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NEWS from the Office of the New York State Comptroller
Contact: Press Office 518-474-4015

DiNapoli:Two Fortune 500 Retailers Agree to Increased Use of Renewable Energy

May 18, 2016

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced that Fortune 500 retailers Best Buy and Nordstrom have agreed to the New York State Common Retirement Fund’s (Fund) request that they increase the use of renewable energy in their operations and supply chain.

“More Fortune 500 companies are shifting to renewable energy, not just because it helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigates climate change, but because it’s smart business,” DiNapoli said. “These companies are to be commended for protecting their long term value by committing to diverse energy sources that are competitively priced and will provide them with options in times of volatile fossil fuel prices. This commitment to renewable energy sources helps protect the Fund’s investments and supports the growth of a low carbon global economy.”

As a result of the agreements, DiNapoli has withdrawn his shareholder proposals that asked the companies to set measurable goals for increased use or production of renewable energy by December 2016.

Companies are increasingly turning to renewable energy sources to power their operations. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lists 78 Fortune 500 companies sourcing renewable energy from solar, wind, geothermal and other resources that offer the most environmental benefit. A growing coalition of companies, called RE100, has called for 100 percent renewable energy use and includes Johnson & Johnson, Starbucks, Wal-Mart and Goldman Sachs among its members.

The Fund owns shares of Best Buy and Nordstrom with estimated values of $32 million and $18 million, respectively.

About the New York State Common Retirement Fund

The New York State Common Retirement Fund is the third largest public pension fund in the United States, with estimated assets of $178.3 billion as of Dec. 31, 2015. The Fund holds and invests the assets of the New York State and Local Retirement System on behalf of more than one million state and local government employees and retirees and their beneficiaries. The Fund has consistently been ranked as one of the best managed and best funded plans in the nation. The Fund’s fiscal year ends March 31, 2017.