The Guardians has a long-standing commitment to Responsible Investment. We believe that environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors are material to long term returns. Our governing legislation also requires us to avoid prejudice to New Zealand’s reputation in the world community.
ESG considerations are therefore integrated into all aspects of the Fund’s investment activities, from investment selection and due diligence to ownership activities such as monitoring our external investment managers, exercising our voting rights and engaging with companies to improve their ESG policies and practices.
Our responsible investment work programme is closely aligned to the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Investment – the leading global network for investors to demonstrate their commitment to responsible investment, to collaborate and learn with their peers about the financial and investment implications of ESG issues, and to incorporate these factors into their investment decision making and ownership practices.
As well as applying ESG principles when making investment decisions, we aim to run the Guardians as an organisation in a way that demonstrates good ESG practice and reporting.
In October 2016 the Guardians launched a multifaceted climate change strategy designed to establish resilience to climate change investment risk over the long term.
RIAA RI Certification
In 2018, the Guardians gained Responsible Investment certification for the Fund. The Responsible Investment Certification Programme is the first of its kind in the world and is owned and managed by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA). The Certification Symbol signifies that the NZ Super Fund takes certain ESG or ethical considerations into account along with financial returns.
To be licenced to use the Certification Symbol, the Fund was required to meet strict operational and disclosure practices required by the Programme for the category of Superannuation Fund. The Certification Symbol is a Registered Trade Mark owned and managed by RIAA. Detailed information about RIAA, the Symbol and NZ Superfund’s methodology and performance can be found at www.responsiblereturns.com.au, together with details about other responsible investment products certified by RIAA.
The NZ Super Fund is the first sovereign wealth fund to gain RIAA Certification.