FTSE Group (“FTSE”), a leading global index provider and a pioneer in responsible investment, announced that Jack Ehnes, CEO of CalSTRS (California State Teachers’ Retirement System) will serve as the new chairman of the FTSE Environmental Markets Committee. The announcement comes on the fifth anniversary of FTSE’s Environmental Market Index Series and its partnership with Impax Asset Management, the environmental markets specialist that FTSE worked with to develop the market-leading classification system underpinning the Series.
The FTSE Environmental Markets Committee is the independent advisory body responsible for setting the rules governing the classification system and the two sets of indices based on it, the FTSE Environmental Technology and FTSE Environmental Opportunities indices. The Environmental Markets Classification System (EMCS) and the FTSE indices are now used by investment clients across Europe, Asia and the US for ETFs, tracker funds, structured products and performance benchmarks.
Jack Ehnes has led CalSTRS, the second-largest pension fund in the US, for more than 10 years. “I’m honoured to become Chairman of the Committee and to be contributing to the next chapter in the development of market standards,” he said. “The world faces unprecedented environmental challenges and companies providing products that provide solutions to these challenges are likely to be an important part of the future global economy. Defining these new emerging sectors is crucial to allow investors to model, understand and allocate capital.”
Jack is also a member of the board of Ceres, a network of US business executives that addresses corporate sustainability challenges and promotes improved transparency and disclosure of environmental risk.
Jack Ehnes replaces Winston Hickox, who is stepping down after five years chairing the Environmental Markets Committee, which is comprised of investment industry practitioners. Winston, a former Secretary of the State of California’s Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA), brought a wide range of environmental policy, regulation and environmental investing experience to the committee. He worked with CalPERS, the California public employee pension system, to design and implement its environmental investment mandates and served as chair of the California Market Advisory Committee.
“It has been a pleasure working alongside the FTSE Environmental Markets Committee and Impax Asset Management” Winston said. “We have come a long way over the last five years despite much market volatility. I’m delighted that Jack has accepted our invitation to take the reins. He has the big picture vision and the experience that we need to ensure that this work supports asset owners in accessing environmental markets, such as those companies delivering energy efficiency, water, waste and pollution control technologies.”
Since the launch of EMCS and the indices in 2007, the composition of the indices has changed significantly, with sectors such as energy efficiency and water technology growing in significance at the expense of the renewable energy sector. Renewable and Alternative Energy fell from 56% to 15% of the FTSE Environmental Technology 50 Index total market capitalisation while Energy Efficiency and Water Technology and Infrastructure, rose from 10% to 26%, and from 10% to 21% respectively.