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Going greener

By Julia Newbould
 — 1 minute read
It is increasingly important the financial services industry recognises the opportunity uniquely at its disposal to change government policy.
When environmental scientist Australian of the Year Tim Flannery was presented with the honour by Prime Minister John Howard in Canberra, both looked nervous.

Science is often difficult to reconcile with the harsh realities of economic management. However, they have become interwoven. Flannery was a keynote speaker at the recent Investment and Financial Services Association conference.

It is increasingly important the financial services industry recognises the opportunity uniquely at its disposal to change government policy.

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The $1 trillion-plus super booty we have needs to be invested somewhere, and from the groundswell of consumer interest in programs run in national newspapers, television and through schools, there is the ability to focus on the environment and its future.

Hunter Hall has run its ethical screen for more than 12 years and does not believe its ethical investment policy detracts from performance as the investment universe is so large it offers many opportunities. And its experience since inception confirms this belief.

As more companies become more competitive in keeping staff, attracting shareholders and public perception, the ethically-investable universe grows.

Super money has the clout to effect change to dictate acceptable policy. As super money is such a large contributor to Australian business, it can to some extent dictate policy. In placing it, you can advise clients who are interested in supporting the environment or whatever they feel committed towards.

Offering research ahead of competitors may also give you an edge in securing clients. As a business owner, it is also possible to conserve resources and make a contribution that way.

Going greener
It is increasingly important the financial services industry recognises the opportunity uniquely at its disposal to change government policy.
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