Non-government education and community sector industry fund NGS Super has selected the Australian Unity (AU) Green Bond fund as part of its move to a carbon neutral portfolio by 2030.
The fund invested in a combination of green, social and sustainable fixed interest securities with the primary purpose of helping to lower carbon emissions.
The fund was managed by Australian Unity’s in-house cash and fixed interest team, Altius Asset Management.
Bill Bovingdon, Altius chief investment officer (CIO), said Australia’s $3 trillion superannuation industry was a key contributor to the Australian economy and had a critical role to play in addressing the risks of climate change given its exposure to the financial, physical and transition impacts associated with climate change across the investment landscape.
“The investment from NGS Super is a coming of age for the AU Green Bond fund in attracting large-scale institutional investors wanting to give their members access to a fund whose objective is to reduce greenhouse gasses, with a focus on action within Australia,” Bovingdon said.
“The global green bond market continues to grow rapidly, and with this investment NGS Super has given its members access to an investment in high quality bonds and certainty about its positive impact via its use of proceeds and a stable return.”
Ben Squires, NGS Super CIO, said the investment in the AU Green Bond fund was an important milestone for NGS Super in reaching an ambitious target of creating a carbon neutral portfolio by 2030.
“Our target of being carbon neutral by 2030 is the next step in integrating responsible investment for better returns for our members,” Squires said.
“We acknowledge that pursuing a carbon neutral target date of 2030 is ambitious, but this investment is part of a broader implementation plan across the business that will see us play our part in stemming human-induced climate change.”
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) was a cornerstone investor in the fund, having committed up to $70 million on behalf of the Australian Government.
Ian Learmonth, CEFC chief executive, said: “We welcome the investment by NGS Super into the AU Green Bond fund.
“It is another signal of the strong demand by carbon focused investors for investment products that provide market returns as well as support Australia’s transition to a low emissions economy.”
The fund had more than $150 million in assets under management, as at 30 April, 2021.