A hardline socially responsible investment agenda has been outlined by NSW Local Government Super trustee, Ian Robertson, who questioned why “;anyone would bother”; owning shares in a company that had no plan for a post-Kyoto Protocol world.

In a speech to an Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) luncheon in Sydney last week, Robertson said that ‘ESG’ investment filters (environmental/social/governance) would become more common, particularly as the politically-aware Generation Y moved through the workforce. “;They are going to be very aware of things like human rights issues, particularly as we look for new places to put their money in emerging markets,”; Robertson said. “;A lot of them won’t wear investing in tobacco companies, for instance, which are funding litigation in the West by addicting the Third World.”; At the same event, First State Super chief executive, Michael Dwyer, said regulators had indicated to him that funds managers would soon need to disclose more about their approach to ESG issues than the bland ‘not considered’ statement required in their PDSs today.

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