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CalPERS privately divests from for-profit prison companies

Author: Educators for Migrant Justice, Published on: 19 October 2019

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) has divested from for-profit prison giants, CoreCivic and GEO Group, over growing concerns about the material risks both companies’ systemic human rights abuses pose to their bottom lines. CalPERS is one of the world’s largest and most influential institutional investors and their move to cut their financial ties to CoreCivic and GEO Group sends a strong message to other investors that financial complicity in egregious human rights abuses is not an option.

CoreCivic and GEO Group have faced enormous backlash over their role in the ongoing migrant abuse crisis and their stock prices recently tumbled to two-year lows. At least eight major banks have publicly stated that they will not provide future loans to CoreCivic or GEO Group, and investment analysts - including MSCI, CalPERS’ index provider - have increasingly called both companies’ financial viability into question as a result... “This is a landmark move in the evolving standard of fiduciary duty” said Emily Claire Goldman, founder and director of ESG Transparency Initiative’s Educators for Migrant Justice campaign. “CalPERS’ decision aligns the US’ largest pension fund with some of its most progressive peers in their approach to environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) risks and fiduciary duty.”

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