As one of Australia’s largest super funds, our primary purpose is to deliver the best possible returns to our members. To achieve this, it’s important to consider potential risks to our investment portfolios and do all we can to mitigate these risks.
By taking climate change into consideration in our investment decisions, our focus is driving better outcomes for members by delivering long-term returns to members, and a positive impact on the community.
Aware Super considers climate change to be a key risk to achieving long-term sustainable returns. We were one of the first Australian super funds to develop a systematic plan in 2016 that strategically responds to the risks and opportunities associated with climate change.
What are we doing to address climate change?
Back in 2015, we announced our first Climate Change Adaptation Plan. Following progress in the science and further research, Aware Super created a comprehensive Climate Change Portfolio Transition Plan (CCPTP) in 2019 – with the aim of building resilience in our investment portfolio in the face of the worsening impacts of climate change.
The inconvenient truth is that doing something about climate change is more important now than ever before. The decade between 2010 and 2020 was the hottest on record, and 2020 the hottest year ever1. The magnitude of catastrophic weather events is increasing, and the long-term trend of global warming is gathering momentum – it is not stabilising and absolutely not slowing. Even in the face of the major shutdowns and ensuing emissions reduction due to the COVID-19 pandemic, atmospheric CO₂ concentrations continued to increase last year.
When we created our CCPTP our aim was to better understand the existing and potential future impacts of climate change on the environment and on society. We undertook a detailed analysis of:
- The continual advancement of climate science
- Increasing evidence of the physical impacts of climate change
- Strengthening global targets and commitments to reduce emissions
- A recognised need to transition to a low carbon economy
Our CCPTP sets short, medium and long-term goals which we use as a roadmap to help us understand where we are now, so we can define, understand, measure and monitor how we are tracking against our goals. We are ambitious in our goals, and we are one of the few superannuation funds in Australia which has set short, medium and long-term goals and has such a robust and specific plan.