California pensions leader pushes for more women on boards, climate data

March 30 (Reuters) – One of California’s big pension funds said on Wednesday it would push companies to add more women to their boards and disclose more about their carbon emissions, setting strong markers for the 9,000 companies in its global portfolio.

In votes to be cast at upcoming annual shareholder meetings, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) will vote against the entire board of directors of companies that do not have at least one woman. , the $318 billion retirement system said in a news release. .

It will also vote against the appointment of board committee members who are not at least 30% women. Those standards could put particular pressure on the boards of non-US or European companies, Aeisha Mastagni, who oversees management strategies at CalSTRS, said in an interview.

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“It’s 2022 and we’ve been talking about the value of diversity for long enough,” she said.

Additionally, CalSTRS said it will vote against directors of companies that have not disclosed direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions, known as scope 1 and 2 emissions. by US securities regulators, which has yet to be finalized, contains similar requirements. Read more

Some climate activists have also urged companies to go further and disclose supplier and customer emissions, known as Scope 3. Mastagni said it would be a good regulatory change, but the first two kinds at less will help investors judge companies’ emission reduction plans.

Mastagni said the new policies would likely increase the frequency of CalSTRS voting against administrators by 54% last year.

Other major asset managers such as Goldman Sachs (GS.N) have also called for more diversity on boards and climate disclosure as investors pour money into funds that use environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria to select securities. Read more

CalSTRS is the second largest US public retirement system after California’s $476 billion public employee retirement system. Both have helped push forward reforms such as last year’s campaign that elected dissidents to the board of Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N). Read more

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Reporting by Ross Kerber Editing by Marguerita Choy

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