We believe that investing responsibly by putting environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors at the heart of what we do helps us do better for you while doing good for all.

Managing the risks that challenges like climate change present to your investments is central to our ability to deliver strong long-term performance. But taking ESG into account is about more than managing risk, it’s about identifying opportunities for investment in a range of sectors, such as renewable energy, affordable housing, and regional health services, with the aim of growing your super while supporting our members, their communities and society.

This month, we were proud to be acknowledged as a top 10 Responsible Investment Leader for 2021 by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA). RIAA is the largest network of organisations championing responsible investing in Australia and New Zealand. The organisations which make up RIAA collectively manage over $A29 trillion in assets globally. It is an important industry body which does not give this award lightly and this is the third year in a row we have been recognised as a Responsible Investment Leader.


What is a Responsible Investment Leader?

RIAA defines a Responsible Investment Leader as an organisation which demonstrates “a commitment to responsible investing by explicitly considering environmental, social and governance factors in investment decision making”. Marks are given according to a detailed 15 question scorecard, which covers four pillars RIAA sees as central to responsible investing – a commitment to responsible investing, enhanced risk management and reporting on ESG, being a strong steward for sustainability, and allocating capital to benefit stakeholders.

A leader must score at least 15 out of 20; Aware Super scored 18 out of 20 - a strong endorsement of our responsible ownership actions.


What does it mean to be a responsible owner?

For us, it means integrating ESG factors into all our investment decisions - in our selection of investment partners, our choice of direct investment assets and our assessment of the impact of our investments using the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) framework.

But our commitment to responsible ownership doesn’t end there.

We are active owners, which means we engage with the companies we invest in and actively vote our shareholdings to influence positive improvements on important issues like climate change, executive remuneration, diversity and conduct and culture.

And in term of our own portfolio – our Climate Change Transition Plan has seen us divest from thermal coal and reduce portfolio emissions. Our aim is to achieve a 45% reduction in portfolio emissions by 2030, to reduce emissions from our listed equities portfolio by 30% by 2023, and ultimately to achieve a net-zero emissions target across our entire investment portfolio by 2050. We are also committed to investing in new opportunities and in the 2021 financial year committed approximately $A1billion to renewables and low carbon technologies.

You can see how we are tracking against these and other aims in our Climate Change Portfolio Transition Plan – one year on report, here.

These are only a few of the ways in which we are growing your super savings by investing responsibly and sustainably. Find out more about our actions on climate change or responsible investment initiatives.