State Super is targeting net-zero carbon dioxide across its investment portfolio by 2050, setting a milestone of a 45% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 against a December 2020 baseline.
Formulated with input from NSW Treasury Corporation and Mercer, the targets were in response to the goals of the Paris Agreement.
State Super’s chair, Nicholas Johnson, said: “It has become abundantly clear… that in acting in the best financial interests of members, superannuation trustees must respond to the investment risks associated with climate change and seek to mitigate them”.
“It is equally important for them to realise investment opportunities that will come from the transition to a low-carbon economy, including from new technologies, initiatives and policies over short, medium and long-term investment horizons,” Johnson said.
State Super’s chief executive, John Livanas, said the fund had undertaken a significant program of work to ensure their new objectives aligned with the best interests of its members and their risk-adjusted returns.
“Importantly, many of our members have actively engaged with us about their expectations for climate change risk to be effectively managed,” Livanas said.
“We understand and appreciate their views. In addition, science experts and data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change also show it makes the best financial sense to act now.
“We will update our board and State Super members regularly on the decarbonisation of our investment portfolio.”