The move by the fund follows a similar investment decision by the nation’s largest public pension fund, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS). In March, CalPERS made a $200 million initial investment in environmentally sensitive energy and technology companies, according to an Associated Press report.
The investments will be in technologies like renewable energy, fuel cells, water purification and conservation, waste recycling and processing, and reusing materials.
CalSTRS’ investments follow a proposal by California state Treasurer Phil Angelides that the nation’s third largest pension fund and CalPERS invest a combined $1 billion in publicly traded, environmentally screened funds and $500 million in private-equity investments in the sector. Known as the “Green Wave” initiative, Angelides’ proposal also calls on the pension funds to demand better disclosure by companies of the financial risks they face from possible changes in environmental regulations (See CalPERS Ups the Ante on ‘Clean’ Investments ).