Responsible investment is where we take steps to ensure our members’ retirement savings are protected against environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks. There’s more than enough evidence to support the belief that companies with sound ESG risk management outperform ESG non-believers.
What are ESG risks?
Examples include carbon emissions, water usage, fair labour practices, global human rights, board structure and diversity, and standards for running a company.
By incorporating ESG risks as part of First Super’s investment strategy, we consider the overall impact of an investment.
This means looking beyond just the possible investment return and asking questions like:
- ‘Is it sustainable?’
- ‘Is it well run?’
- ‘Are employees treated fairly?’
- ‘Does it have good health and safety standards?’
Our approach to responsible investment
At First Super, we are focused on delivering for our members first, and we also believe that as a steward of your super, the way we invest your money should put people first. By this we mean supporting the good treatment of workers and their supply chains.
Our approach is grounded in our roots as an industry super fund for the paper, pulp and timber industries, with strong ties to trade unions and employer associations representing the best interests of workers.
Putting responsible investment into practice
- We work with like-minded investment managers
We engage consistently with our investment managers and investee companies to improve ESG outcomes. We take great care to work with those who have the same outlook as us on responsible investing. We do this directly and via our membership with the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI).
- We apply an evaluation framework to assess ESG risks
Through our private equity program, we apply an ESG evaluation framework developed with our private equity mandate manager, Stafford Partners. We are prepared to turn down potential private equity investments if they pose unacceptable ESG risks.