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Where we stand

Here’s our stance on the issues we get asked about most.

These positions guide our investment decisions and our engagement with the companies we invest in. We’ve developed them by asking what’s best for people, the planet and animals using the principles of our ethical charter. As the world moves forward, these positions may change as well.

Climate Action Climate Action

Climate action

We’re taking serious action to limit global warming.

We avoid climate unfriendly sectors like fossil fuels and target investment in climate friendly sectors. We’re even going further to decarbonise our entire investment portfolio. We advocate for business action and better climate policy. We’re reducing and offsetting our own operational emissions. And we recently won a global award for transparency about our alignment with our climate goals.

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Human rights

We avoid companies that restrict human rights, exploit workers or discriminate.

Business has a fundamental obligation to respect human rights. The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (also known as the ‘Ruggie principles’) make it clear that companies must avoid contributing to breaches of human rights, including through their supply chain or other business relationships.

We don’t invest in operators of offshore detention centres. We closely scrutinise companies with supply chains in countries with a poor record on human rights or worker protection. We look at the way these companies monitor overseas workplaces, including for potential use of child labour. We have chosen not to invest in several clothing and electronics companies because of human rights concerns.

We do not automatically avoid companies operating in countries with a poor human rights record. We look at the way they do business to assess whether they are making a positive contribution to the welfare of ordinary citizens of the country or whether they are supporting or complicit in human rights abuses.

On the positive side, we seek out companies that contribute to human dignity and education and the alleviation of poverty. One of the things that attracted us to the company Interface was its use of discarded fishing nets in developing countries to make modular carpets. As well as reducing waste, this provided financial opportunities to some of the poorest people in the world.

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Animal protection

We avoid unnecessary harm to animals.

Our position is that non-human animals have the capacity to suffer and we should not cause them unnecessary harm. This means we avoid:

  • industries that use animals for entertainment and sport. This includes horse and greyhound racing, as well as film and media companies that use wild captive animals in productions
  • current systems of animal agriculture. We assess the harm to animals and the environment (including climate) caused by current large-scale commercial animal agriculture is unnecessary because lower impact, balanced plant-based diets can sustain healthy human life. See our position on Agriculture
  • cosmetic companies that test their products or ingredients on animals
  • healthcare companies that use animals for medical testing unless they meet strict requirements. See our position on Healthcare.

We also support animal protection organisations through our Community Grants program, and advocate for animals in our company engagements and through our public voice (see our positions on ethical influencing and animal wellbeing).

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Clean energy investment

We invest in renewable energy (solar, wind, tidal, geothermal and sustainable hydro), as well as energy efficiency and battery storage.

These technologies are essential to limit global warming. Not only are they more sustainable than fossil-fuel energy production, they also are job creators and can help alleviate poverty with off-grid and future-proof energy supply.

We invest heavily in companies whose products and services reduce energy demand, such as LED lights, insulation, recycling and smart energy management technology. The efficient use of energy is important because it reduces energy waste: an avoided watt needs no resource at all to be produced.

Our community grants program also provides funds for renewable energy projects in the community. Recent grants supported a solar system at a wildlife rescue centre in Victoria and a technician in East Timor repairing solar panels.

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Live Animal Export Live Animal Export

Live export

We do not invest in live export.

We do not invest in live export companies or companies that raise animals for live export. We also avoid companies that facilitate the trade e.g. specialist transport companies.

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