• Super that makes a difference
    Super that makes a difference

    Align investment of your super savings with your social and environmental values.

  • The Socially Conscious investment option
    The Socially Conscious investment option

    Our Socially Conscious Investment Option gives our members the opportunity to align the way their super savings are invested with their social and environmental values.

    If you’d like to take action on climate change, minimise social harm and protect human rights, labour rights and the environment, this could be the investment option for you.

    The fees are comparable to a typical Balanced investment option, and you still have access to all the benefits and services of a large super fund.

    Our Socially Conscious Investment Option gives our members the opportunity to align their super savings with their social and environmental values.

    If you’d like to avoid investing in shares of companies that may materially contribute to climate change, cause social harm or infringe human rights, this could be the investment option for you.

    The fees are comparable to a typical Balanced investment option, and you still have access to all the benefits and services of a large super fund.
  • Social and environmental objectives
    Social and environmental objectives

    Invest in Socially Conscious and you can meet three key objectives.

     

    Take action on climate change
    By not investing in companies that hold fossil fuel reserves used for energy purposes.







     
    Minimise social harm
    By not investing in companies that are materially involved in activities that potentially cause social harm for example tobacco production, alcohol, gambling, military weapons, civilian firearms, nuclear power, adult entertainment and genetically modified organisms.


    Protect human and labour rights and the environment
    By not investing in companies that have been involved in severe incidents or controversies, or are not adhering to widely accepted global conventions




    It’s never been easier to invest in a super option that makes a difference.
    It’s never been easier to invest in a super option that makes a difference.

Join Socially Conscious today

  • New to VicSuper?
    New to VicSuper?

    If you aren't a VicSuper member, you can select this investment option when you join VicSuper, it takes less than 10 minutes to join.
    If you aren't a VicSuper member, you can select this investment option when you join VicSuper, it takes less than 10 minutes to join.
  • Already a member?
    Already a member?

    Existing member can easily change their investment options by logging in to VicSuper MembersOnline.
    Existing member can easily change their investment options by logging in to VicSuper MembersOnline.

Speak to a financial planner
Speak to a financial planner

Want to discuss whether this is the right investment option for you?

Contact our Member Centre on 1300 366 216 and discuss your investment needs with a VicSuper financial planner.
Want to discuss whether this is the right investment option for you?

Contact our Member Centre on 1300 366 216 and discuss your investment needs with a VicSuper financial planner.

FAQs

What is the Socially Conscious investment option?

VicSuper’s Socially Conscious investment option is what’s known as a socially responsible investment option. It provides our members with the opportunity to invest their super savings in alignment with their social and environmental values.

The Socially Conscious investment option is available to VicSuper’s FutureSaver and Flexible Income members. It is not offered via VicSuper’s Guaranteed Income Products.*

* VicSuper relies on Challenger Life Company, under life policies issues to VicSuper by Challenger, to fund payments to members who select these products. VicSuper does not itself provide a guarantee.

Which social and environmental objectives apply to the option?

VicSuper’s Socially Conscious investment option incorporates a wide range of social and environmental objectives.

The Socially Conscious investment option aims to help our members:

  • take action on climate change by not investing in companies that hold fossil fuel reserves used for energy purposes;
  • minimise social harm by not investing in companies that are materially involved in activities that potentially cause social harm, for example tobacco production, alcohol, gambling, controversial weapons, civilian firearms, nuclear power, adult entertainment and genetically modified organisms;
  • protect human rights, labour rights and the environment by not investing in companies that have been involved in severe incidents and/or controversies, or have been found to not be adhering to widely accepted global conventions.
The objectives are achieved by applying a number of exclusionary screens when selecting companies for investment. These exclusionary screen apply only to the Australian and international equities and Australian fixed interest components of the investment option. We may introduce additional screenings in the future. Investments across the other asset classes apply an environment, social and governance (ESG) integration approach, with the exception of Cash, which is not subject to ESG integration. Find out more about ESG integration in a question below.

