Would you change your super fund if it did not support your values?
There are a number of super funds that don't just have ethical, social or environmental causes as an element of their investment strategy, but are trying to change the world through their investments and who dedicate their investment offerings to causes that people believe in. Examples of these funds are Australian Ethical, Good Super, GROW Super, Future Super and mobiSuper.
The causes for these funds include:
Seeking investments in
Renewables and clean energy - solar, geothermal, wind and hydroelectric.
Sustainability and environmental - green industries, sustainable environmental and building practices, recycling and sustainable products.
Technology that 'builds a brighter future' - innovative and creative industries, efficient transport, start-ups etc.
Health and wellbeing - healthcare, health food production, medical research, community wellbeing, fitness.
Other areas such as investing in community financing, women leaders, ethical supply chains.
Avoiding investments in
Items detrimental to human, social and animal rights - e.g. worker and child exploitation, live animal export, racial injustice, disability refugee or LGBTQIA exclusion, industrial prison complexes etc.
Gambling - promoters, manufacturers and providers of gambling and gaming facilities.
Fossil fuels - miners and producers of fossil fuels, companies convicted of environmental offences, pipelines on indigenous land.
Tobacco - growers, manufacturers and providers.
Weapons, armaments and mining uranium for the purposes of weapons manufacture.
Deforestation - logging of old growth forests and environmental destruction.
Other areas such as alcohol, pornography, and harmful or 'dark' financing.
Australian Ethical are not newcomers to ethical investment, having started in 1986: "We are AE and we are here to make a difference. We believe in the power of people and our ability to make a difference together. For over 30 years we have built our business on a foundation of ethics. Our pillars are the planet, people and animals; and we want to make tomorrow better than today."
Australian ethical's approach includes:
Australian Ethical Charter: "a series of statements that guide both the positive side (investments we seek out) and the negative side (investments we avoid) of our ethical approach."
Advocacy: "Advocacy is at the core of our business and one of the ways we live our Ethical Charter. We view active shareholder ownership and advocacy as the responsibility of ethical investors and key to creating positive, sustainable change. The growing collaboration between like-minded groups on key issues will have a dramatic impact on future corporate behaviour and performance in Australia and around the world."
Impact: "Transparency is key in creating change - so we measure and publish our portfolio's carbon footprint and benchmark ourselves against others."
Australian Ethical is one of the founding B Corporations in Australia and in 2014 the first company listed on the ASX to receive B Corporation certification. Australian Ethical sets aside 10% of its after-tax profits (before bonus expense) every year to put back into the community via Australian Ethical’s community grants program.
Good Super are a ' values-based' superannuation fund, and as per their product information:
WE STAND FOR GOOD: We strive to have positive impacts on society and the environment.
WE STAY INFORMED: We value rigorous research and accuracy in our screening processes.
WE FACILITATE GROWTH: We are reliable and investment-smart, so that you can build your impact and grow your super.
MEMBERS FIRST: We strive to deliver the best retirement outcomes for our members without compromising their values.
DIVERSITY: We encourage opinions, and respect backgrounds different from our own.
ACTION OVER TALK: We care for the long-term future of the world and are motivated to drive change within corporations.
COMMUNITY: We’re building a community of Australians seeking to tackle issues with their superannuation.
OpenInvest Co has been appointed to implement Good Super’s investment strategy, and are a San Francisco head quartered investment management service provider who's mission is to "deliver technology that helps mainstream values-based investing".
With GROW Super you can invest in "things that matter to you" of up to 15 per cent of your super across a range of sectors including start-ups, sustainability, technology, property and green industries.
Future Super has a strong focus on investing in climate change solutions and out of fossil fuels. As per the product information: "Future Super is designed to provide members with a way of building their retirement savings without investing in businesses which directly or indirectly support the fossil fuel industry. As well as avoiding fossil fuel investments, the Future Super Values ... are taken into account in the positive and negative screening of the companies and activities the Fund invests in. With the assistance of our service providers, we take environmental, social, ethical and labour standards into account in the selection, retention or realisation of investments."
MobiSuper offer a range of investment offerings including mobiSuper Green, as per their product information:
Supporting a green planet: We invest globally in sustainable solar, geothermal, wind and hydroelectric energy companies.
Building a brighter future: We aim to leave an unspoiled and unpolluted world for our children and grandchildren to enjoy.
Healthier Communities: We support improved health and community wellbeing.
Protecting human rights: We don't invest in companies that are known to exploit children or adult workers worldwide.
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