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NYS Comptroller


NEWS from the Office of the New York State Comptroller

Contact: Press Office 518-474-4015

NYS Comptroller DiNapoli Continues to Hold Corporate America Accountable
for Poor Climate Policies

Reaches Agreements with Companies Across a Variety of Sectors Facing Climate Risk

September 19, 2019

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced results of the New York State Common Retirement Fund’s latest successful shareholder efforts to have corporations improve their environmental policies and practices and take steps to address climate risk.

“Climate change is a significant threat to our pension fund’s investments. We take a broad approach when it comes to mitigating climate risk by encouraging the companies we invest in to disclose climate change’s impact and to set meaningful goals for lowering their emissions and using renewable energy sources,” DiNapoli said. “There is no single magic bullet for addressing climate change, but we are continuing to move forward with a thoughtful long-term approach to mitigating its impact on our investments.”

For the most recent season of corporate annual meetings, DiNapoli and the New York State Common Retirement Fund (Fund), filed 15 shareholder proposals seeking a variety of changes to companies’ practices and disclosures of companies’ plans related to climate change and reached agreements with 11 companies to improve their policies and practices.

The Fund asked several companies to set targets for lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, use more renewable energy, increase energy efficiency and report on their efforts to adopt environmentally sustainable practices. In response:

  • Capri Holdings (CPRI), Dollar General Corporation (DG), Keurig Dr. Pepper Inc. (KDP) and Under Armour, Inc. (UAA) agreed to set targets for increased energy efficiency and increased use of renewable energy. Moreover, in response to the Fund’s request, KDP adopted a comprehensive sustainability plan that included a goal of 100 percent of electricity derived from renewable sources by 2025.
  • Vistra Energy Corp. (VST), a utility company that is one of the largest GHG emitters in the Fund’s public equity portfolio, agreed to set targets for reducing GHG emissions. The Fund’s request for lower GHG targets at the Fluor Corporation (FLR), won 46.34 percent support from fellow shareholders, putting significant pressure on the company to take action.
  • Three oil and gas companies — Concho Resources, Inc. (CXO), Range Resources Inc. (RRC) and Diamondback Energy, Inc. (FANG) — agreed to assess and disclose the business impact of regulatory efforts to limit global warming under the terms of the Paris Agreement.
  • Martin Marietta Materials, Inc. (MLM), the leading U.S. producer of aggregates for highway, infrastructure, commercial, and residential construction, agreed to assess, and publicly report on, the risks and opportunities available in the global transition to a lower carbon economy.
  • American Financial Group (AFG) and Papa John’s (PZZA) agreed to produce sustainability reports that include company plans for addressing climate change’s impact on their business.

About Comptroller DiNapoli’s Work on Climate Change
Comptroller DiNapoli and the Fund have been recognized as global leaders in addressing climate change-related investment risks and pursuing opportunities for the Fund’s investments. For two consecutive years, the Asset Owners Disclosure Project ranked the Fund as the top U.S. public pension fund, and third globally, for its efforts to assess and combat climate-related investment risk. In June, DiNapoli released his ambitious Climate Action Plan for expanding the Fund’s sustainable investments, portfolio engagement and advocacy. As the Fund continues to reduce its exposure to climate risk and capitalize on investment opportunities created by the transition to a low carbon future, DiNapoli has committed to doubling to $20 billion the Fund’s allocation to sustainable investment strategies over the next decade.

About the 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 audited assets of $210.5 billion as of March 31, 2019. 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. The Fund has consistently been ranked as one of the best managed and best funded plans in the nation. The Fund's fiscal year ends March 31.

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