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 36 Australian and international asset owners and institutional investors. Collectively, they manage over $1 trillion in assets and own on average 10% of every ASX200 company.
Our members believe that ESG risks and opportunities have a material impact on investment outcomes. As fiduciary investors, they have a responsibility to act to enhance the long-term value of the savings entrusted to them. Through ACSI, our members collaborate to achieve genuine, measurable and permanent improvements in the ESG practices and performance of the companies they invest in.
ACSI staff undertake a year round program of research, engagement, advocacy and voting advice. These activities provide a solid basis for our members to exercise their ownership rights.
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.