Teachers’ Joins Global Sustainability Board

windmill powerA number of North American asset managers and pension funds, including the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, have come together to introduce an investor advisory group as part of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board.

The group will aim to improve the quality and comparability of sustainability-related disclosure to investors, thereby enabling investors to develop a more comprehensive view of company performance.

“It is critical for investors to have standardized, comparable information on material [environmental, social and governance] factors so we can make better decisions about our investments into the future,” said Christopher Ailman, chief investment officer of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System and chair of advisory group, in a release.

“[The group] is encouraging companies to disclose material ESG information and to participate in SASB’s standards-setting process.”

The founding members of the advisory group are:

  • BlackRock: Michelle Edkins, managing director and global head of investment stewardship
  • Breckinridge Capital Advisors: Peter Coffin, founder and president
  • CalPERS: Ted Eliopoulos, chief investment officer
  • CalSTRS: Christopher Ailman, chief investment officer (chair)
  • Calvert Investments: John Streur, president and chief executive officer
  • Goldman Sachs Asset Management: Hugh Lawson, managing director, global head of institutional client strategy
  • New York City Retirement Systems: Scott Evans, deputy comptroller-asset management and chief investment officer
  • Nordea Asset Management: Eivind Lorgen, chief investment officer, North America
  • Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan: Barbara Zvan, senior vice-president of strategy and risk and chief investment risk officer
  • Oregon State Treasury, Investment Division: John Skjervem, chief investment officer
  • State Street Global Advisors: Lynn Blake, executive vice president and chief investment officer, global head of beta solutions
  • TIAA Global Asset Management: Tom Franks, chief investment officer, global equities
  • Wells Fargo Asset Management: Kirk Hartman, president and chief investment officer
  • Wespath Investment Management: David Zellner, chief investment officer.

“Investors can play an important role in enhancing disclosure effectiveness, by expecting companies to disclose performance on material ESG factors and by participating in development of disclosure standards,” said Janine Guillot, SASB’s director of capital markets policy and outreach.

“[The group]’s members believe that SASB’s approach — which is industry-specific and materiality-focused — will help provide investors with relevant and decision-useful information.”