Sustainable investments performing well over long term

Info for members
30 Jul 2019
3 min read

If you’re invested in UniSuper’s sustainable investment options, you can take heart. Long-term returns are looking good and are similar to the sustainable options’ mainstream equivalents.


A recent survey by leading financial services information firm, Rainmaker, has ranked UniSuper’s Sustainable High Growth investment option third for five-year returns to April 2019 (9.93%).

And not to be outdone, the Sustainable Balanced option has placed third in a different survey1—by ratings agency, SuperRatings—for five-year returns for the same period (8.25%).

“It is pleasing to see that these options continue to exceed their long-term return targets,” says Senior Investment Analyst, Sybil Dixon. “Despite exclusions for alcohol, gambling, weapons and fossil fuels, our sustainable and environmental investment options are performing well over the long term, and better than the median of mainstream super funds.”

Investment option
Five-year returns to April 2019 (%)
Ten-year returns to April 2019 (%)
Sustainable High Growth 9.93 10.25
High Growth (mainstream) 10.62 10.98
SuperRatings High Growth median2 8.87 10.11
Sustainable Balanced 8.25 9.02
Balanced (mainstream) 8.95 9.43
SuperRatings Balanced median2 7.52 8.55

Source: UniSuper

Ten-year performance is also encouraging. The Sustainable Balanced option has returned 9.02% and the mainstream Balanced option returned 9.43% to 30 April 2019.

“The performance of these options shows that investing some or all of your super sustainably doesn’t have to compromise investment returns,” Sybil says. “These options have the same long-term return objectives as their mainstream counterparts, although short-term performance can differ.”

 Growing, sustainably

The number of UniSuper members sustainably investing their super continues to grow, says Manager of Sustainable Portfolios and Governance, Lou Capparelli.

“Around 7% of our members are invested in our sustainable and environmental options in some way. It’s a pretty high number. We’ve had consistently positive cash flows into these options.

“Rainmaker also mentioned what we already know to be true,” says Lou. "UniSuper has Australia’s largest pool of sustainably labelled funds. We’ve invested $4.2 billion in these options since introducing our first sustainable option in 2002.”


Sustainable Fund Crediting Rate Survey April 2019, SuperRatings
Accumulation Fund Crediting Rate Survey April 2019, SuperRatings
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