VicSuper Socially Conscious Investment Option

Product Name

VicSuper Socially Conscious Investment Option

Issuer

VicSuper

Category

Superannuation

Type

Superfund/Pension

Target

Retail

Certified Since

2016

Asset Classes

Diversified / Multi-asset

Markets

Australia

Investment Approaches

Negative Screening, ESG Integration

It Includes:

  • Riaa icons 32 Green property
  • Riaa icons 11 Impact investments
  • Riaa icons 10 Renewable energy and energy efficiency
  • Riaa icons 15 Social and sustainable infrastructure

It has some level of screening for:

  • Riaa icons 41 Alcohol
  • Riaa icons 36 Armaments
  • Riaa icons 33 Fossil fuels
  • Riaa icons 42 Gambling
  • Riaa icons 50 Nuclear power
  • Riaa icons 99 Pornography
  • Riaa icons 35 Tobacco

It fully excludes:

  • Riaa icons 56 Animal cruelty
  • Riaa icons 52 Human rights abuses
  • Riaa icons 38 Labour rights violations

Overview

We offer the Socially Conscious option for members who want greater certainty about the environmental and social impact of their investments. The Fund’s four pillar approach to integrating ESG considerations into our investment activities applies to all of our investment options, including the Socially Conscious option. However, because the Socially Conscious option is designed for members wanting to avoid particular industries and companies that don’t align with their values, the investments for this option are selected and managed according to additional and more specific restrictions and exclusions (ie ‘screens’). A key feature of the option is that it excludes investments considered to have a highly adverse environmental or social impact via the application of our screening criteria.


Description


How the Socially Conscious option is managed
VicSuper’s Responsible Ownership approach integrates environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations into our investment process for all of our investment options. A key feature of the Socially Conscious investment option, however, is that it excludes investments considered to have a highly adverse environmental or social impact, as identified by our screening criteria.
This means that the investments for the Socially Conscious option are selected and managed according to extra, and more specific, restrictions and exclusions (i.e. "screens").
To manage the screening process, we’ve partnered with specialist external investment managers that have a robust ESG framework in place for selecting, retaining and selling investments. This framework also seeks to give an increased allocation of the portfolio in these options to companies with better ESG practices.
We also manage a portion of the option in house, using similar guiding principles. All investments are required to meet the rigorous screening criteria in order to be considered for inclusion in the Socially Conscious option. From November 2020 the screens are applicable to all asset classes within the option.
The investments within the Socially Conscious option are periodically reviewed to ensure they continue to meet the criteria for inclusion.
We invest in a broad range of assets
In the Socially Conscious option, you have exposure to a broad range of asset classes, diversifying your exposure while still investing in assets that meet our screening criteria.
Our investments include:
·       Infrastructure investments
·       Key worker affordable housing
·       Community investments
·       Property investments

What we rule out – ‘screens’
Our screens are broken down into three categories:
·       Climate Change screens
·       Ethical screens
·       Conventions and controversies-based screens
 
Climate change screens
Excludes investment in companies:
  • with coal, oil and/or gas reserves used for energy purposes.
  • deriving 5% or more revenue from mining of thermal coal or thermal coal based power generation.
  • whose principal business revenue is derived from direct fossil fuel activity in the following GICS sub-industries: Integrated Oil & Gas; Oil & Gas Exploration & Production; Oil & Gas Refining & Marketing; Coal & Consumable Fuels; Oil & Gas Storage & Transportation; Oil & Gas Drilling; Oil& Gas Equipment & Services
Ethical screens
Excludes investment in companies materially involved in:
  • Alcohol
  • Gambling
  • Uranium
  • Civilian Firearms
  • Nuclear Power
  • Adult Entertainment
  • Live Animal exports
*due to undertake internal review of current allowable tobacco production threshold in June 2021 

Conventions and controversies-based screens 
The Socially Conscious option also seek to exclude companies consistently involved in severe incidents/corporate controversies, or that are at a high risk of being involved in serious incidents in the future.
Corporate controversies - companies consistently involved in severe incidents/corporate controversies, or that are at a high risk of being involved in serious incidents in the future.
Controversial weapons - including chemical weapons, cluster munitions, land mines and depleted uranium.

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