CalSTRS hails ‘four-out-of-five’ success of environmental shareholder resolution campaign

Fund dropped four resolutions after companies agreed to climate risk or sustainability reporting.

The $146.6bn (€108.4bn) California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) has been successful with a shareholder resolution campaign on environmental reporting this year dropping four out of five shareholder resolutions after the companies targeted agreed either to improve climate risk management disclosure or publish full sustainability reports. The US pension fund said it had recently dropped a shareholder proposal at Sysco Corp, the foodservice giant, after the company agreed to include water risk management and sustainable agriculture in a new sustainability initiative. Sysco has agreed to respond to the Carbon Disclosure Project water survey in 2013 and to inform CalSTRS of progress on their sustainability initiative. CalSTRS said that it hadalso withdrawn similar proposals at three other companies. The fund received just one push-back in the campaign. A shareholder resolution at ConocoPhillips, the US oil and gas company, asking for a report on the financial risks of its oil sands operations, did not pass but received nearly 30% backing, a relatively high level of support for an environmental proposal. Jack Ehnes, CalSTRS chief executive officer, said: “Companies that report on environmental, social and governmental practices are more responsive to the global business environment, allowing them to realize value from these efforts. Transparency about water risk and other sustainability issues is important as it is a significant risk facing investors.”