The New York State Common Retirement Fund (Fund) has reached agreements with five major U.S. companies, including Domino’s Pizza Inc., to set targets to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), adopt new energy efficiency measures and increase their use of renewable energy, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, trustee of the Fund, announced today. In response to the agreements, the Fund withdrew the shareholder resolutions with the companies.
“More and more companies understand that addressing climate change, by reducing their carbon emissions, helps their long-term success and benefits investors," DiNapoli said. “The transition to a low carbon future and meeting our country’s renewed commitment to the Paris Agreement present enormous opportunities for smart, sustainable investments. My thanks to these companies for recognizing their role in building a lower-carbon economy and their responsibility to shareholders’ concerns about climate risk.”
The agreements announced today include:
- Domino’s pledged to adopt GHG targets;
- Steel maker Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. has set GHG targets and committed to co-funding a green hydrogen project;
- Chemical maker Albemarle Corp. has committed to adopting GHG targets;
- Water treatment company Pentair Plc has agreed to commit to setting GHG and clean energy targets; and
- Commercial property owner Realty Income Corp. has agreed to commit to adopting GHG targets by engaging with its clients.
In addition to agreeing to increased targets for renewable energy use, emission reductions and energy efficiency, the companies indicated they would regularly report on their progress in meeting those goals.
Since taking office in 2007, DiNapoli has been recognized as a global leader for his efforts to protect the Fund’s investments, address material risks from climate change and pursue sustainable opportunities for the Fund’s investments. As part of his comprehensive Climate Action Plan to protect investments, DiNapoli uses the Fund’s voice and shareholder voting power by calling on companies to focus on the climate change risks they face, to report on and reduce their GHG emissions and to acknowledge the business opportunities and risks in the emerging low carbon economy.
The Fund has filed more than 150 climate-change-related shareholder resolutions and reached 77 agreements with portfolio companies to analyze climate risks, set GHG reduction targets and renewable energy and energy efficiency goals, prevent deforestation, publish sustainability reports and appoint directors with environmental expertise.
In December, DiNapoli announced the Fund has adopted a goal to transition its portfolio to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.
New York State Common Retirement Fund
The New York State Common Retirement Fund is the third largest public pension fund in the United States with assets of approximately $247.7 billion as of Dec. 31, 2020. The Fund holds and invests the assets of the New York State and Local Retirement System on behalf of more than one million state and local government employees and retirees and their beneficiaries. It has consistently been ranked as one of the best managed and best funded plans in the nation.
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