Investing your super responsibly

Super Informed
01 Nov 2019
10 min read

As part of our commitment to investing your super responsibly, we consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors across all of our investment options. Considering these issues helps us understand the bigger picture; the importance of good corporate behaviour in producing better financial outcomes for our members and its importance to you.


The ESG framework influences the management of our investments and encompasses essential issues we consider when we're assessing companies to invest in. Some of the types of issues we consider:


Climate risks and carbon emissions. 


Modern slavery and workplace conditions.


Board independence and diversity.

What’s our approach?

We believe companies with good corporate behaviour make for better investments, because these companies also tend to manage other aspects of their business well.

Our approach to managing your super responsibly includes the following four areas of practice:

  • We’re an active owner
  • We consider ESG risks when investing (integration)
  • We provide you with member choice
  • We advocate and collaborate
  • So what does this actually mean?

We're an active owner

While we’re guided by our fiduciary duty, we regularly engage with the companies we invest in to drive change, maintain high standards and produce better ESG-related outcomes.

Our Chief Investment Officer John Pearce believes that central to our responsible investing approach is being an ‘active’ owner—and key to this is taking an ‘engaged’ approach.


"Ultimately, we believe that being an engaged owner and using our ownership rights responsibly, through private and respectful engagement—combined with our shareholder voting rights—is the most effective way to communicate with and influence these companies."


We seek ESG integration

When we invest in companies, we consider ESG risks and how they are managed as part of the due diligence process. Ultimately, we need to make sure that this is reflected in the price that we are willing to pay for an investment.

We regularly engage with fund managers, seeking their input in analysing stocks and assessing climate risks. Our portfolio assessment of climate change risk includes fossil fuel exposure, carbon foot printing, physical exposure and qualitative analysis.

We provide you with choice

While our commitment to ESG is across all our investment options, we understand some members prefer not to invest in particular industries or to invest in environmental themes.

We offer a range of sustainable investment options to give you the flexibility to create a portfolio that best suits your needs.

In addition to the fund wide exclusion on tobacco, we’ve applied additional screening criteria to our Sustainable High Growth, Sustainable Balanced and Global Environmental Opportunities options to ensure that companies with material exposure to the following are excluded:

  • Fossil fuel exploration and production
  • Alcohol
  • Gambling
  • Weapons

Global Environmental Opportunities targets companies that receive more than 40% of their revenues from addressing environmental challenges, such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, water and waste treatment and green buildings.

We advocate and collaborate

We work with peak industry bodies and like-minded investors to gain better insights in to our ESG practices, and collaborate to drive initiatives.

This includes, but is not limited to, participation in research briefings on energy market developments, participation in seminars around adapting to climate change and contributing to public policy and industry studies regarding climate change.

Want to know more?

Visit the Responsible investing page on our website or contact UniSuper Advice to help decide the right investment approach for you.

If you’d like to make the switch, log in to your account and go to ‘Change your investment’ to choose how your pension or super is invested.


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