ESG impact investments

Investing for a brighter future

We’re dedicated to investing in a brighter future for you, your community, and the environment.

With our ESG impact investments, we actively seek out compelling investment opportunities that address specific socio-ecological issues or exploit ESG-related trends or developments.

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Our commitment to change

We have committed to allocating at least 15% of our portfolio to pursuing impact investments across our entire portfolio.

The two main themes guiding our impact investment strategy are:

  • support small businesses and strengthen Australian communities
  • support the transition to a low carbon economy

Supporting small businesses and strengthening Australian communities

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and strengthen our communities. Apart from providing essential products and services, they are often at the forefront of change and innovation.

Over the last 30 years, there has been a steady decline in Australian manufacturing, supply chains, and a loss of Australian intellectual property to offshore markets. Manufacturing now represents less than 6% of Australia’s GDP, with advanced manufacturing being only a small port of that.

This loss of local industry has happened at the same time as a rise in social issues, such as income disparity, rising youth unemployment, homelessness, and a mental health crisis.

With COVID-19 disrupting global supply chains, increased migration from our cities to the regions, and a growing “buy local” sentiment, we believe now is the time to invest in local businesses and reinvigorate our communities.

By supporting small and medium enterprises with compelling technologies and growth aspirations, we can help them grow, innovate, replace global suppliers, and create new jobs.

Case study: Flavorite

Flavorite is one of Australia’s largest glasshouse fresh fruit and vegetable producers. 

In 2021, Spirit Super invested in the Victorian Business Growth Fund (VBGF), which provides funding to this family-owned business. 

With farms in Warragul, Katunga, Mansfield and Tatura, our support has helped Flavorite expand operations and create jobs through regional Victoria. 

This is a prime example of how investing in small and medium enterprises can support long term growth opportunities, create new employment opportunities, and boost economic development across our communities.

Importantly, we’re also delivering strong capital growth for our members.

 

Supporting a low-carbon economy

Global carbon emissions are having an impact on global temperatures and weather events. 

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projects that, under current pathways, global surface temperatures will rise 1.5oC above pre-industrial levels by as early as 20401. This will likely cause more frequent catastrophic climate events and have negative socio-economic impacts across our communities.

To support the transition to a low-carbon economy, we have committed to reducing the portfolio’s carbon footprint by 50% by 2030. This includes:

  • cutting our attributable CO2 emissions by 50%
  • cutting our attributable fossil fuel reserves by 50%

We’re also committed to investing in companies and technologies that support the transition to renewable energy. Apart from reducing our carbon footprint, these industries are expected to expand and increase value as the economy seeks more efficient and plant-friendly energy alternatives.

1 Global Warming of 1.5 °C by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, www.ipcc.ch/sr15/chapter/spm 

Case Study: Naturgy

Through our participation in the IFM Global Infrastructure consortium, in 2021 we invested in Naturgy, a Spanish utilities company with energy assets across twenty countries.

Naturgy is a prominent investor in renewables with a portfolio of 5.2GW across wind, solar and hydroelectricity, and a pipeline of close to 25GW. Naturgy is transforming the world through and tackling the challenges of the energy transition and increasing consumer demands head-on.

This investment supports the transition to renewable energy, and the value of this asset is expected to grow as this broader transition takes place across the global economy.

 

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