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Our Latest Newsletter

 

In this edition

  • Ethical Advisers Co-op funds rating launched
  • Climate Emergency Declaration
  • EIA adviser Karen McLeod’s ABC News interview
  • Funds not doing enough to support more climate-related shareholder proposals
  • Australia’s last insurer of coal

Super industry failing to meet members’ ethical demands
Super funds are performing poorly when it comes to providing high-quality, ethical and sustainability investment options.
This was the principal finding from a survey of advisers, launched on a new ratings site by the Ethical Adviser’s Cooperative (EAC) Wednesday, 5 June.EAC’s members, who represent over 3,300 clients with funds of over $1.5 billion invested in ethical areas,
compared a collection of the most commonly used ethical investment funds and found that many fall short of what is being demanded by the average ethical investor, with some household names, such as AMP and Russell, receiving ‘poor’ ratings.At present there are currently no industry requirements for funds to disclose to members those underlying companies in which their money is invested.“This is why we have developed the green-leaf ethical ratings system,” said Mr Terry Pinnell. “It helps investors evaluate and compare the different approaches to ethical and sustainable selection that are being applied within different investments.”The Ethical Advisers’ Co-op rated the funds which claim to be ethical, by comparing these to the expectations of their ‘average ethical investor’. Two key indicators were used to judge whether a fund was particularly ‘ethical’: – the fund’s actual portfolio of investments, and its track record of voting on climate and human rights issues at shareholder meetings. Where a fund holds companies considered largely unacceptable by the average ethical client, and/or where it has consistently voted against engagement on environmental or social issues, ethical advisers tended to penalise the fund in their rating.Mr Pinnell pointed out, “This is not about naming or shaming, it is simply a means of encouraging greater transparency, so that investors are able to make well-informed choices.”The ratings are freely available to all interested consumers and interested parties, and the initial results can be found at www.ethicalfundratings.com

 EIA adviser Karen McLeod speaks to ABC News on how to make a start at ethical investing

The establishment of compulsory superannuation means every single worker in Australia is effectively an investor.

Since different super funds help finance various industries & businesses, without realising it you could be giving money to things you have major moral objections to.
The thought of this may be overwhelming, but the solution is easier than you might think.

Karen McLeod, says the first step towards ethical investing is figuring out precisely which causes & industries your are passionate about or choosing sectors you object you.

Around the world, the ethical investment industry relies heavily on the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) set up by the United Nations as a “blueprint to achieve a better & more sustainable future for all”.

Once you know where you are happy for your money to be spent, the next step is asking your super fund what they screen out?
You can also ask for more information on which industries or companies they’re actively supporting.

“people can see day to day, the impact of very poor corporate citizens & people and don’t really want their money to be fueling that sort of future.”
Full article ABC News


Why declare a Climate Emergency?
A Climate Emergency declaration issued by a body in authority, such as government or local council, can be a powerful catalyst for community-wide action if paired with a clear action plan.
Potentially, a patchwork of local councils & state jurisdictions taking Climate Emergency action could cover much of the country & put pressure on the federal government to act.
Currently, 558 jurisdictions across 13 countries,
representing over 65 million people have declared a Climate Emergency!

The ACT government is the 1st state in Australia to declare a Climate Emergency adding to other local council motions in Australia.If you are starting a petition to your council, next step will be to talk to your local Councillors.

Useful links:
Global: https://www.cedamia.org/global/
Why declare: https://www.cedamia.org/why-declare/
Sample resources: https://www.cedamia.org/sample-ced-resources/


Funds not doing enough to support more climate-related shareholder proposals
A new report from the Australasian Centre for Corporate Respsibility (ACCR) reveals just 11 of the 50 largest superannuation funds disclose complete proxy voting records.
A further four funds provided limited disclosures of international proxy voting records, being BT, First State Super, Tasplan and UniSuper.Of the 50 funds, just three supported more than 75% of the shareholder proposals on environmental, social or governance issues that they voted on globally in 2018.

ACCR director of climate and environment Dan Gocher said:
“It is quite concerning that just nine of Australia’s 50 largest super funds have demonstrably supported a majority of ESG proposals in 2018.”
Gocher explained that most of the proposals in question actually align with the funds’ stated ESG principles.
He further pointed out that amid growing investor concern about climate change, the lack of support for climate-related proposals is somewhat surprising.Full article at the Financial Standard


Australia’s last insurer of coal
We have collaborated with Market Forces with a great result on QBE, let’s continue these results with Suncorp, the last major Australia-based insurer still prepared to prop up climate-wrecking coal mines and power stations.This is despite Suncorp’s most recent profit announcement showing a 45% drop year-on-year due to extreme weather events. When this announcement was made Suncorp’s CEO called on governments and corporations to do more to fight the climate crisis – while Suncorp’s own investments and underwriting help prop up coal, oil and gas companies!One of the elements that coal mines, gas pipelines and oil rigs can’t do without is insurance.
They can’t be built without insurance, and they can’t operate without insurance.That is why, together with a network of groups worldwide, Market Forces is campaigning to end the insurance industry’s support for fossil fuels.

 

Tell Suncorp to protect its customers, the climate and its own bottom line by dumping fossil fuels.

 

Are you insured with: AAMI, Vero, Bingle, GIO, APIA or Shannons as these are Suncorp brands.? Click on the link above to tell Suncorp to get out of coal insurance.

With Suncorp’s annual general meeting coming up in September, now is the time to let the company know what you expect.

 

Market Forces, with the help of volunteers, recently visited & leafleted Suncorp staff in front of their Brisbane HQ & Melbourne offices

source: Market Forces


Disclaimer The contents of this newsletter are intended as general advice only.  No specific person’s circumstances, financial situation or objectives have been taken into consideration.  You should not act on the information provided without seeking personal advice from an appropriately qualified financial planner. Research sources: CAER Corporate Monitor & Eco Investor. While the source has been verified as reliable, the actual content has not been checked for accuracy.  Consequently Ethical Investment Advisers does not warrant the accuracy of the information nor accept liability for any errors in the data.

 

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