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CalPERS Sustainable Investment Research Initiative

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) Sustainable Investment Research Initiative (SIRI) seeks to drive innovative thought leadership that will inform and advance our understanding of sustainability factors and the impact they may have on companies, markets, and investment intermediaries from the perspective of a large, global, long-term, and multi-class institutional asset owner.

CalPERS Sustainable Investment Research Initiative

As part of this important initiative, on June 19, 2017, Associate Dean and Finance Professor Brad Barber advised the CalPERS investment committee on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues to better inform CalPERS’ board as it moves forward with investment decisions and shareholder activism. (see video)

Barber has twice won the prestigious Moskowitz Prize for Socially Responsible Investing, which is the only global award recognizing outstanding quantitative research in the field.

CalPERS manages the largest public pension fund in the United States, with a $364 billion portfolio that serves public retirees throughout California. Climate change, sustainability factors and board diversity are increasingly strategic considerations for active institutional investors like CalPERS.

Sustainable Investment Research Initiative (SIRI) Library 

The SIRI Library is a searchable database of over 700 academic studies on sustainability factors spanning four decades of research and which examine the impact of these factors on investment risk and return. There is a wide range of literature examining whether and how sustainability factors have an impact on risk and return for long-term investors like CalPERS.

CalPERS’ discussions on this have highlighted the need for clarity on the definition of sustainability and its impact on investment risk and return across each asset class. In response, CalPERS launched SIRI and partnered with the UC Davis Graduate School of Management to conduct this review of evidence.

Learn more about SIRI in the Review of Evidence: Database of Academic Studies (PDF) compiled by the UC Davis Graduate School of Management.

Project Overview

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