Our approach to climate change
TelstraSuper’s fundamental objective is to enhance responsibly the financial security of our members in retirement. We incorporate best practice Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) considerations in all aspects of our investment process.
We support the development of a more sustainable global economy and the attainment of the Paris Agreement goals on climate change.
TelstraSuper takes climate risk seriously as part of our ESG considerations. We believe the best way to address the risks of Climate change is through coordinated global co-operation and action.
TelstraSuper signed on to Climate Action 100+ as a participant which is an investor initiative launched in 2017 to encourage the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters to take necessary action on climate change.
In 2021 we launched our Climate Change Action Plan which includes our goal to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This includes a target of 45% reduction by 2030.
This change is in line with our objective to help provide a secure financial future for members — which includes managing the risks of our investments as well as contributing to building a more sustainable global economy.
While our goal is to achieve a complete reduction in net emissions by 2050, work is already underway. For example, we are currently:
- targeting specific investments in low carbon opportunities
- reviewing our passive benchmarks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions measuring baseline emissions and disclosing to members the first quantitative report of the listed equities greenhouse gas emissions
- enhancing guidelines for external manager assessment and mandates to incorporate climate change expectations and climate metrics
The plan also includes measures to boost investment in opportunities that are expected to benefit from the transition to a net zero emissions world.
TelstraSuper believes that climate change is a systemic risk that needs to be pro-actively measured and managed to help provide a secure future for our current and future members. As a large investor, we can influence what the future looks like while proactively managing risk in our portfolios, and we take that very seriously.
What does it mean for returns?
Our investment objectives haven’t changed and we’re still aiming to achieve strong long-term returns for our members, while prudently managing risk. In fact, carefully considering climate risk is vital to helping us evaluate if we think something is a good investment that will perform well for members over the long term.
We also apply a closer lens to our investments to reduce climate change risk, and we’ll be mandating that our external investment managers do the same.
This approach applies across all TelstraSuper investment options and happens automatically, our members don’t need to take any action.
What is TelstraSuper doing as a business?
TelstraSuper has also commenced measuring its own organisational greenhouse gas footprint - in line with international and Australian best practice accounting standards.
This is part of our commitment to operational emissions reduction and we will offset the remainder of our footprint to become carbon neutral. We’ve recently sought certification under the Australian Government’s Climate Active program and are awaiting the outcome.