Who is Australian Ethical?
We’re an ethical super and investment company that was founded on the belief that money can be used as a force for positive change in our world that can be enjoyed by many generations to come. We don’t invest in fossil fuels, tobacco, nuclear weapons, or businesses involved in cruelty to animals. We actively seek to invest in sustainable, future building businesses.
How is it different to its competition?
Without you knowing, your super can be invested in fossil fuels, weapons or tobacco. Even some sustainable options may consider the risks of say burning fossil fuels has on the environment, but ultimately still decide to invest in a company involved if the investment return is worthwhile. We believe we can do better. Our deep ethical approach is screened against an Ethical Charter of 23 principles. In a nutshell, we look for positive investments that support people, quality and sustainability and avoids those that harm people, animals, society and the environment.
What does it mean to be an ethical investment company (Super and Managed Funds)?
As an ethical investment company, we put our customer’s values and their investment returns equal first. We won’t take any shortcuts by trading off between ethics and performance. We believe we can achieve both for our customers and by investing responsibly in well-managed, ethical companies, this is exactly what we aim to accomplish.
How does your fund compare to other fund’s returns?
We believe you don’t need to compromise returns for ethics. According to Responsible Investment Association Australasia ethical funds (Australian shares) have outperformed mainstream Australian share fund benchmarks over most time periods*. When looking at our Super investment options specifically, three of them have been recognised by SuperRatings** for their outstanding performance as at 30 June 2019:
- Australian Shares option ranks 1st amongst other Australian shares options over 5 and 7 year periods delivering returns of 12.1% and 14.0% respectively.
- Growth option ranks 1st over the last year amongst other Growth options, delivering a 11.2% return (5 year return is 8.6% p.a).
- Balanced My Super option ranks 2nd over the last year amongst other MySuper options delivering a 10.2% return (5 year return is 7.9% p.a).
Our results have shown how paying attention to social and environmental sustainability can also help build strong investment portfolios which deliver competitive returns.
What investments do you seek and what do you avoid?
We’re rapidly facing a world where 99% of coral reefs will be destroyed^. It’s never been more important to make sure your money isn’t in fossil fuels like coal and oil. Instead, we invest in companies that aim to have a positive impact for the future. Renewable energy, new technology to improve how we move around, connect with people and improve our health.
What’s one thing Aussies should know about their super fund that they may not know?
Know what your super fund actually invests your hard earn money in and ensure that it aligns to your values. Many super funds put returns above everything else, but there’s a better way.
Why do you think everyone should really consider how their super is being invested?
By investing ethically, you’re part of the solution, not part of the problem. Your money will be invested in initiatives that actively seek to make the world a better place.
Tell us about your community focus and grants, what is the process and what do you offer?
As a business, we’re driven by a bigger purpose than just making a profit; we believe it’s important to play a leadership role in making the world a better place. Since 2000, our Foundation has provided more than $2.5 million to charitable organisations and social impact initiatives through the community grants program. These grants go to grassroots organisations who contribute to humanitarian, environmental and animal welfare efforts in Australia and abroad. From advocating for asylum seekers in Australia to protecting endangered rainforests and their animals in Borneo, we are passionate about helping organisations create the most impact they can. Our grants of $10,000 and $20,000 enable organisations to make a bigger impact within the communities they work.
How simple it is to switch over your superannuation?
It only takes three minutes to sign up!
The fine print
This article provides general information only and does not take account of your individual investment objectives, financial situation or needs. Visit australianethical.com.au for our financial services guide, product disclosure statements and insurance guide for our superannuation and managed fund offerings. Australian Ethical Investment Ltd (ABN 47 003 188 930, AFSL 229949).
Please remember that the performance of your investment is not guaranteed, and past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Ratings or investment returns are only one factor you should consider when deciding how to invest your super.
* Source: Responsible Investment Association Australasia, 2019 Responsible Investment Benchmark Report looking at the average performance of ethical and mainstream funds. With ethical funds (Australian shares) outperforming mainstream Australian share fund benchmarks over 1, 5 and 10 year periods (exception being the 3 year period).
**Source: SuperRatings Fund Crediting Rate Survey as at 30 June 2019 – (1) Australian Ethical Australian Shares option was ranked no. 1 in SuperRatings SR50 Australian Shares Index for 5 and 7 year periods (2) Australian Ethical Super’s Growth option was ranked no 1 in SR50 Growth (77-90) Index over 12 months(3) Australian Ethical’s MySuper option was ranked no.2 in the SuperRatings Fund Crediting Rate Survey – SR50 MySuper Index over 12 months.
^According to the World Resources Institute.