WA Super News

WA Super launches Impact Investing investment option - an Australian first

14/12/2017

WA Super has relaunched its Sustainable Future investment option to be even more sustainable with a focus on investments that promote global change through impact investing, the first of its kind in Australia.

Fabian Ross, CEO of WA Super, said feedback from members and employers indicated that investing in companies that really make a difference is important to them.

“Whilst our previous Sustainable Future option did have some responsible investing practices, we believe it is important to offer our members the chance to invest in an option that seeks to promote meaningful change through impact investing,” Mr Ross said.

“The aim of the Sustainable Future investment option is to generate attractive financial returns through investing in a diversified portfolio of high-potential, publicly traded companies whose products and services are geared towards solving the world's biggest social and environmental problems.”

WA Super’s members are already embracing the opportunity to invest in more sustainable options.

Karen McEniry, aged in her 50s, of Armadale said superannuation companies should be looking to invest in companies that focus on renewable energy and in companies that recycle materials that we use.

“It’s better for the environment and we need to ensure our super fund is investing in options like this that are not just token gestures or pretending to make a difference but are actually investing in companies that are doing the right thing.”

Lynnette Greer, aged in her 30s, of Craigie said this new initiative helps to solve environmental and social issues around the world.

“I am very keen to invest in more sustainable options as this provides longevity for all generations and increases social equity for everyone.”

Difference between Impacting Investing and other Investment options

Mr Ross said impact investing goes further than funds that use the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria or Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) practices by investing directly in companies whose core products and services address the world's largest problems.

There are varying degrees in the way a super fund approaches responsible investing. They include Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing, Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) and Impact Investing. Our Sustainable Future investment option sits in the realm of Impact Investing.

SF spectrum3

Alleviating hunger; ensuring safe water supplies; increasing access to health care, education and financial services; reducing carbon emissions; and bridging the “digital divide,” are among the objectives of the companies that the Sustainable Future investment option will invest in.

These companies are finding creative and profitable ways to service these large needs. In most cases, they are fast-growing companies whose potential is generally underappreciated by the investment community.

“One of the other exciting benefits of this style of investing is that now our members will also have access to information that measures the social or environmental impact that these companies are actually making,” Mr Ross said.

“Key performance indicators are developed by the investment manager for each investment opportunity to help clarify and track a company’s progress towards its impact goals. I cannot think of another superfund that is doing that!”

Mr Ross, said impact investing is compelling because it creates the opportunity to invest in the world you want to live in.

“At WA Super we may be a local company, but we want to think globally. And whilst WA Super members can now access this new and exciting investment option, anybody in Australia can join WA Super and take advantage of this unique opportunity.

More information on the relaunched Sustainable Future option is available here

Ends. 

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