Who we are?
Established in 2001, ACSI exists to provide a strong, collective voice on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues on behalf of our members. Our members include 37 Australian and international asset owners and institutional investors. Collectively, ACSI members own on average 10% of every ASX200 company.
Through research, engagement, advocacy and voting advice, ACSI supports members in exercising active ownership – strengthening investment outcomes. Active ownership allows institutional investors to enhance the long-term value of retirement savings entrusted to them to manage. Working collectively, ACSI members can achieve material outcomes for their beneficiaries and deliver genuine and permanent improvements to the environment, social and governance (ESG) practices of the companies in which they invest.
ACSI is known for its long-term outlook, its evidence-based views, and is respected as a thought leader on key issues.
What is ESG?
Institutional investors have a responsibility to act in the best interests of their members. This includes acting to enhance the long-term value of the savings entrusted to them to manage. Therefore it is important that investors focus on factors that may impact investment value over the long term, such as ESG risks and opportunities.
Investors can help protect and enhance their investments over the long term through the consideration of ESG risks in their investment decision-making processes. As large institutional investors, ACSI’s members hold widely diversified and long-term portfolios that span all sectors of the economy. These portfolios are inevitably exposed to material risks and opportunities. Our members work to positively influence the way business is conducted in order to protect and enhance investment value.
Our Beliefs reflect ACSI members’ commitment to the delivery of absolute real investment returns to their beneficiaries over the long-term. Commitment to our Beliefs is a prerequisite for membership of ACSI.7
ESG performance is financially material
ESG investment risks and opportunities are financially material for long-term oriented investors. However, the short-term outlook of many participants in the investment system means that today’s market prices do not always capture these risks and opportunities.
Ownership rights have an economic value
The formal and informal ownership rights that accrue to investors have genuine economic value, and their exercise can materially improve investment outcomes.
Long-term investors therefore have a responsibility to exercise these ownership rights judiciously as part of their stewardship of assets on their beneficiaries’ behalves.
Markets do not always operate in the interest of long-term investors
The rules that govern investment markets and the conduct of individual companies do not always operate in the best interests of long-term fiduciary asset owners and their beneficiaries. There is therefore an opportunity and a responsibility for fiduciary investors to engage with policymakers to better align the operation of the financial system with the interest of the beneficiaries.