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Australian Ethical Investment Ltd.

PRI reporting framework 2019

You are in Strategy and Governance » Promoting responsible investment

Promoting responsible investment

SG 09. Collaborative organisations / initiatives

09.1. Select the collaborative organisation and/or initiatives of which your organisation is a member or in which it participated during the reporting year, and the role you played.

Select all that apply

Your organisation’s role in the initiative during the reporting period (see definitions)

Provide a brief commentary on the level of your organisation’s involvement in the initiative. [Optional]

We participated in PRI collaborative initiatives including Climate Action 100+, cybersecurity  and methane.

Your organisation’s role in the initiative during the reporting period (see definitions)

Provide a brief commentary on the level of your organisation’s involvement in the initiative. [Optional]

We supported CDP's Non-Discloser Campaign to encourage greater CDP climate reporting.

Your organisation’s role in the initiative during the reporting period (see definitions)

Provide a brief commentary on the level of your organisation’s involvement in the initiative. [Optional]

We participated in two GIIN surveys:

  • Annual Impact Investor Survey
  • Impact Measurement and Management Survey.

 

Your organisation’s role in the initiative during the reporting period (see definitions)

Provide a brief commentary on the level of your organisation’s involvement in the initiative. [Optional]

We signed on to the following ICCR initiatives:

  • Release of Investor Statement to Canada on Supply Chain Legislation
  • Bangladesh Investor Initiative Statement on 5th Anniversary of Rana Plaza Collapse.

Your organisation’s role in the initiative during the reporting period (see definitions)

Provide a brief commentary on the level of your organisation’s involvement in the initiative. [Optional]

Australian Ethical participated in the IGCC disclosure working group and contributed to the IGCC investor climate transparency workshop. 

          RIAA (Responsible Investment Association of Australasia), including their Impact Investing Forum
        

Your organisation’s role in the initiative during the reporting period (see definitions)

Provide a brief commentary on the level of your organisation’s involvement in the initiative. [Optional]

We are a member of RIAA and its governing board. This year we contributed to its corporate engagement working group, human rights working group, responsible investment surveys and benchmark report launch.

Your organisation’s role in the initiative during the reporting period (see definitions)

Provide a brief commentary on the level of your organisation’s involvement in the initiative. [Optional]

We contributed to the Portfolio Decarbonisation Coalition 2017 report.

          Financial Services Council
        

Your organisation’s role in the initiative during the reporting year (see definitions)

Provide a brief commentary on the level of your organisation’s involvement in the initiative. [Optional]

We participate in a wide range of FSC working groups, including the ESG investment working group and Impact investing working group.

          Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW) and Farm Animal Investment Risk & Return (FAIRR)
        

Your organisation’s role in the initiative during the reporting year (see definitions)

Provide a brief commentary on the level of your organisation’s involvement in the initiative. [Optional]

We are a member of the FAIRR investor network, and a participating investor in the BBFAW collaboration on farm animal welfare. We contributed to their initiatives this year to encourage greater use of plant protein in food and to reduce antibiotic use in agriculture.

          Financial Inclusion Action Plan (FIAP) community
        

Your organisation’s role in the initiative during the reporting year (see definitions)

Provide a brief commentary on the level of your organisation’s involvement in the initiative. [Optional]

We commenced implementation of our Financial Inclusion Action Plan.


SG 09.2. Assets managed by PRI signatories

Indicate approximately what percentage (+/- 5%) of your externally managed assets under management are managed by PRI signatories.

95 %

SG 10. Promoting RI independently

10.1. Indicate if your organisation promotes responsible investment, independently of collaborative initiatives.

10.2. Indicate the actions your organisation has taken to promote responsible investment independently of collaborative initiatives. Provide a description of your role in contributing to the objectives of the selected action and the typical frequency of your participation/contribution.

Description

          We participated in research interviews including for research into water risk and value (University of Adelaide).
        

Frequency of contribution

Description

          We contributed to a panel session for an IGCC workshop on climate disclosure for investors.
        

Frequency of contribution

Description

          We participated in:
- Financial Services Council conference panel session on impact investing
- Sustainable Debt Summit panel on responsible investment in fixed income
- Governance Institute conference panel on best practice frameworks for sustainability and ESG
- Governance Institute webinar on business ethics
- Netwealth webinar and podcast on responsible investing.
        

Frequency of contribution

Description

          Ongoing revision and development of new ethical frameworks for implementation of our Ethical Charter, including for banking, governments and food.
        

