What’s sustainable investing and why is there so much noise about it?

Sustainable investing means a lot of things to a lot of people. We all care about our environment, so it’s hard not to take an interest in sustainability.

But what is sustainable investing? Investopedia describes it as directing investment capital to companies that seek to combat climate change, environmental destruction while promoting corporate responsibility. Sustainable investing has many facets and can involve excluding investments in companies and projects that deliver negative Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) outcomes and/or promoting investment in companies that deliver solutions toward positive ESG outcomes today and into the future.

So why all the noise about it? We’re living in an information age, coupled with social media - it means everyone has a story or an opinion to share and it spreads like wildfire. People are well aware, now more than ever, of how companies operate, the good, the bad and the ugly – and expect companies to do the right thing.

When it comes to investments, often the decision to invest or divest from certain companies or projects is somewhat straightforward, but it’s not necessarily something that can happen overnight.

Institutional investors driving change

According to a recent study by KPMG, CREATE-Research, AIMA and CAIA, institutional investors are by and large leading the way for change in this space, by the redirection of funds into more sustainable investments, or companies and activities with sustainable operations and values. Some are more advanced in the phase than others. 

Who is driving interest in ESG investing?

Maritime Super is on a sustainable journey

As an institutional investor, we are on this journey contributing to sustainable investment choices. 

We are committed to appropriately addressing and integrating all ESG considerations. We work closely with our investment advisers on an ongoing basis to develop and implement an investment strategy that is aligned with our ESG policy and in the best interests of our members. 

As you can imagine, it’s not an easy process to adjust large and integrated investment portfolios, and investment returns to members remain the key priority but like many other super funds, we are working in a measured approach to promoting sustainable investing. 

Over the last decade, we have significantly increased our focus on, and engagement in, investment-related impacts of climate change and the environment, workers’ rights, and socially responsible investing. Maritime Super’s existing investments in both our equity and infrastructure portfolios have exposure to renewable energy companies. Where investment mandates allow, the Fund actively divests members' money away from Tobacco and Controversial Weapons.

The information on this page has been issued by Maritime Financial Services Pty Limited (MFS). It contains general information that doesn’t take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. It’s important to consider how appropriate this general information is in relation to your situation before making an investment decision. We recommend that you seek financial advice before making any decisions regarding your super or investments. The information on this page is current at the time of publishing.