ACSI submits articles on ESG-related issues to a number of external publications. You can access these articles using the links below. ACSI articles are point-in-time statements about issues of current interest to us. Please note the date of publication when reading this content.

Originally published in Investment Magazine (August 2019)

 

Last year a record number of listed companies received shareholder resolutions seeking increased disclosure. Most of these concerned climate-change and they attracted unprecedented levels of investor support. It’s clear there is growing demand for information about ESG risks and opportunities. Our latest review of ESG reporting shows that companies are responding, but investors still face issues with the availability and comparability of data.

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Originally published in Investment Magazine (May 2019)

 

Uncertainty does not excuse inaction

Climate change is the greatest ESG challenge facing investors today. The World Economic Forum rates ‘extreme weather events’ and ‘failure to mitigate or adapt to climate change’ as two of its top global risks. In recent times, all three of Australia’s financial regulators – APRA, ASIC and the RBA, have acknowledged the potential magnitude of climate-related impacts.

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Originally published in Investment Magazine (April 2019)


Eradicating slavery is a mainstream corporate responsibility that is now enshrined in law. Under the new Modern Slavery Act, Australian business must report on their exposure to modern slavery risk – this includes superannuation funds. Recent research by the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) identified financial services as a high-risk sector for modern slavery. Funds that don’t manage their exposure may face legal, reputational and financial consequences.

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Originally published in Investment Magazine (December 2018)


Most ASX listed companies hold their annual general meeting (AGM) between September and November each year. The recent AGM season was characterised by several larger than usual votes against management recommendations. This is indicative of a loss of trust in company boards, arguably triggered by the ‘banking’ Royal Commission, although by no means limited to that sector.

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Originally published in Investment Magazine (May 2018)


Asset owners are significant providers of capital to listed companies. There is a growing desire among individuals, NGOs and civil society for information about how asset owners manage the funds entrusted to them. I see this as an opportunity to shine a light on the important work asset owners do. 

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Originally published by the Australian Institute of Company Directors in the Gender Diversity Quarterly Report (December 2017)


It’s working

At the start of AGM season, AICD Chair Elizabeth Proust said ACSI’s gender diversity voting policy “could be a game changer” (The Australian, 26/09). It has been, although we haven’t applied it as often as we anticipated. ACSI has been discussing board gender diversity with companies for years. In 2015, we decided that progress on this issue had been so glacially slow that we needed to introduce a target.

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Originally published in Investment Magazine (December 2017) 

In late November, we published a new edition of the ACSI Governance Guidelines. The Guidelines represent our members’ expectations of governance practices at the companies they invest in. Although primarily directed at listed companies, the Guidelines are an important resource for asset managers and owners.

Originally published in Investment Magazine (September 2017)

 

We recently published the 10th edition of our sustainability report. This report assesses disclosure performance among the ASX200, rating companies individually and by sector. This year, for the first time, we assessed climate-related disclosure by the ASX200 in our report. This was a direct response to increased interest from our members in climate-related risk, mirrored in the wider investment community.

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Originally published in Investment Magazine (May 2017)

 

Every year in May, the leading experts in ESG investing gather for ACSI’s annual conference, and each year the audience coming to hear from them seems to grow bigger.  It’s been said before, and sometimes prematurely, but ESG investing really is in the mainstream now.

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Originally published in Investment Magazine (April 2017)

The wave of uncertainty ushered in across the globe recently is likely something investors will need to get used to. One of the many areas this ‘new normal’ has impacted is discussions on climate policy in Australian and across the globe. What remains clear for investors is that if Australia is going to transition smoothly to a low-carbon economy, policy certainty and clarity are required.  

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