Environmental, social and governance
At Media Super, we believe investing responsibly for the long term is important for our members’ returns and their quality of life in retirement.
Our approach to responsible investment
Responsible investment is a key pillar of our investment strategy which Media Super believes is integral to delivering sustainable long-term value creation for members. We believe companies that take environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into practical consideration will generate stronger, more sustainable long-term returns.
Our investments team take a ‘whole of fund’ approach and apply responsible investment practices to all our investment activities across our total portfolio. There is a responsible investment policy that details how ESG risks and opportunities are considered in investment decisions.
We have committed to the contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and aim to assess the outcomes of investments in line with the SDGs. The Fund engages with a broad range of stakeholders. These include our investment managers and listed and unlisted companies in which we invest to promote sustainable value creation in the companies in which we invest.
Active ownership to affect change
We are a signatory to the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI)Stewardship code.
There is also a Stewardship Statement that has been developed that details the principles applied when undertaking stewardship activities on behalf of members.
Read our Stewardship Statement (PDF).
Our main areas of focus for active ownership are proxy voting, engagement and advocacy.
Voting at company meetings is one way where the Fund can exercise its shareholder rights. For ASX 300 and global companies, our voting is guided by the ACSI Corporate Governance Guidelines (PDF).
Australian and international voting records are available one day after the company meeting.
Media Super engages with a broad range of stakeholders including its investment managers, listed companies, and directly held unlisted companies.
We undertake three types of engagement:
- Direct. Involves meetings with a company on financially material ESG issues.
- Service providers. Through the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) for Australian shareholdings and through Federated Hermes EOS for our global shareholdings.
- Participation. With industry partners and other investors. For example, through Climate Action 100+ initiative and Investors Against Slavery and Trafficking Asia Pacific (IAST APAC).
Advocacy is undertaken where we believe it will support long-term value creation for our members’ retirement with the aim to influence the broader market and promote a shift towards a sustainable financial system. Our focus is primarily on influencing standards, guidelines and regulatory reform. More detailed information is available in the Responsible Investment Supplement 2023 (PDF).
Climate change presents long-term investment risks and opportunities. As trustee of our members’ retirement savings, we have a responsibility to safeguard our members’ long-term retirement future.
We use our influence as a large investor in the global economy and help direct the pathways towards a net-zero emissions economy. We do this by planning for and managing the impacts of climate change and realising investment opportunities that will protect and enhance our members investments.
Our actions have a flow-on benefit to society and the broader economy in which our members work and retire. While our approach is continuing to evolve, we currently:
- Have a Climate Change Position Statement (PDF) to help guide the integration of climate change considerations within the broader investment framework.
- In October 2022, we released the third Climate Change Roadmap (PDF) which sets out our key climate change activities to 2024. We disclose how we’re measuring and reporting metrics and targets for our Roadmap under the TCFD in our Responsible Investment Supplement 2023 (PDF) to the Annual integrated report 2023 (PDF).
- Disclose how we’re measuring and reporting metrics and targets for the roadmap under the Task force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
- Encourage our external fund managers and listed companies in which we invest to incorporate and consider climate change risk and opportunities in their investment processes.
- Contribute to the public policy discussions through our membership with climate change organisations. This includes Climate Action 100+ and the Investor Group of Climate Change.
Divesting and exclusions
We apply a ‘total portfolio’ approach to managing ESG investment risks and opportunities. We believe that including material ESG considerations along with traditional investment factors – that is, those long-term factors that are highly likely to affect business or investment performance – will reduce risk and enhance long-term investment returns. To support our approach, we have developed robust governance and risk management frameworks that we apply across investment decisions, and we work closely with our internal and external managers to ensure that material ESG implications are factored into investment decision making.
We do not invest in shares of companies that are viewed as unsuitable for the Fund to invest in on behalf of members and their long-term investment returns. These include companies involved in the manufacturing of controversial weapons, tobacco products and companies identified in emerging market mandates as having particularly poor ESG practices.
United Super Pty Ltd ABN 46 006 261 623 AFSL 233792 as Trustee for the Construction and Building Unions Superannuation Fund ABN 75 493 363 262 offering Media super products (Media Super). Use of ‘us’, ‘we’, ‘our’ or ‘the Trustee’ is a reference to United Super Pty Ltd.