A sustainable path to 2050
UniSuper is committed to achieving net zero absolute carbon emissions in our investment portfolio by 2050, in alignment with the Paris Agreement.
As Australia’s fund for the higher education sector, aligning with the Paris Agreement reinforces our long-held commitment to incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into all investment decisions.
UniSuper is Australia's largest investor in ESG-themed strategies, with more than $10 billion in funds under management across these options. We have more than a decade of experience in responsible investment and we continue to build on our approach to managing climate risks.
In line with our status as a leading fund, we aim to be at the forefront of the transition to a low-carbon world. We recently published our updated climate change position statement.
How we manage climate risk in our investments
1. Portfolio construction - factoring decarbonisation as a core investment theme in all our portfolios
- Applying a shadow carbon price to material investments that we expect to hold for the medium to long term
- Excluding companies that generate greater than 10% of their revenues from thermal coal mining
2. Company engagement - working with the companies that we invest in to encourage rapid decarbonisation of their operations and supply chains
- Seeking Paris-aligned emission reduction targets and strategies with 100% of our portfolio* companies at management and board levels
Despite COVID-19, our Investments team have discussed climate change in more than 164 meetings with companies in 2020. As a result of our (and other investors’) ongoing engagement with companies in our portfolio, 80% have set emission targets, compared to just 45% in 2018. Importantly, as at 2020, over 50% of our investments have set either net-zero or a Science Based Target imitative endorsed target (SBTi), up from 26% in 2019.
3. Collaboration - working with service providers, investor groups and climate advocacy initiatives
- Service providers: we will be partnering with our Custodian, BNP Paribas, to develop climate-reporting to helps us and other asset managers and report on climate exposures in their portfolios
- Investor groups: we work with the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI), the Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC) and Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) to drive research, advocacy and engagement with other Australian institutional investors
- Climate advocacy initiatives:
- A lead investor and early signatory with Climate Action 100+, an investor-led initiative specifically targeting engagement with the top 100 greenhouse gas emitters in the world
- Partnered with Climate League 2030, an initiative that brings together investors with the common goal of reducing Australia’s emissions by 45% by 2030.
- UniSuper supports the proposed The Climate Change (Adaptation and Mitigation) Bill 2020 and we believe it is a sensible national response to the challenge of climate change. You can read our submission letters:
ClimateWorks, an independent, not-for-profit body, assessing business momentum towards net-zero emissions across Australia released a report on the superannuation sector. UniSuper was recognised as one of only three super funds to be fully aligned with the goal of net zero emissions by 2050, a key element of the Paris Agreement.
Short and medium-term targets to support our longer-term objectives
|Timeframe||Target||Progress to date (as reported in our latest climate risk report)
|2021||100% of portfolio1 companies to have Paris-aligned operational commitments by the end of 2021.||34/50 portfolio companies have Paris-aligned operational commitments|
Contribute to a 45% reduction in Australia’s emissions.
|Building to 2050||
At a whole-of-fund and portfolio level, achieve net-zero absolute carbon emissions.
1 material, active, in-house Australian investments
Member choice – offering members investment options
As Australia's largest investor in ESG-themed strategies, we offer our members three investment options designed to avoid companies involved in the production, generation, or transmission of coal, oil or gas: