Qantas Super invests $2b in sustainable listed equities

Qantas Super has partnered with Calvert Research and Management and Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) to reduce carbon intensity across its Australian and global equity portfolios. 

The $2 billion allocation, split equally across the two investment managers, targeted the non-for-profit corporate super fund’s goal of net zero carbon emissions across its investment portfolio by 2050. 

Andrew Spence, chief investment officer at Qantas Super, said: “At Qantas Super, we believe environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors increasingly impact investment returns and risks, and contribute to us delivering sustainable growth to our members.

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“That’s why we embedded sustainability as one of our core investment beliefs in 2015.”

The $8.5 billion fund believed climate change adaptation would drive significant investment to decarbonize existing businesses and drive the creation of new businesses that did not exist today, representing opportunities to generate great returns for members.

John Streur, president and chief executive of Calvert (part of Morgan Stanley Investment Management), said: “Reducing carbon emissions is a critical step in reducing the ESG risks in an investment portfolio. We look forward to partnering with Qantas Super as it embarks on this journey.” 

Luke Sarsfield, co-head of GSAM, said: “Investing in line with the energy transition can produce enhanced returns by mitigating climate risks and capturing opportunities while supporting positive change for society and the environment.

“We look forward to helping improve long-term outcomes for Qantas Super’s members through solutions tailored to the fund’s unique needs and goals.” 

These partnerships were part of a range of sustainable investment measures that Qantas Super had undertaken, such as excluding manufacturers of cluster munitions and anti-personnel mine whole weapon systems; joining the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) to influence and engage with companies on ESG issues; excluding tobacco manufacturers from the portfolio; and implementing an Impact Investing Framework in 2020, which would assist the fund in identifying and investing in assets that can generate a strong return, and a positive and measurable social and environmental impact.

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