Super engagement would rise with ESG

Almost 60% of Australians would pay closer attention to their superannuation if their provider reported on environmental and/or social impact of their investments, according to a survey.

A Franklin Templeton survey found interest in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) style investing could be used to enhance member engagement across all demographics.

An average of 88% of the 2,000 respondents thought their super fund should offer a responsible investment option. Of these, 44% of Baby Boomers and 36% of Gen X said this was a ‘very important’ issue, compared to 34% of Gen Y.

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Source: Franklin Templeton

Another 56% of Gen Y respondents said they wanted their fund to offer investment options that aimed for a positive impact, along with 44% of Gen X and 41% of Baby Boomers.

Franklin Templeton managing director, Matthew Harrison, said the survey reflected a shift in the current landscape of responsible investments in Australia due to a growing appetite.

“What these findings seem to be telling us is that people are not apathetic about their retirement finance and communicating with people about how their investments might address environmental and social concerns may be a good avenue to strengthen member engagement,” he said.

“While there is growing discussion at the board room level about ESG issues and investing for impact, it is likely there is more that can be done to ‘join the dots’ for everyday Australians so they better understand the role their money can play. We believe asset managers, super fund providers and financial advisers all have a crucial role to play in this.”

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