Integrating sustainability into our everyday operations is an important part of building a responsible and sustainable super fund. Our environmental, social and governance (ESG) activities include:
Carbon emission reduction
Vision Super owns and operates the Wonthaggi Wind Farm. Located 3km west of Wonthaggi in South Gippsland, Victoria, the 12 MW wind farm generates roughly 33,100 MWh of renewable electricity each year. This equates to significant environmental savings by preventing 40,300 tonnes of greenhouse gas emission being released into the atmosphere, equivalent to taking 10,000 cars off the road per annum (based on average car use per annum).
Vision Super is also conscious of reduced carbon emissions related to transportation.
Where possible, Vision Super negotiates less frequent deliveries from suppliers. By working smarter on stock control, and having onsite storage, we now have bulk deliveries of stationery and supplies occurring once a month, down from weekly/fortnightly deliveries.
Vision Super maximises use of video conferencing and conference calls in order to keep in regular contact with interstate and overseas investment managers, thereby reducing the amount of overseas and interstate travel.
To encourage and support staff in taking public transport, Vision Super arranges for bulk purchases of discounted annual commuter tickets through Metlink Commuter Club.
Riding bikes to work is popular for a number of Vision Super staff, who have access to free facilities including secure bicycle storage, lockers and showers/change room.
Vision Super has purchased Skybus vouchers for use during unavoidable trips to the airport.
Vision Super uses Greenhouse Friendly™ ENVI 50/50 Carbon Neutral Paper, which is an Australian Government certified Greenhouse Friendly™ product. It is also Australian made, recycled, ISO 14001 mill accredited, elemental chlorine free and made from sustainable forests.
We've expanded the use of environmentally sustainable paper for publications, including Product Disclosure Statements, newsletters, brochures, flyers, and reports. The paper types we use have been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Forestry certification is the process of evaluating forests or woodlands to determine if they are being managed according to an agreed set of standards.
Essentially, this means the paper used in publications displaying the FSC logo comes from the most sustainable sources and uses the most sustainable resources possible. The FSC is an independent, non-government, not for profit organisation established to promote the responsible management of the world's forests, with offices in more than 46 countries. You can find out more about the FSC at www.fsc.org.
We are a signatory to the national CitySwitch Green Office program, which assists organisations in achieving office energy efficiency and reducing carbon dioxide emissions attributed to climate change. Vision Super has been nominated for a CitySwitch 'Signatory of the Year' award for 2011.
Vision Super offices are open plan, with the layout designed to maximise natural light, and heat conduction during winter months. Window blinds are utilised during summer months. This provides significant energy consumption savings.
Our offices are equipped with energy efficient measures such as lighting sensors and timers for lighting, air conditioning and the hot water units. Where possible energy efficient lighting has been installed. Environmentally friendly appliances and facilities are utilised, including water flow reducers on all kitchen and bathroom taps, as well as dual flush toilet flushers. It is estimated that 21,000 kWh per annum of energy savings was achieved over twelve months to October 2011 from changes to hot water unit timers, energy efficient lighting and de-lamping.
Vision Super's systems run on consolidated virtual servers, which reduce energy consumption and costs by 80%. Every server we virtualize can save 7000 kWh of electricity annually. These are efficient and environmentally friendly, reducing the amount of energy we use by nearly 250,000 kWh per year, equivalent to more than 6 million 'black balloons' every year.
A comprehensive recycling system is set up in Vision Super's offices. This includes paper, cardboard, organic waste, container recycling, toner cartridges, IT/phone equipment and other recycling options.
Disused computer equipment is donated to B2C Recyclers, who distribute resources to communities in need. Where it cannot be reused, the equipment is stripped down and recycled to reduce the amount of landfill waste.
Walking the talk, Vision Super sponsors staff participants in annual events such as 'Around the Bay in a Day', the 'Global Corporate Challenge' and the 'Vision Super Central Goldfields Reverse Triathlon'.
Vision Super is a yearly participant in 'Go for your life', a Victorian Government initiative that aims to promote healthy eating and increase levels of physical activity.
ESG considerations are increasingly becoming mainstream in the superannuation industry and are no longer confined to minority specialised product offerings. In recognition of this, Vision Super decided to close the 'Sustainable' MIC range. The Vision Super 'Sustainable' investment options had been introduced more than ten years ago when superannuation funds and other investors appeared to pay little regard to environmental, social and governance considerations when formulating their core investment portfolios. This is not the case for Vision Super today. In 2010 the superannuation ratings agency, SuperRatings conducted a review into sustainability within the Australian superannuation sector. The stated aim of the review was to 'cut through the marketing rhetoric' and try to identify those superannuation funds that have genuinely embraced sustainability. The review covered 70 superannuation funds with a combined membership of over 14 million members and $390 billion in assets. The review was only able to identify 10 of the 70 funds to be demonstrating a genuine commitment to addressing environmental and social responsibilities. Vision Super was very pleased to be recognised as one of those 10 funds.