Leadership in a time of climate change: Investing in climate change solutions

When Vision Super is investing for our members’ retirements it’s essential that we take a long-term view. Climate change is one of the biggest risks we consider because it is and will continue to have a massive impact right across the economy. The actions we take now will have a positive effect later.

ESG (environmental, social and governance) factors are known to have an impact on companies’ long-term performance, so it’s important for us to consider how well companies manage these factors to get the best returns we can for you. There is growing evidence that ESG factors, when integrated into investment analysis and portfolios, can offer potential long-term performance advantages too. This means that your super performs better over the long term when it’s invested ethically.

Our votes

As an ethical profit for member industry super fund, if the companies that we invest in are not doing their best to minimise their impact on the environment and act ethically, we are able to exercise our shareholder vote. This gives us the opportunity to support businesses that are doing the right thing, and oppose actions such as the use of cheap labour in unsafe conditions or excessive pay for executives. Engaging with companies on their ESG policies builds a better future for everyone.

We consider each resolution on its merits. Our votes can help push companies to vote for:

  • Gender diversity on Boards
  • Better human rights and other labour disclosures
  • Proposals asking companies to develop greenhouse gas reduction goals, recycling programs, and other proactive means to mitigate their environmental footprint
  • Better climate change disclosures
  • Proposals requesting that a company consider energy efficiency and renewable energy sources

If you’d like to see more about how we vote, please click here.

ESG and our investment beliefs

 When we say investment beliefs, we mean the principles that guide all of our work. Overarching principles are great as guides when making decisions on our investments.

The Board of Vision Super is committed to fostering healthy debate, a diversity of views and transparency within the context of these beliefs. These are four of our beliefs that apply to the whole Fund:

  1. We believe that diversification is an important source of risk reduction. Asset class diversification is our major source of diversification.
  2. We believe that environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues and sustainability considerations are important within the context of optimising net long-term risk-adjusted returns.
  3. We believe that complex strategies increase operational and investment risk and stronger conviction is required to justify such strategies.
  4. We believe an appropriate timeframe for investment decisions to pay off is three to five years.

ESG considerations are included in our fund-wide investment beliefs, which guide the decisions we make about our investment portfolio on behalf of our members. If you’d like to see all of our beliefs, please click here.

A super super fund

Vision Super’s approach to active ownership and stewardship activities is actioned through our proxy voting, collaborative initiatives, company engagement and through policy advocacy work through our proxy research advisers and on occasions directly when required.

We believe that ESG considerations need to be integrated into investment oversight and decision-making, in order to fulfil our duties to act in the best interests of our members.