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Major super funds commit to RI

The majority of super funds now make a public commitment to responsible investment (RI) practices, according to a new benchmarking study.


The Superfund Responsible Investment Benchmark Report 2016, released yesterday by the Responsible Investments Association of Australia (RIAA), found 70 per cent of the largest 50 super funds have a made a commitment to RI.

Seventy per cent of the top 50 super funds have an RI commitment (such as a policy or an aspirational statement) available on their website, the report found.

The research also found that 43 of the 50 funds (86 per cent) were committed to an RI approach across at least one asset class.

Almost half of the largest 50 super funds have dedicated RI options available to their members, the report found. The most common exclusions across the RI options were tobacco and uranium.

Of the 37 funds that committed to environmental, social and governance (ESG) integrations as a preferred RI approach, 18 funds (56 per cent) were able to "identify processes to ensure that ESG information used for investment decisions was of a reliable quality".

Only seven of the 50 funds (14 per cent) were able to clearly define how RI outcomes were measured and recorded, and less than half (44 per cent) disclose their RI activities annually.

The report listed 12 funds that disclosed RI data in a manner than was deemed "comprehensive", namely: Australian Ethical Super, AustralianSuper, Cbus, Christian Super, First State Super, Hesta, Local Government Super, Mercer Super Trust, NZ Super Fund, Unisuper, VicSuper and Vision Super.

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