Investment engagement

Through numerous partnerships and engagement activities, we participate in the development and implementation of best practice environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards around the world:

  • Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation is a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and participated in its development. We are committed to ensuring that all investment activities we undertake are consistent with these principles.
  • We are a member of the Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC), a group of Australian and NZ investors who know climate change impacts investment returns. The IGCC partners with the CDP to bring the top 100 Australian and top 50 New Zealand companies into the Carbon Disclosure Project.
  • We are a signatory to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) – a project supported by 722 institutional investors worldwide to collaborate on business implications of climate change. Signatories to the CDP and IGCC believe that many issues associated with climate change can and are affecting shareholder value.
  • Our predecessors – the PSS and CSS Boards – established a joint venture with BT Governance Advisory Service (GAS) (formerly Westpac Investment Management). GAS was established as an investment risk management overlay service encouraging Australian companies to improve governance practices for the benefit of all institutional investors and the market overall. GAS has identified portfolio exposure to corporate, social and environmental risk through specialist research and constructive dialogue with companies in the S&P/ASX200 index.

In 2003 the United Nations awarded our predecessor ARIA and BT GAS with the first ever Royal Award for responsible and sustainable investment. The Governance Advisory Service has now evolved; BT GAS re-emerged in 2007 as a new company – Regnan – founded by our predecessor ARIA, along with BT Financial Group, Vanguard Investments Australia Limited, VicSuper, Victorian Funds Management Corporation, HESTA Super Fund, Local Government Superannuation Scheme and Hermes UK. You can read about how we (and other trustees around the world) are employing strategies consistent with the UN Principles in the following paper:

  • Responsible investment in focus: How leading public pension funds are meeting the challenge [PDF: 972 KB]

Please note that the interviews upon which this paper was based were conducted in the second half 2006. Since that time we have mandated our international equities managers to vote many of those holdings and the arrangement with Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) noted on page 18 has ceased.

You can read more about our approach to some specific ESG risks in the following historical position papers: