Hawaii ERS Strengthens ESG Goals by Joining UN-Backed Commission

Fund expected to boost impact allocations over the long term.

Hawaii’s largest state pension fund has joined a global group of institutional investors committed to incorporating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in their investment decisions.

Under the banner of the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment, the $17 billion Hawaii Employees Retirement System will now strengthen its efforts by utilizing the league’s six principles of investment guidelines. The UN-backed agency has roughly $73 trillion in assets under management.

The fund is also expected to support sustainability investing globally and will add more ESG-related allocations to its portfolio over the long term, the Pacific Business News reports.

The public state and county worker pension plan’s executive director, Thomas Williams, told the publication that it has “already worked to align its investing with state environmental and renewable energy goals” by making a 30% reduction in its exposure to fossil fuel companies over the past two years.

The first three principles involve incorporating ESG issues into its investment process, taking active ownership and incorporating these issues into the organization’s policies and practices, and seeking related disclosure from the entities its near 2,000 signatories invest in. The second half of the principles are based around the promotion and implementations of the principles, collaboration among entities, and reporting on activities and progress on such.

“By adhering to the Principles for Responsible Investment, the ERS is helping to transition to a more sustainable future while keeping the promises made to our state workers in the past,” Hawaii Gov. David Ige said in a statement.

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