A sustainable path to 2050

Info for members
14 Sep 2020
3 min read

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

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

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

In working towards 2050, we've also set short and medium-term targets that 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.

  • UniSuper will target an absolute reduction in emissions at a portfolio level by 2030 where practical (with net-zero unlisted property and infrastructure portfolios by 2030).
  • Allocating capital to companies needed to achieve the ultimate goal of net zero
  • 100% of unlisted property portfolios with net-zero targets
  • 5% of UniSuper’s FUM in invested in green themes
Building to 2050

At a whole-of-fund and portfolio level, achieve net-zero absolute carbon emissions.

  • By this time, UniSuper assumes there will be the necessary breadth of companies and sectors operating at net-zero to enable construction of sufficiently diversified portfolios.

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:

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