In 2020 we undertook a comprehensive review of our responsible investment approach, with the aim of understanding what might need to change to ensure we remain at the forefront of good practice and continue to meet all pillars of our mandate.
This review indicated a substantial shift towards improved incorporation of sustainability across the finance sector. In order to meet our mandate and best position the NZ Super Fund for 2025 and beyond, we embarked on a multi-year plan to update our approach from a responsible investment to sustainable finance focus.
Whilst a responsible investment approach involves managing ESG risks in our investments, sustainable finance means taking into account ESG risks and the implications of our investments for the environment and society.
Against this backdrop of evolving global good practice the Guardians' Board approved a new purpose: 'Sustainable investment delivering strong returns for all New Zealanders', and a new Sustainable Finance Strategy, designed to see us through the next 10 years. The Strategy is built around 3 core concepts developed by Toitū Tahua, the New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Finance:
- Changing mindsets - through our governance, leadership and communication
- Transforming finance - by improving ESG performance over the long term
- Financing transformation - investing for the impact that delivers positive sustainability outcomes
The Guardians has had a multifaceted climate change investment strategy in place since 2016. Designed to address climate change investment risks and opportunities over the long term, it remains a key element of our sustainable finance approach.
We collaborate and exchange sustainable investment resources with three other New Zealand Crown Financial Institutions: the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) the Government Superannuation Fund Authority and the National Provident Fund.
In addition to applying sustainable finance principles when making investment decisions, we aim to run the Guardians as an organisation in a way that demonstrates our commitment to sustainability and transparency.