When it comes to how we manage investments, we incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations as part of our investment decision-making process. This is known as responsible investing. Responsible investment is a well-established part of our overall investment approach. In 2018 both VicSuper and First State Super were recognised as leaders in responsible investing by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA, Super Fund Responsible Investment Benchmark Report 2018).
Not only does responsible investing give us an opportunity to optimise our members’ retirement savings, it also allows us to positively contribute to the world in which our members live and retire. The end result is an investment portfolio that aims to do well for members, while doing good for others. And we think that’s something we can all feel good about.
Our recent merger is helping to further strengthen and embed this commitment to responsible investing. From 1 October 2020, we’ll be excluding direct investments in:
- companies deriving 10% or more of their revenues directly from mining thermal or energy coal
- companies deriving revenue from the manufacture and/or production of controversial weapons including chemical weapons, cluster munitions, land mines and depleted uranium.
We note that due to liquidity constraints, unlisted thermal coal mining assets may take time to divest from and there may be a small residual exposure. Such assets will be sold at fair value as soon as reasonably practicable, but by no later than 30 June 2023.
Our updated Responsible Investment policy will be published on our website on 1 October 2020.
We believe climate change is a significant long-term risk to the planet, our investment portfolio, and ultimately our members’ retirement outcomes.
Through our Climate Change Portfolio Transition Plan, we’re transitioning our portfolio to a low carbon economy with bold action and clear targets. In addition to the thermal coal mining divestment outlined above, we are:
- targeting a 30% reduction in the emissions associated with our listed equities portfolio by 2023
- advocating for an economy-wide 45% reduction in emissions by 2030.
We’ve long believed that investing in your future shouldn’t be at the expense of the world we live in – because that’s one thing all our futures are depending on. That’s why we’re broadening the impact of our Socially Conscious investment option, by expanding the exclusions we apply to incorporate all the asset classes the option invests in (not just equities and fixed interest).
Our Socially Conscious investment option has always allowed you to make an investment choice driven by your beliefs and values. It provides a suitable investment choice for members wanting to:
- take action on climate change
- minimise social harm
- protect human rights, labour rights and the environment.
In order to achieve this, we apply a number of exclusions when selecting companies to invest in (for example we won’t invest in companies that are materially involved in tobacco, gambling or nuclear energy). Previously, these exclusions have only applied to the equities and fixed interest asset classes of the Socially Conscious investment option, but going forward, they’ll apply across all asset classes.
See how the VicSuper Socially Conscious investment option for FutureSaver members and Flexible Income and Term Allocated Pension members will be invested from 1 November 2020.
Learn more about the exclusions we apply.
If you’d like more information, or if we can help, don’t hesitate to get in touch.