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CareSuper reveals net zero roadmap to manage climate-related risks and opportunities

By Jessica Penny
3 minute read

CareSuper has launched its net zero roadmap as part of its responsible investment strategy, aimed at effectively handling climate-related investment risks and capitalising on opportunities.

Having earlier committed to net zero by 2050, CareSuper has now released its roadmap which focuses on building resilience by decarbonising its investment portfolio and leveraging its position as a long-term investor to drive emissions reduction.

The roadmap, which focuses on three targets and five actions, is said to have been informed by the fund’s climate beliefs and frameworks from investor-led forums, including the Investor Group on Climate Change and the Paris Aligned Investment Initiative.

“As an investor with over $20 billion in assets and 220,000 members, CareSuper has an important role to play in supporting the world’s transition to net zero,” said CareSuper chair Linda Scott.

Target one, Ms Scott revealed, involves achieving a 45 per cent reduction in carbon emissions intensity across the fund’s portfolio by 2030.

“We’re targeting a 45 per cent reduction in scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions across our portfolio by 2030, and this is in line with best practice portfolio management and the Australian government’s new 2030 target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 43 per cent,” she said. 

Australia’s commitment to cut emissions by 43 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050 was legislated in September.

CareSuper’s second target includes investing at least 3 per cent of its total funds under management (FUM) in climate transition-related opportunities by 2030, while target three encompasses its overall mission to achieve net zero by 2050.

Commenting on the fund’s goals, Suzanne Branton, chief investment officer, explained that its strategy is based on seeking “real-world” emission reductions by engaging with CareSuper’s investment fund managers.

“We’ll be advocating for strong action on climate change by working with our investment fund managers and engaging with companies through the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors and Climate Action 100+ to help influence the level of systemic change that’s required to meet our net zero commitment,” said Ms Branton. 

She noted that the fund would also continue to look towards investment opportunities that are expected to do well from the transition to a low-carbon economy without compromising long-term investment returns for its members.

“We’re excited by the commercial opportunities for the fund to invest in new climate transition-related opportunities both here in Australia, and overseas,” Ms Branton said. 

“Our current low carbon investments include shares and infrastructure asset classes and go beyond the widely recognised opportunities in renewables such as wind and solar to include things like the electrification of transport and smart energy grids.” 

CareSuper plans to keep its members informed of its progress through future news updates and its climate report, which it said would be published annually commencing from 2024.

A wide range of super funds and other institutional investors have adopted commitments to reach net zero by 2050, including major players such as AustralianSuper, Australian Retirement Trust, and Aware Super.

Others, such as NGS Super, have gone even further, with the industry fund targeting a 35 per cent reduction in carbon across its investment portfolio by 2025, ahead of its goal to reach net zero by 2030.