Invest for impact this Earth Day
22 April 2022 marks the 52nd Earth Day – a movement that has grown from a US-based initiative that began in 1970 to the world’s largest recruiter for the environmental movement, working with more than 150,000 partners in over 192 countries to drive positive action for our planet.
This Earth Day the theme is Invest in Our Planet, a concept that is intrinsic to our day-to-day operations at Uniting Financial Services (UFS).
We have been on the Ethical and ESG investing journey for a considerable amount of time, dating back to the early 1980s when our policy was first established. Our investment choices are governed by the 14 investment principles of our Ethical and ESG Investment Policy, which is aligned to the delivery of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
At UFS, we believe the way we invest has a huge ripple effect across our communities and ecosystems, and on the pace of government and corporate action.
As such, we invest via managers that have a quantifiable link to the SDGs, who are helping to tackle environmental issues including decarbonisation, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy and protecting our environment from pollution.
Earth Day is an ideal time for all investors to review their portfolios and take a closer look at their underlying investments.
To have a meaningful impact, sustainable investing should be at the core of portfolio management rather than simply a layer of risk management. Within our portfolios, we select managers who not only use negative screens – removing industries and companies that have a negative environmental impact including high carbon emissions, production of hazardous waste and high water usage – but also actively include best-in-class industries and companies that are helping to make a positive difference.
It is pleasing to note that responsible investing is a theme that has gathered significant pace in recent years. Indeed, four out of five Australians believe environmental issues are important when it comes to their investment decision. According to the Responsible Investment Association of Australasia, Australian investing grew the responsible investment market to $1.2 trillion in 2020 and we’re not alone – the global figure was $47.8 trillion.
This Earth Day marks a great opportunity for Australians to continue this fantastic momentum and invest in the world we all want to see. So together, as a central stewardship component of our Faith, let’s make sure we all continue to INVEST IN OUR PLANET.
Neil King, Executive Director, Uniting Financial Services