The California pension fund has been at the center of social activist investing for several years. In 2011, CalPERS agreed to sell holdings in companies doing business in Iran and Sudan. In 2013, it sold investments in two gun makers. And last year, the state passed a law ordering the fund to unload its holdings in coal-producing companies by June 2017
Meantime, the California State Teachers Retirement System largely eliminated its investments in the tobacco industry in 2000. However, some active managers in CalSTRS still held the stock until 2009, when the fund system completely and formally divested from tobacco holdings. Other state public pension funds also have divested tobacco holdings, including Vermont and Massachusetts, among others.