The following table outlines the exclusionary screens applied to the equities and Australian fixed interest:

Socially Conscious - environmental and social objectives 
Take action on climate change Excludes investment in companies:

  • with coal, oil and/or gas reserves used for energy purposes 
  • deriving 30% or more revenue from mining of thermal coal or thermal coal based power generation1
  • whose principal business revenue is derived from direct fossil fuel activity in the following GICS2 sectors: Integrated Oil & Gas; Oil & Gas Exploration & Production; Oil & Gas Refining & Marketing; Coal & Consumable Fuels; Oil & Gas Storage & Transportation; Oil & Gas Equipment & Services.1,3*
Minimise social harm   Excludes investment in companies materially4** involved in:

  • Tobacco
  • Alcohol
  • Gambling
  • Military weapons (cluster munitions, landmines, depleted uranium, biological/chemical1, nuclear, conventional)
  • Civilian Firearms
  • Nuclear power
  • Adult Entertainment
  • Genetically modified organisms
Protect human and labour rights and the environment  Excludes companies that have found to not be adhering to international norms represented by the:

  • UN Declaration of Human Rights 
  • ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and 
  • UN Global Compact. 
Excludes companies that have been involved in significant^ environmental, social and governance controversies.
*1 This criteria applies to equities only.
2 The Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS) is an industry taxonomy developed in 1999 by MSCI and Standard & Poor’s (S&P) for use by the global financial community.
3 Companies who demonstrate that they are transitioning to clean energy may remain investable.
4** Material means the company generally derive greater than 5% revenue from the activity.
^5 MSCI Controversies score of 0.

What investment methodology is applied to equities?

The equities component of VicSuper’s Socially Conscious investment option invests in companies sourced from a custom index designed for VicSuper. The custom index combines the MSCI Global Fossil Fuels Exclusion Index and the MSCI Global Socially Responsible Index plus an additional fossil fuel direct activity screen. After applying the exclusionary screens listed above, a best‐in‐class selection1 process is applied to the remaining equities in the selection universe.

 For detailed methodologies and criteria for the applicable MSCI Indices see:



The additional fossil fuel direct activity based screen excludes companies that operate in the following GICS*2 sub-sectors: Integrated Oil & Gas; Oil & Gas Exploration & Production; Oil & Gas Refining & Marketing; Coal & Consumable Fuels; Oil & Gas Storage & Transportation; Oil & Gas Equipment & Services.

1 Companies are rated using MSCI’s ESG rating methodology. MSCI ESG Ratings identify companies that have demonstrated an ability to manage their ESG risks and opportunities. Companies with an ESG ratings score below a specified threshold will not be selected for investment
2* The Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS) is an industry taxonomy developed in 1999 by MSCI and Standard & Poor's (S&P) for use by the global financial community.

What investment methodology is applied to Australian fixed income?

BlackRock Investment Management (Australia) Limited (AFSL 230523) is the manager of one of the Australian fixed interest investments in the Socially Conscious Option. It applies exclusionary screens to the corporate bonds it invests in.

VicSuper’s Socially Conscious Option is invested in BlackRock’s iShares ESG Australian Bond Index Fund (ESGB). ESGB implements a customised Bloomberg Barclays MSCI Australian Socially Responsible and ESG-weighted Index. ESGB excludes non-government securities associated with fossil fuels, alcohol, tobacco, gambling, adult entertainment, genetically modified organisms, military weapons, civilian firearms and nuclear power. The definitions for exclusions are based on the Bloomberg Barclays Index exclusion methodology.

For detailed information on the Bloomberg Barclays Index exclusion methodology and ESG-weighting methodology see:

What is ESG Integration?

The Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) defines ESG integration1* as the systematic and explicit inclusion by investment managers of environmental, social and governance factors or issues into traditional financial analysis.

ESG Integration requires the consideration of qualitative and quantitative ESG information in investment processes, with the objective of enhancing investment decision-making. ESG analysis is used to inform economic analysis and industry analysis. It includes analysing how ESG issues can affect a company or an assets financial value by affecting costs, revenues and business growth assumptions.

1* PRI Reporting Framework 2018


What are the investment features?

View the full breakdown of the investment features for this option.

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What companies is Socially Conscious invested in?

View the full list of equities that Socially Conscious invests in.

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