The federal government has certified the first carbon neutral super fund for emissions produced from its business operations.
The fund by HESTA has been certified by the Federal Department of Environment and Energy having been measuring carbon emissions since 2011.
The certification is based on international standards and best practice carbon accounting and to attain it organisations must adhere to strict criteria including calculating their carbon footprint and identifying opportunities to reduce emissions.
The fund has implemented numerous measures to reduce its footprint including hybrid vehicles, the use of technology and design of its offices.
HESTA chief executive Debby Blakey said the certification was recognition of the long-term commitment by the fund to sustainability.
“We’re passionate about championing long-term change for our members and want to lead by example in our approach to climate change, not only by being a responsible investor but also in how we advocate, and the action we take to reduce our environmental footprint,” Ms Blakey said.
Ms Blakey said HESTA had a focus on corporate responsibility as it understands that their actions had a lasting effect on the world.
“Sustainability is front of mind in everything we do as it’s a core part of how we create ongoing efficiencies that benefit members,” Ms Blakey said.
“Over time we have transitioned the way we operate to first and foremost look at ways to reduce our impact on the environment and then secondly analyse our direct and indirect emissions and work with our suppliers and partners to ensure they also operate sustainably.”
The fund has purchased a limited number of certified offsets including in savanna burning projects that support Aboriginal employment in Western Australia and tree planting initiatives in NSW.
“We want to lead through action, we’re doing this by focusing on the broader impact we can have on the world our members live in and retire into by aligning our investments and actions with seven strategic UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including climate change,” said Ms Blakey.
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