Industry superannuation fund HESTA has committed $40 million to fund investments that both make a social impact and generate returns.
HESTA has announced that it is allocating a further $40 million to its Social Impact Investment Trust (SIIT) on top of the initial $30 million it committed when the fund launched in 2015.
SIIT is managed by Social Ventures Australia (SVA), and the fund builds “a pipeline of investments designed to grow Australia’s impact investing market by attracting other institutional investors,” according to the statement.
HESTA chief executive Debby Blakey said the partnership with SVA served as a “blueprint for institutional advisers”.
“Through our actions, we want to help drive long-term meaningful change,” she said.
“By committing to invest in projects in the health and community services sector, we’re helping address social issues impacting not only the community but also our members.”
HESTA, which is an acronym for Health Employees Superannuation Trust Australia, has a focus on identifying investments that will make a positive impact to the health and community services (HACS) sector.
“Through supporting the growth of the impact investment market, we’re also helping to develop alternative, stable sources of funding to the HACS sector that can create jobs and opportunities for our members,” Ms Blakey said.
She acknowledged that the super fund, as a fiduciary, had an obligation to generate strong financial returns for members.
“But it’s much bigger than that. We also need to ensure we’re having a positive impact on the world our members will retire into.”
SVA chief executive Rob Koczkar said that SVA was “delighted” to deepen its partnership with HESTA, and that the newly committed funds demonstrated further maturity of Australia’s social impact investment market.
“We are pleased that our investments, in social and affordable housing and state of the art aged care, are helping to build an Australia where all people and communities can thrive”.
“We look forward to working closely with the social purpose sector to support more projects like these.”
Some projects that SIIT currently invests in is Australia’s first dementia village located in Tasmania and a Queensland-based community housing provider.
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