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August 20, 2009
New York State Retirement Fund Invests $200 Million in Green Indexes
    by Robert Kropp

Green Strategic Investment Program, established to commit $500 million to green investment strategies, chooses the FTSE Environmental Technology 50 and the HSBC Global Climate Change Index as benchmark indexes.

New York State's Green Strategic Investment Program (GSIP), established by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli in April 2008, has chosen to invest $200 million of the assets of the New York State Common Retirement Fund in the FTSE Environmental Technology 50 (FTSE ET50) and the HSBC Global Climate Change Index.

The GSIP, which was established to commit $500 million over three years to environmentally-focused investment strategies, will benchmark $100 million to each of the indexes. Investments in companies included in the FTSE and HSBC indexes will be internally managed by the $154.5 billion Fund.

The investment philosophy behind the GSIP is that companies that measure their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and integrate green technologies into their business practices wherever possible, are better positioned to respond effectively to such emerging challenges as cap-and-trade programs for pricing carbon.

Furthermore, according to the GSIP, "Greater global demand for energy from alternative sources and a proliferation in international efforts aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions make adopting green investment strategies an area where institutional investors can support important policy goals while generating strong investment returns."

Launched in December, 2007, the FTSE ET50 is designed to measure the financial performance of the 50 largest pure play environmental technology companies worldwide. Twenty-one of the 50 companies in the Index are based in the US. Currently, the three top constituents in the Index are Vestas Wind Systems of Denmark, Suez Environnement of France, and US-based First Solar.

The HSBC Global Climate Change Benchmark Index was launched in September 2007. Currently, the Index measures the financial performance of 377 global companies that its research determines are best suited to benefit from the challenges of climate change.


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