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Fund Solutions

Massachusetts Pension Fund Updates Voting Guidelines

The Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board (MassPRIM) has updated its proxy voting guidelines to better inform shareholder practices on issues related to climate, sustainability, biodiversity, and executive pay. The update comes just a month after the US$100 billion fund was given a C+ grade on its proxy voting record, guidelines and transparency in a Sierra Club report. The report revealed that even in US states with progressive financial leadership, public pensions were failing to take the necessary steps to tackle the climate crisis and reduce climate-related financial risk. “Because they are responsible for managing investments over a long-term horizon, pension funds should be among the investors most alarmed about the economic risks associated with the climate crisis,” Sierra Club said in a statement. While some pensions have taken steps, including announcing net-zero pledges, investing in climate solutions, or defending the right to invest responsibly – many continue to fail to address those risks. “MassPRIM’s updated proxy voting guidelines complement already strong climate and emissions policies with new language on biodiversity risks, which makes [it one of] the first to incorporate this critical topic into [its] proxy voting guidelines,” said Allie Lindstrom, Senior Strategist on Sierra Club’s Fossil-Free Finance campaign. “However, the fund still has a long way to go in codifying policies addressing environmental justice and Indigenous rights. We hope to see support from MassPRIM on related resolutions in 2024.”

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