HESTA Super Fund
Represented by Akaash Sachdeva, Senior Responsible Investment Adviser
How does your organisation address climate change?
HESTA is an industry superannuation fund dedicated to providing retirement outcomes for workers primarily working in the health and community services (HACS) sector. Our promise is to be an advocate to drive meaningful change to make a financial difference to every member for their retirement.
The risks and opportunities related to climate change have been a key focus area for HESTA for many years. HESTA was the first major super fund to commit to reducing the absolute carbon emissions of the investment portfolio by 33% by 2030 and to net zero by 2050, implement restrictions on investment in thermal coal, and be certified as carbon neutral for our business operations.
We have been actively investing in low carbon opportunities and in June 2020 had approximately 9% of total assets under management in low carbon or climate resilient investments. We believe that to mitigate climate change risk, we need to achieve change in the real economy.
Direct engagement and collaboration with other asset owners to amplify our voice is a strong focus for us. We use ongoing dialogue with high carbon emitters and other fossil fuel dependent industries to encourage them to transition their business models to be viable in a low carbon economy. We believe such a transition will have a positive impact on the performance of these companies, and in turn, the retirement outcomes of our members.
We have recently published our inaugural climate change report: our path to net zero using the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). In this report, we detail our approach to managing climate risk and opportunities in support of an orderly transition and consider the interaction of carbon reduction and meeting regulatory obligations, while delivering long term sustainable returns to members.
You can read the report here.
What is your organisation doing to create a better future?
In our investment portfolio, our actions are focused on operationalising our commitments outlined in the Climate Change Transition Plan and for continuous improvement of our approach to climate change.
The social impacts of climate change are of particular relevance to HESTA members, as the HACS sector is at the front line of dealing with impacts such as heatwave related deaths, the spread of infectious disease and the potential dislocation cause by climate refugees. Therefore, working closely with HESTA partners to address the broader systemic issues associated with climate change is a key priority of ours.
Read more about HESTA’s climate commitments here.