ESG, responsible investing and your super
Superannuation | 1/02/2021 |
5 min read
At Equip we believe in responsible investment. That means that we look at Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues when deciding how to invest our members’ superannuation.
While the objective of any super fund is to maximise returns to provide their members with a better retirement, we look at long-term returns through a broader scope.
In other words, we see investment as a way to shape the future of our planet and its people, not just numbers in a ledger. That's good news for our members, their money, and the environment.
What is ESG?
Let’s take a step back. What does Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) actually mean?
Most people associate it with environmental issues like climate change, sustainability, renewables and farming practices. Those are certainly an important aspect, but ESG covers a much broader scope of issues.
From a social perspective, ESG includes issues such as a company’s labour practices, product safety and data security.
Governance issues include board diversity, executive pay and business ethics.
When we look at investment opportunities we take these factors into consideration. That’s because we believe that the overall welfare of our members will be influenced by the environmental and social aspects of the world in which they live. Which is why we favour investments that contribute to positive environmental and social outcomes.
Our recent Climate Change Position Statement is an example of this. It’s supported by our broader Responsible Investment Policy.
It’s worth noting that ESG also applies to our own internal company culture. How we treat our staff, our members’ privacy, and overall governance is just as important as our broader investment strategies.
Organisations we’re partnered with
Responsible investment doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It takes a collective effort to bring about change, and we work with several organisations to promote ESG best practices:
We sit on the The Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI). The council engages with companies and governments to highlight the benefits of ESG policy towards long-term investment performance.
We are a member of the Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC). The IGCC aims to encourage government policies and investment practices that address the risks and opportunities of climate change.
We are a member of the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB), which helps us monitor and benchmark our real estate portfolio.
We are a member of the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA), which champions responsible investing and a sustainable financial system in Australia and New Zealand.
We are signatories to the tobacco-free pledge and exclude direct investment in tobacco companies (being manufacturers/producers including subsidiaries that derive 5% or more revenue from tobacco related products).
What does this mean for members?
There is a growing view that organisations with strong ESG policies also have strong management structures. At a basic level, it means management is planning for the future and has taken a long-term view of its goals.
We share that view, and ESG is one of the ways we look for excellence in our investments. It enables us to filter our investment choices within a structured process.
That approach has helped us deliver for our members, and Equip’s Balanced Growth option has been named a Top 10 performer in 2020 by Chant West.
That’s good for members and their money. And it’s good for the broader environment.
This information is provided for general information only. It does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and should therefore not be taken as personal advice. You should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it and, if necessary, you should seek professional financial advice. Togethr Trustees Pty Ltd ABN 64 006 964 049, AFSL 246383 ("Togethr") is the trustee of the Equipsuper Superannuation Fund ABN 33 813 823 017 ("Equip" or "The Fund"). Past performance is not an indication of future performance.
Togethr Financial Planning Pty Ltd (“TFP”) (ABN 84 124 491 078, AFSL 455010), trading as Equip Financial Planning, is licensed to provide financial planning services to retail and wholesale clients. TFP is owned by Togethr Holdings Pty Ltd (ABN 11 604 515 791). You can obtain the TFP Financial Services Guide and/or Privacy Statement by contacting our Helpline on 1800 682 626. This is general information only and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and therefore should not be taken as personal advice