Sustainability

“Sustainability for Cbus is about ensuring that Cbus can continue to provide superannuation services to current and future generations of members" - David Atkin, CEO

A comment from our CEO, David Atkin

"We seek to better understand the significant environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues that are relevant to our investment portfolio and other activities. We believe that doing this will enable us to more thoroughly prepare for managing risks and opportunities that arise from these ESG issues, ultimately delivering better outcomes to our members, our staff and the wider community.

"As an early signatory to the Principles of Responsible Investment, Cbus incorporates ESG considerations into its investment decision making and ownership practices.

"Cbus is required to report annually on our ESG activities to the PRI. For the 2017 assessment, which reported on the 2015/16 year, Cbus achieved results above the median across most areas of ESG. We actively encourage the companies we invest in to manage their businesses sustainably, and we are proud of being part of a wider movement towards developing a more sustainable global financial system.

"We apply the ESG lens to how we invest in companies; however Cbus also benefits by taking ESG issues into account for the broader activity of the Fund.

"In 2016/17 Cbus has again reported on sustainability using the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) G4 Framework. This Framework is widely used around the world, to enable greater organisational transparency.

"The Framework sets out the Principles and Standard Disclosures organisations can use to report their economic, environmental, and social performance and impacts. It places materiality at the heart of sustainability reporting, enabling sustainability disclosures that are more strategically focused.

"Our sustainability disclosures form part of our commitment to greater transparency in our industry, and are found in our Annual Integrated Report for 2016/17 or on the Cbus website.

"The 2017 Annual Report is an integrated report, which allows us to tell our members, stakeholders, and other interested parties about how we create value for them, both over the past year and looking forward. It reports on Cbus’ key achievements for the 2017 financial year, short term priorities, risks and opportunities and long-term trends and ongoing issues.

“We recognise that we help shape society through our investment decisions. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide another framework through which we can view our contribution to society. There is more information about how we are aligned with several of the SDGs in our 2017 Annual Integrated Report.

Reporting

For more information about the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI’s) G4 Framework, visit the GRI website.

How Cbus puts ESG into action

Our approach to ESG better prepares us to manage investment risks and opportunities. How we implement ESG is detailed in our ESG Policy. This Policy also describes how we engage with companies and our approach to voting at company meetings.

Read the Cbus Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Policy (PDF).

Engaging with companies (corporate engagement)

Cbus regularly engages with the companies we invest in.

For our detailed engagement initiatives see the Corporate Engagement Report 2016 (PDF).

Voting at company meetings (corporate governance)

As shareholders, we have an obligation to ensure that the companies we invest in are directed and controlled in an appropriate way.

As part of our ownership responsibilities, Cbus actively votes on the shares it holds in Australia and internationally in listed companies at annual general meetings.

Review of voting

FY 2016/17 Description
Cbus proxy voting half year review July-Dec 2016 (PDF)

The review provides more detailed analysis of Cbus' proxy voting over the specified time period for listed Australian and international shares. This includes:

  • providing an overview of key voting trends over the year
  • reporting our voting across types of resolutions e.g. Director elections and remuneration
  • reporting the major reasons why we vote against various types of resolutions.

Record of voting

FY 2017/18 FY 2016/17   Description
Australian and international voting records are available 7 days after the company meetings.
Cbus Australian and international proxy voting summary July 2016  - June 2017 (PDF) The number of companies and resolutions Cbus voted on over the specified time period.
Cbus Australian proxy voting July 2016 - June 2017 A listing of all company resolutions voted by Cbus over the specified time period.
Cbus international proxy voting July 2016 - June 2017 (PDF) A listing of all the company resolutions Cbus voted against over the specified time period.
Cbus full year proxy voting details 2016/2017 (XLS) A listing of all the company resolutions that Cbus voted on in the 2015/16 financial year.

Collaboration

Cbus participates in a number of initiatives in collaboration with other funds to encourage the integration of environmental, social and governance practices in investment decision-making.

The United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment

Cbus is a signatory to the United Nations supported Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI).

The principles were developed to provide a framework for the investment community to achieve better long-term returns and more sustainable markets by considering environmental, social and governance issues in their investment decision-making.

Cbus is required to report annually on our ESG activities to the PRI.

For the 2015-16 year Cbus achieved results above the median across most areas of ESG, with one measure rated at the median.

Visit the Principals for Responsible Investment website.

Global statement on investor obligations and duties

Cbus Super was the first Australian investor to sign the Global Statement on Investor Obligations and Duties which calls on international, supranational and national policymakers to clarify and give effect to ESG obligations for investors.

The statement, launched in Paris on the 28 June 2016, arises from the work of the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and The Generation Foundation’s three year project to clarify investors’ obligations which found that; “Failing to consider long-term investment value drivers, which include ESG issues, in investment practice is a failure of fiduciary duty”.

See the Media Release for further details.

Australian Council of Superannuation Investors

Cbus is a founding member of the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI), Australia’s peak corporate governance body for institutional investors.

ACSI provides independent research and advice to superannuation funds on the environmental, social and corporate governance risk of companies in which they invest.

Cbus Executive Manager, Investment Management, Trish Donohue, is a Board member of ACSI.

Visit the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors website.

Investor Group on Climate Change

Cbus is a member and is also on the executive of the Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC).

The Investor Group on Climate Change aims to ensure that the risks and opportunities associated with climate change are incorporated into investment decisions for the benefit of members.

The IGCC aims to encourage government policies and investment practices that address the risks of climate change. The group aims to influence climate change policy by participating in forums and making submissions to government organisations, for example, in relation to emissions trading.

IGCC endeavours to shape government policies to provide companies with an incentive to reduce their carbon footprint.

Visit the Investor Group on Climate Change website.

 

How Cbus addresses climate change

Cbus recognises climate change as an important issue and as such, we consider the impact on the environment in our investment process. Cbus addresses the risks and opportunities associated with climate change in a number of ways.

  • We encourage our active external fund managers and the listed companies in which we invest to incorporate and consider climate change risk and opportunities in their investment processes.
  • We also actively participate in various climate change surveys and studies in order to share information about climate change investment best practice.
  • Through our membership with climate change organisations, which contribute to the public policy discussions.

See our Cbus and climate change factsheet (PDF).

Cbus’ climate change position

Cbus has developed a position statement to help guide the integration of climate change considerations within the broader investment framework.

This approach will enable us to focus on making decisions that will lead to better long term retirement outcomes for our members. Further, we believe that as a large investor, our actions can have a flow on benefit to society and the broader economy.

See our Climate change position statement (PDF).

Tobacco Free Portfolios 2017 supporter

In September 2013, Cbus Board made the decision not to invest in companies that manufacture tobacco products in the interest of members and their long-term investment returns.

Tobacco is excluded from Cbus' Australian and international share mandates.  

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