Years-long campaign by Friends of the Earth pushes agency to prioritize human rights, environmental protection in its new investment policy

SAN FRANCISCO – The California Public Employees’ Retirement System quietly approved extensive revisions to its Governance and Sustainability Principles last month, aimed at recognizing and addressing the material risks associated with ecosystem degradation. CalPERS, the largest public pension in the U.S with $356 billion in assets under management, included the revisions as part of its new Total Fund Policy.

CalPERS has broad exposure to virtually every industry — including some of the most environmentally and socially destructive industries on earth. For a number of years, Friends of the Earth has lead the charge to make CalPERS aware of the material risks associated with tropical deforestation through the fund’s exposure to industries such as palm oil, timber, pulp and paper, soy, cattle, and rubber.

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