Weekly Highlights September 25, 2014

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - 11:45am

Top Story of the Week

CalPERS – Beyond the Headlines About Hedge Fund Exit – Guide for the California System Are Its “Investment Beliefs”
(Wednesday- September 17, 2014)
Source: Sustainability Update
, Hank Boerner – Chairman & Chief Strategist – Governance & Accountability Institute This week’s capital markets headlines focus on the planned divestment of hedge funds by the USA’s largest public employee retirement system (CalPERS).  The US$300 billion California Public Employees Retirement System announced on September 15th that over the coming months the $4 billion invested through its hedge fund program — CalPERS “Absolute Return Strategies” — would be redirected to other investments.  (CalPERS will exit 24 hedge funds and 6 fund-of-funds.) No doubt the Street anxiously read the Pension & Investments headline:  “CalPERS Dumping Head Funds.”  Reported the P&I editors:  Theodore Eliopoulos, interim chief investment officer said:  ”Hedge funds are certainly a viable strategy for some, but at the end of the day, when judged against their complexity, cost and lack of ability to scale at CalPERS size, the ARS program doesn’t merit a continued role…”

CalPERS Outlines Plan for Financial Markets Principles      
(Thursday - September 18, 2014)
Source: CalPERS - The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) has outlined plans to engage in policy discussions around derivatives, housing finance, and credit rating agencies as part of its renewed focus on risk, governance, and...

Note to Our Readers
Last week’s Top Story was about the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, provided as benchmarks for sustainable & responsible investing by S&P Dow Jones Indices and RobecoSAM.  We’re including this week our G&A Sustainability Update blog post for additional background.  Note that there are two updates:  (1)  in the list of public companies that have been in the DJSI World for all of the 15 years of the index, Sainsbury’s PLC should be added.  And to clarify, public companies invited to respond to the Corporate Assessment, RobecoSAM selects 2,500 companies in the S&P Global Brand Market Index (companies in 59 industries in 47 countries.

Sustainability in Focus

BASF Evaluates Sustainability of Portfolio via New Process      
(Friday - September 19, 2014)
Source: GreenBiz - BASF has developed a new process for evaluating its product portfolio based on sustainability criteria. In a move that it says will better help its customers align environmental and societal aspects with business success, the...

5 Ways Boards of Directors can Support Sustainability      
(Thursday - September 18, 2014)
Source: GreenBiz - While corporate responsibility has risen as a strategic priority for many companies, boards have not been driving this change. The UN Global Compact LEAD board program conducts extensive surveys and interviews with board members,...

This is just a sample of some of the articles from this weeks SustainabilityHQ Highlights.  You can view the full Highlights by using the following links. Sustainability | ESG, Highlights for the Week of September 25, 2014

Keywords: Media & Communications | G&A Institute | GRI | Governance & Accountability Institute | SWF | Sovereign Wealth Funds | SustainabilityHQ | business & trade | environmental | esg | governance