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The New Zealand Superannuation Fund has achieved an AAA rating in the latest Global Climate Index report, and ranks at 15 in its list of top global asset managers.

The report covers 500 of the world’s biggest asset owners and rates them in terms of their strategies in responding to risks from climate change.

The NZ Super Fund is one of 17 asset owners around the world to achieve the top AAA rating in the survey. It is ranked 15 in the group of 17 leaders.

According to the report, European asset owners are the global leaders on managing climate risk but Australia and New Zealand are now beginning to rival Europe.

The index is published by the Asset Owners Disclosure Project, an independent, non-profit organisation which aims to encourage long-term investors to address climate-related risk. The report, based on survey responses and publicly available information, rates asset owners and managers on their strategies to address climate change. It assesses governance and strategy, portfolio risk management, and metrics and targets.

The NZ Super Fund’s rating increased from D in 2016 to AAA in the latest report and its ranking improved by 94 places. The change reflects the release of the Fund’s climate change strategy, announced in October 2016, and its participation in the AODP 2017 survey. Previously the Fund was assessed on its publicly-available information alone.

The Fund’s strategy on climate change aims to improve the portfolio’s resilience to long-run climate risk. It has four parts: carbon footprint reduction, analysis, engagement and investment in new opportunities. It includes a commitment to reduce the Fund’s equity exposure both to fossil fuel reserves and carbon emissions, integrate carbon measures into its investment models and increase engagement with companies on climate change.

Work on the implementation of the strategy is under way and a report on progress will be made later this year.

The Global Climate Index is available on the Asset Owners Disclosure Project web site

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