Statewide Super is developing an implementation strategy for the UN Principles on ‘ESG’ investing, which will include evaluating managers on their adoption of the principles.

Frances Magill, the fund’s chief executive, said investments still required evaluation from a perspective of maximising returns for members, but investment mandates would be reviewed to take into account managers adopting ESG principles in the management of investment portfolios. Magill said the implementation policy follows advice received from its investment adviser, Access Capital Advisers, in relation to the fund meeting its obligations as a signatory to the United Nations principles of responsible investment. The policy will be an internal document designed to assist the $1.8 billion fund in developing processes for both the market and target return portfolios, and the fund will also be looking to incorporate additional reporting on ESG issues in its annual report. The policy will also identify external organisations, such as the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors, which can assist in the management of ESG issues. “Statewide is very committed and keen to include the UNPRI and ESG issues within the investment portfolio,” Magill said. “We also know that our members are increasingly aware of ESG issues and expect that we will consider them in our investment decision making. Last financial year we saw a 19 per cent increase in contributions to our socially responsive investment option which supports this view.”

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