Frequency of contribution

Description

          Nestegg: Ethical investing
Superfunds magazine: Time for super to find its voice
        

Frequency of contribution

Description

          Climate Action 100+, Methane and Cybersecurity.
        

Frequency of contribution

Description

          We participated in the board of RIAA.
        

Frequency of contribution

10.3. Describe any additional actions and initiatives that your organisation has taken part in during the reporting year to promote responsible investment [Optional]

We also participate in industry associations to help promote responsible investment. These include Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA), Financial Services Council (FSC) and the Governance Institute of Australia (GIA). We also engage with the wider investment industry through our communications strategies.


SG 11. Dialogue with public policy makers or standard setters

11.1. Indicate if your organisation - individually or in collaboration with others - conducted dialogue with public policy makers or regulators in support of responsible investment in the reporting year.

If yes

11.2. Select the methods you have used.

11.3. Where you have made written submissions (individually or collaboratively) to governments and regulatory authorities, indicate if these are publicly available.

11.4. Provide a brief description of the main topics your organisation has engaged with public policy-makers or regulators on.

Australian federal government: Climate
Australian climate policy is a mess: It’s uncoordinated, short term and completely inadequate to meet our government’s commitment to limit warming to well below 2 degrees as well as providing reliable, affordable energy into the future. We need stronger emissions reduction targets, a carbon price, removal of fossil fuel subsidies, support for clean technology and an end to deforestation. In the midst of our policy chaos, there continues to be extraordinary talk of public money being used to support an Adani Carmichael coal mine. One potential conduit for government funding is the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF). We put in a submission to the Senate Enquiry on NAIF and participated in discussions with NAIF executives. We called for clear guidelines and process to ensure that government support is given for infrastructure which creates public benefit and not to subsidise private interests, particularly interests that threaten such tremendous harm as an Adani Carmichael mine.

 

Australian federal government: Human rights
We made a second submission to government supporting strong Australian Modern Slavery legislation to protect against forced labour. We called for the new disclosure requirements to have teeth i.e. penalties for non-compliance. We asked for companies to be obliged to not only disclose, but also to proactively act to safeguard against human rights breaches in their supply chains. We also called for targeted action to deal with forced labour and exploitation issues created by rogue operators in the labour hire sector. In particular we supported a national licensing scheme to regulate labour hire operators.

 

Australian federal government: Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC): Clean energy investment
Climate action requires huge investment in clean energy and other emissions reduction technology and infrastructure. Australia’s CEFC (Clean Energy Finance Corporation) has a crucial role to play in catalysing this investment. As part of a review of CEFC we called on government for:

  • a continuing focus on emissions reduction;
  • support for green investment which genuinely drives new clean energy and does not facilitate greenwash;
  • attention to international as well as Australian climate investment.

 

Australian federal government: Animal welfare; Poultry standards
We don’t invest in the poultry sector, but we participated in the consultation on animal welfare standards in the sector. We called for better protection for chickens, turkeys and ducks including:

  • a ban on battery cages;
  • elimination of use of key antibiotics which enable excessive crowding of animals and pose great risk to animal and human health;
  • phasing out fast-growth, excessive weight chicken breeds which compromise animal well-being; and
  • free range conditions which allow natural animal behaviours.

 

Australian federal government: Agriculture standards and transparency
The federal government began a parliamentary inquiry into superannuation fund investment in agriculture, including barriers to investment of super in the sector. Our submission:

  • emphasised the broad social, animal and environmental impacts of the agriculture sector, including through exploitation of farm labour, inadequate animal welfare standards, unnecessary land clearing, and inadequate steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
  • called for better management and reporting of impacts by agricultural companies, including their emissions, water use, waste, antibiotic use, worker injuries and animals’ well-being;
  • called for government policy which supports a sustainable and diversified agricultural sector, including better regulation of land clearing, carbon pricing and banning of battery hen cages, sow stalls and live export; and
  • called for an office of animal welfare to achieve genuine action to reduce animal suffering, which would operate independently of the heavily conflicted department of agriculture.

 

Governments globally: Climate policy and action
In June 2018 we supported the G7 Investor Statement on climate change which urged governments to:

  • implement action to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement with the utmost urgency, including to close the ‘ambition gap’ where current targets fall short of what’s needed to limit warming to well below 2°C, and we see little real effort to limit the increase further to 1.5°C;
  •  formulate and communicate long-term emission reduction strategies in 2018;
  • put a meaningful price on carbon;
  • phase out fossil fuel subsidies by set deadlines;
  • phase out thermal coal power worldwide by set deadlines; and
  • commit to improve climate-related financial reporting.

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