Our influence for a better world
We believe we can create a better world by using our money and voice to support more responsible businesses, government, and consumption.
Theory of change
We believe it's possible to influence progress towards a better future for people, planet and animals, alongside pursuing financial investment objectives.
We bring our ethical investment approach to life in the following ways:
Capital for ethical investments
Increased investor demand for ethical over unethical companies can increase access to lower-cost funding for ethical companies. At the same time, it can restrict funding and increase funding costs for unethical companies. This effect can scale with growth in demand for genuine ethical and sustainable investment options.
Our public divestment and exclusion can signal ethical concerns about unsustainable products and practices to companies, other investors, governments, consumers and citizens. This public signal, combined with our ethical engagement and advocacy, can help influence positive changes in behaviour, government policy and investment and consumption choices. We report on engagement priorities, activity and progress in our annual Sustainability Report.
We engage with select companies to improve key business practices. Our ethical screening can also help our influence by providing positive consequences for successful engagement (inclusion in ethical and sustainable portfolios) and negative consequences for unproductive engagement (exclusion or divestment).
Our history of influence
It began in 1986 when our founders set out to invest for a better world by using money as a force for good. It’s an investment philosophy that remains unchanged, in an ever-changing world.
The carbon intensity of our share investment portfolio is significantly lower than the benchmark(1,2), whilst our investment in renewable energy powers on. Through our ethical stewardship we aim to support a transition to a more sustainable economy and society. Since 2000, we have donated more than $9 million to our Foundation, driving positive outcomes for the planet, people and animals.
Our listed share portfolio
Our ethical investment approach favours companies and portfolios with stronger sustainability characteristics. Our total investment in listed shares at 30 June 2023 (63% of our total investments) was:
77% less carbon intensive
The carbon intensity (tonnes of CO2 equivalent per dollar company revenue) for our listed share investments at 30 June 2023 is 77% lower than a mainstream share market benchmark(1,2)
$9M+ donated since 2000
We donate 10% of our profits (after tax and before bonus) each year through the Australian Ethical Foundation. Since 2000, we have donated $9M+ to help achieve the Foundation's vision of directing as much philanthropy as possible towards the most effective solutions addressing the climate emergency.
Certified B Corporation
In 2014, we became the first listed company in Australia to earn Certified B Corporation status, an independent assessment on whether a ‘for-profit’ company is meeting high standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
Our latest score, 168.5, awarded at recertification on 13th July 2023, was the highest score for any B Corp in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand and is more than double the score needed to gain B Corp accreditation.
2023 Sustainability Report
In this report we seek to show how our investments, stewardship, climate action, community support and people and culture initiatives are all governed by the principles of the Australian Ethical Charter created by our founders in 1986.
Compared to a blended sharemarket benchmark of S&P ASX200 Index (for Australian and NZ shareholdings) and MSCI World ex Australia Index (for international shareholdings). Based on shareholdings at 30 June 2023 and analysis tools provided by external sources accessed on 20 October 2023 which cover 92% of the listed companies we hold shares in by value.
Carbon/CO2e intensity of listed companies whose shares we invest in across our funds and options, measured as tonnes CO2e per $ revenue. This should not be considered representative of individual funds or options which will have their own mix of share and other investments.
- Based on the revenue from sustainable impact solutions earned by listed companies whose shares we invest in across our funds and options, and the proportion of those listed share investments in renewables and energy solutions. This should not be considered representative of individual funds or options which will have their own mix of share and other investments. Sustainable impact criteria and data is provided by external sources and aims to measure revenue exposure to sustainable impact solutions and support actionable thematic allocations in line with the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), EU Taxonomy of Sustainable Activities, and other sustainability related frameworks. More information available at https://www.msci.com/documents/1296102/16472518/ESG_ImpactMetrics-cfs-en.pdf/7a03ddab-46fd-cef7-5211-c07ab992d17b