There’s conventional wisdom to doing the right thing: it’s harder and can mean sacrificing something. Generally, that’s either time or money.
Recycling is a good example. Separating your recyclables from your rubbish takes a little extra effort, but it means that you’re doing something to protect the planet for future generations. Composting? You have to plan, but it definitely reduces the amount you’re adding to the landfill.
Ever use a paper straw? They’re better for the environment than their plastic counterparts, but they can disintegrate before you’ve finished your drink (especially if you’re trying to savour it)!
More energy-efficient appliances are often more expensive than their conventional counterparts, but they’re useful for reducing your carbon footprint.
You get the point: doing the right thing isn’t always the easiest (or cheapest) option. Generally, the same has been true for investing. Ethical investments were chosen because they do good.
So, what is socially responsible investing?
There are many different names for the concept of socially-responsible investing, like green, sustainable, or ethical investing. The idea is simple: seeking strong investment returns while investing in companies which have a positive impact on our planet, people and animals. Instead of investing in things that do harm, like weapons, oil, coal, old growth forest logging, or gambling, the Socially Responsible option seeks to invest in clean energy, sustainable products, medical solutions, and innovative technology.
Generally, you’ll hear this referred to as “ESG” issues, or environment, social justice and corporate governance.
We’ve signed on to the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investing, which requires us to incorporate ESG concerns into our investment analysis and decisions.
Do I have to sacrifice performance to invest ethically?
When you’re thinking about your investment returns, you want to see them providing strong growth so you can feel secure about your future.
You shouldn’t have to sacrifice performance to have your money invested in a way that reflects your values. In the 2018/19 financial year our Socially Responsible investment option delivered the best returns of any of the options we offer, better than 10%!
How do I know how my super is invested?
You can find out how your super is invested by looking at your member statement, logging into our member portal, or by giving us a call. A great way to ensure that your super investments are appropriate for you is to have a chat with a financial adviser. An adviser can help you understand your financial situation, needs and goals, and recommend appropriate solutions.