Investments News & Events

CalPERS’ Sustainability Efforts: How We’re Helping to Minimize Climate Risk

As the nation’s largest public pension fund, we manage our investments to ensure our members’ earned retirement benefits endure not just today, but for decades to come. Beyond the fund, we strive to be a leader in sustainable operations and conservation at our CalPERS campus buildings.

Sustainable Investments  

Our members rely on our investments to deliver financial results that support their retirement. Our sustainable investing approachthrough advocacy, engagement, integration and investment, and partnershipworks toward addressing shortterm and long-term risks and opportunities that can impact our returns.

As a large global investor, we manage the risk of our portfolio, and climate change is a significant risk. Climate-related physical risks, such as natural disasters, can have a negative impact on businesses, the economy, and our investments. We’re using our voice and investment dollars to minimize climate risk to our portfolio and investments while teaming up with others to ensure we see action, not just words. 

That’s why we’re working with other large investors to address climate change issues. One example is our work through Climate Action 100+. Through this initiative, CalPERS and more than 700 investors representing $68 trillion are working with companies to improve climate change governance and reduce emissions. 

You can read more about our strategies and initiatives to combat climate change at Sustainable Investments Program and through our response to the Taskforce on Climate Related Financial Disclosure (PDF) 

Our Green Operations 

Lincoln Plaza, our headquarters located in Sacramento, California, is a testament to our leadership in sustainable operations. As a state agency, we use state mandates as the foundation for measuring our facilities’ performance and compliance with the governor’s sustainability goals. However, we strive beyond what’s mandated so we can improve our green performance and contribution to environmental preservation in our community.  

For example, the LEED® Green Building Certification Program is a globally recognized green building rating system that certifies sustainable buildings on a five-year calendar cycle. LEED-certified buildings save money, improve efficiency, lower carbon emissions, and create healthier places for people to work.  

While all state agencies with new or majorly renovated buildings are required to apply for LEED and to receive a minimum of a silver certification, we aim to surpass the minimum to showcase our commitment. In 2018, Lincoln Plaza East and Lincoln Plaza West earned LEED Platinum®, and Lincoln Plaza North earned LEED Gold®, two of the highest ratings achievable. 

We invest in our energy performance, water conservation measures, and healthy and safe workspaces for our CalPERS team members with the goal of allocating resources effectively, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and improving the sustainability awareness of our team. Find the full list of our sustainability operations at Green Building Accomplishments & Sustainability Initiatives.