Stewardship Statement

1 July 2018 - 30 June 2019


As an ‘all profit-to-members’ super fund, we do everything we can to make a positive difference to our members' lives by helping them to achieve a better financial future. An important part of this is to invest members' retirement savings responsibly. This includes effective stewardship of our investments to ensure better and sustainable investment and retirement outcomes for members.

Stewardship means we will exercise our ownership rights in a manner that protects and enhances long-term investment values by promoting sustainable practices in the companies in which we invest. This Statement explains how we engage with and monitor the environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance of these companies to assist in creating sustainable businesses over the long term.

We’re  proud to be a signatory to the Australian Asset Owner Stewardship Code (the Code), which was coordinated by the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI), of which we are a founding member. The Code consists of six guiding principles designed to improve the quality and transparency of stewardship activities.

 

Principle 1: How we approach effective stewardship

Good stewardship is an integral part of our investment philosophy and approach.

Our Responsible Investing, Proxy Voting and our Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability policies explain how we approach our stewardship responsibilities. You can access these policies at Policy documents.

Principle 2: How we vote to protect members' interests

By exercising our voting rights at shareholder meetings, we aim to promote responsible corporate behaviour and thereby support value creation for our members in a sustainable way.

For Australian companies’ resolutions, we generally vote in accordance with the recommendations of ACSI.

For overseas shares, our investment managers are expected to vote on all company resolutions in line with each manager’s proxy voting policy.

You can learn more about how we vote in our Proxy Voting Policy and view our share voting records on our website at How we vote.

Principle 3: How we engage with companies

We believe in the strength (and effectiveness) of collective engagement with companies on a range of ESG issues and achieve this through our investment managers and a number of collaborative initiatives, including ACSI, CDP and Climate Action 100+

A full list of the organisations we collaborate with is available at Responsible investing.

Principle 4: How we monitor our investment managers

We require all our investment managers to comply with our Responsible Investing Policy.

As part of our manager selection process and prior to any appointment, we carefully evaluate and assess each managers’ ESG capabilities, practices and policies. Once appointed, we regularly review their processes and practices to ensure they maintain high ESG risk management standards and monitor their voting activities. This includes the requirement for them to identify and assess ESG risks and opportunities in their investment analysis of the companies in which they invest.

Principle 5: How we approach financial system advocacy

It’s important that the operation of the financial system and its regulatory policies be aligned with achieving the best long-term investment outcomes for members. We support this alignment through submissions to government and regulators via collaborative initiatives, by contributing to research and supporting various industry campaigns.

Past advocacy activities include: 

  • Collaboration with Women in Super to help close the gender super gap by supporting their various campaigns and policy stance.
  • Signing the 2018 Global Investor Statement to Governments on Climate Change which aims at engaging with policy makers to commit to concrete actions to support the transition to a low carbon economy.  
  • Supporting various submissions that ACSI has made on behalf of its members. You can access a full list of ACSI's submissions via their website.

Principle 6: How we report to members

We provide a number of resources reporting on our stewardship activities including:

  • Making our various stewardship-related policies publicly available at Policy documents
  • Publicly reporting on our stewardship activities in various sections of our website and in our Annual Report
  • Participating in the annual United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investing reporting framework and measuring our responsible investment activities against the results of this report. Access a copy of this report from Responsible investing
  • Raising awareness of sustainability issues with our staff, service providers, suppliers and partners through our Sustainability Committee.