At Vision Super, we’re a values-based fund, and ESG considerations are incorporated into our investment decision-making across the fund through our investment beliefs. Our ESG belief: “We believe that environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues and sustainability considerations are important within the context of optimising net risk-adjusted returns.” Importantly, we believe the risks associated with climate change have not been adequately priced into markets and our carbon exposure is therefore significantly lower than that of the index.
Our approach is generally to engage with companies and to exercise our shareholder vote – simply divesting just moves the problem to another owner, who may not care as much about ESG. So unless we believe the harm of a product cannot be mitigated, we engage and we vote. This approach was recently recognised by the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR), in their “Vote Like You Mean It” report, which highlighted Vision Super is one of just three super funds that supported more than 75% of shareholder proposals on ESG in 2018 – we supported 88% of proposals, the second highest record in the country – and one of just 11 funds that disclose our complete proxy voting record (you can find it here).
We do divest where we do not believe the harm of a product cannot be mitigated through engagement, and have divested from:
- Thermal coal
- Tar sands
- Controversial weapons.
Read the ACCR report here.