. SIF found.
That is a decrease from the 225 institutional investors or money managers controlling $2.56 trillion in assets who filed or co-filed ESG shareholder resolutions from 2014 through 2016, a sign that more asset managers are engaging in direct dialogue with companies before, or instead of, filing a proposal. While 61 managers in 2016 said they took that route, by 2018, 88 money managers representing $9.6 trillion did so.
Investors are also getting creative.
CalPERS' Energy Optimization Initiative, which looks for economically attractive energy-related opportunities for its real estate portfolio, "is one of the ways we are working on reducing our risk to climate change, while also making money by seizing attractive investment opportunities within our existing portfolio," Ms. Richtman said.
CalPERS also joined forces last September with Woods Hole Research Center, a leading independent climate research institute in Falmouth, Mass., and Wellington Management Co. LLP to find ways to integrate climate science and asset management by creating quantitative models for analyzing how and where climate change might impact global capital markets, and ways to improve investment outcomes.
Several large pension funds with $1.8 trillion in combined assets in February formed a coalition to demand that the 20 largest U.S. publicly traded electricity generators work toward net-zero carbon emissions. Led by New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer on behalf of the $63.8 billion New York City Employees' Retirement System, the $71.5 billion Teachers Retirement System of the City of New York and the $6 billion New York City Board of Education Retirement System, other signatories include CalPERS and the $34 billion Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds, Hartford.
"Mobilizing for the planet goes hand-in-hand with protecting our pensions," Mr. Stringer said.