Environmental, social and governance

At Media Super, we believe a sustainable approach to investing can have a positive long-term impact on the value of our investments, as well as the broader practices of the companies we invest in.

Environmental and social governance

Our Investment Beliefs

We have developed a set of investment beliefs that guide our decisions about how we invest our members’ money.

  • The Media Super Trustee has a fiduciary duty to manage the Fund in a sustainable manner.
  • Environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks, such as climate change, could negatively impact long-term investment returns and ultimately our members’ income in retirement.
  • To manage these risks, Media Super incorporates consideration of ESG factors in its investment processes.
  • We also believe that actively engaging with companies, where possible, is a more effective strategy than divestment in managing ESG risk.
  • Increased investor focus on ESG issues should produce better-governed companies and investment funds and, in turn, have a positive impact on the value of our investments and better long-term returns for our members.
  • Media Super also endorses the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and will consider these goals in making investment decisions.

Active ownership to affect change

Media Super is a signatory to the Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI), a global initiative that provides a framework for integrating ESG into mainstream investment management. As a signatory, we’re guided by these principles and work to be an ‘active owner’.

These efforts are supported by our membership of the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI). Through ACSI we actively engage with companies to improve ESG practices, where possible, and their research helps to inform our decisions when exercising our shareholder rights to vote.

Climate change

Recognising the significant investment risks posed by climate change, Media Super has also developed a Climate Change Position Statement. The statement covers our approach to managing climate change risk across our portfolio and how we’re practically implementing this.

As a large investor, we recognise our responsibility and ability to positively impact climate change outcomes. We have committed to investing $330 million into renewable energy and environmental investments over the next three years, along with local innovation and infrastructure, and our member industries.

Media Super is a member of the Investor Group on Climate Change, a collaboration of Australian and New Zealand institutional investors focusing on the impact of climate change on the financial value of investments, working towards and efficient transition to a sustainable low-carbon economy.

Divesting from harmful products

In 2018 Media Super divested from any company involved in the production of tobacco and controversial weapons.

In July 2019, we made the decision to divest from the mining of thermal coal in our listed equities mandates. This exclusion is now complete for all of our Australian equity investments, as well as for our developed market equities mandate. In total, this represents more than $2 billion of Media Super's assets.

In line with PRI, we generally take the view that responsible investing doesn’t require ruling out investing in any specific sector and prefer to engage with companies to effect change; however, in this instance we recognised that given the products in question, engagement was not possible and made the decision to divest.

Committed to transparency and accountability

Media Super is a signatory to the Australian Asset Owner Stewardship Code, in recognition of our responsibility as stewards to protect and enhance long-term investment value by promoting sustainable value creation in our investments.

The code, developed by ACSI, aims to increase the transparency and accountability of super funds’ activities, including voting, engagement, policy advocacy, and appointment of external asset managers.

Our Stewardship Statement outlines how we adopt each of the six guiding principles of the code, and complements our ESG Investment Policy.