Top super funds to be rated on climate change Media Release

Sep 17, 2009 - 10:00am

A survey of Australian superannuation funds will for the first time reveal the top performers in managing the risks and opportunities of climate change, it was announced today at the AIST's Australian superannuation conference

The Climate Institute and The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) today launched the second year of an annual survey of how funds are managing, or plan to manage, the risks and opportunities associated with climate change.

“The first year contained aggregated results that gave us a good idea where the issues were in progressing climate change capability,” AIST CEO Fiona Reynolds said. ”This year we have expanded the survey considerably and will give the leaders an opportunity to show themselves as a top quartile fund in this critical area.”

Over one hundred and fifty super funds, who collectively manage over $600m of investments, will be surveyed and ratings company SuperRatings* will produce a ranking of the top quartile of respondents. The survey closes on 4th December with results, including the ranking, released early in the New Year.

“For the first time people will be able to see if their super fund is one of the top performers in protecting their nest egg from the impacts of climate change,” said Julian Poulter, The Climate Institute Business Director.

“Results from the first year of the survey showed that most funds were only at first base on climate change – in this second survey we hope to see a few home runs,” Poulter said.

The inaugural super fund survey showed that while Australia’s largest super funds acknowledge climate change as a risk to investments, steps to manage it are only in their infancy.

Eighty-three per cent of respondents considered climate risks as part of trustee responsibilities and 64% of super funds were looking to alter asset consultant mandates to account for climate change related issues. However, just 9% of super funds surveyed were trying to measure the exposure of their portfolio to climate change risks.

*SuperRatings is a leading independent superannuation ratings agency.
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