Vision Super goes green

Vision Super has divested from thermal coal, tar sands and tobacco in addition to its existing weapons exclusion.

Chief executive officer, Stephen Rowe, said as a value-based fund, environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors were important when deciding how to invest.

“Our ESG decision-making framework looks first to reduce harm through active ownership of shares, and the Board will only decide to divest if the evidence is clear that the harm of a particular product cannot be reduced,” he said.

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Rowe said the fund already had a considerably lower carbon intensity than the index across its portfolio as markets weren’t pricing in carbon risk appropriately, which was a risk for members.

“But thermal coal and tar sands are two of the biggest contributors to climate change, and we don’t believe the risk of continuing to use them can be mitigated,” he said.

Rowe said the fund looked at tobacco through the same lens, and concluded that it wasn’t possible to minimise the harm the product causes.

“So the decision was made to exclude tobacco too.”

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