Climate change affects us all13 Feb 2020 2 min read
Australia’s recent devastating bushfires were an awful reminder that climate change is not just a threat to our future; it’s a reality that we’re already living with. Even if you were fortunate enough not to be directly affected by the fires, chances are you know someone who was. The fact is that the effects of climate change go beyond the immediate physical impact of natural disasters such as bushfires, drought and floods – they profoundly affect the functioning of our economy and society.
We know, from conversations that we’ve had with members and within the Fund, that many people are looking closely at what they – and the businesses they deal with – are doing about climate change. Action is needed everywhere, from the highest levels of global agreements, right down to what individuals do. And that includes NGS Super. Super is about the future; and we want that future to be a sustainable one for generations to come.
What is sustainability?
A commonly quoted definition is that ‘Sustainability focuses on meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs’. So if we’re doing something – whether that’s investing, producing food or hiring staff - in a way that depletes resources, degrades the environment or compromises the wellbeing of workers, that is not sustainable.
If you’ve visited our new fund sustainability page, you’ll be aware that we believe strongly in integrating Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and responsible investment principles into the management of our investment portfolio. This is not a new thing for us; NGS Super first became signatories to the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investment in 2009/10.
For an Industry SuperFund like NGS Super, it’s important that we also apply the concept of sustainability to our members’ returns. We’re committed to delivering the best possible retirement outcomes for our members, and we believe that incorporating sustainability into our investment processes helps us to achieve this.
We’re walking the walk
It’s not just about our investments and the bigger actions we take – we, as NGS Super staff members, are also making changes in our offices and our homes.
We’ve launched an internal Impact Committee, with a joint focus on sustainability and social procurement. You can read about it here.