Building upon its corporate governance services, the Australian Council of Super Investors (ACSI) has appointed an external researcher to assess the social and environmental impacts of the top 200 listed Australian companies.

Following an internally run tender, ACSI appointed Innovest Strategic Value Advisors to help it analyse the environmental and social performance of mainstream companies, Michael O’Sullivan, ACSI president, said.

“When we engage companies, we talk comprehensively about not just the G but the E and the S as well,” O’Sullivan said.

ACSI would seek customised research from Innovest and engage companies about “not only the negatives but also the positives” of their social and environmental performance on behalf of its 42 member funds, he said.

“If we can create and help to foster best-practice governance, social and environmental performance by monitoring what companies to and by engaging them, we’re making a contribution,” O’Sullivan said.

ACSI already supplies members with a ‘Voting Alert’ service and updates of the corporate governance status of ASX200 companies, in addition to research and education about corporate governance.

In November 2007, it published ESG guidelines for members.

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