ESG and investing responsibly

As a member of legalsuper, you’re investing in more than just your financial future.

Two industrial workers examining wind turbines in rural area.
Mother reading a book to her child on the floor

Why does ESG matter

As a member of legalsuper, you’re investing in more than just your financial future.

We believe that considering environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors can have a positive influence on the long-term investment outcomes of our members. We seek to balance the needs of all stakeholders, with a focus on protecting investors, creating value for society, and maintaining good relations with communities.

By investing responsibly, we may help protect your financial future as well as contribute and shape the kind of world that you, your children and grandchildren will live in.

Our approach

Our duty is to act in the best financial interests of our members. Our approach is to maximise the value of member superannuation balances over the long term, within acceptable risk parameters.

In evaluating risks, and selecting investments, we apply an ESG lens across our investments and recognise the responsibility we have to the environment and the wider society. We also give weight to factors we believe have the most impact on our members.

For example, we have invested in an initiative that facilitates access to healthcare and mental health support for the community at large. This aligns with our business goals to partner with the legal industry and also addresses the important issues facing our members and the broader legal community.

In representing the interests of the majority of our member base (over 70% female), we also recently invested in a female-led founders venture capital fund (Artesian Female Founders Fund), that supports female founded businesses in the early stages of their development.

How we incorporate Responsible Investing

Our view is that ESG factors have an impact on our performance and risk profile. As such, we integrate consideration of these factors into the review of risks we consider in our investment decision-making process across the portfolio.

Incorporating responsible investment practices supports our management of reputational and regulatory risks as well as community and member expectations.

  • We exercise active ownership in relation to directly held Australian shares. We are guided by the recommendations made by the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI). We believe that by voting in accordance with ACSI’s recommendations, (together with other investors advised by ACSI), we can exert the appropriate influence on the Australian companies we invest in.
  • We apply some industry portfolio exclusions when making our investment decisions.
  • We commit to providing relevant and accessible reporting and communication on Responsible Investment to members and other key stakeholders.

Our investment managers play an important role in managing ESG risks and opportunities on our behalf. Where we have an investment mandate with an investment manager, the ongoing assessment of the investment managers' responsible investment capabilities is a formal component of our manager selection and review process. We expect that each investment manager will have regard for ESG factors. We incorporate consideration of ESG objectives, and application of portfolio screens and exclusions into investment mandates.

Examples to illustrate our ESG approach

We have invested in Evrima, a transforming clinical trial recruitment platform that connects researchers, clinicians and patients together to accelerate research and bring new treatments to patients who need them. This investment supports a female founded business with predominantly female representation on the board and Investment Committees.

HS Orka is the largest private and third largest overall power producer in Iceland. This investment was made in 2019, with the growth platform representing a 272 megawatt pipeline of geothermal projects that are underpinned by purchasing power agreements, strong customer diversification and consistent demand.

We are proud to be a supporter of the recently launched CCCF, a social purpose venture. CCCF supports early-stage social purpose organisations, providing them with financial opportunities to advance their businesses and make a tangible impact to address challenges in areas of social and environmental need.