For most of us, over our lifetime, superannuation becomes our biggest asset and one of the most powerful ways we can influence the world around us. To give you an idea of how powerful superannuation is, by 2030, superannuation funds will own half of the companies on Australian Stock Exchange. That means everyday Australian’s will own half of the companies listed on the ASX. As we directly invest in these companies, so they can use our money to grow their businesses, our money can be used to grow tobacco companies or medical technology companies. We decide.
Where you invest your superannuation is a vote for the future you want to retire in — the future you will leave behind for the next generation. It is our legacy.
At Verve superannuation — an ethical superannuation fund for women – we surveyed hundreds of women to find out how they wanted their superannuation invested. Nine out of 10 women wanted their money invested ethically. Yet, if you’re invested in a mainstream superannuation fund today, you are over 80% exposed to fossil fuels.
Given many superannuation funds do not freely disclose companies they invest in, we simply do not know that our retirement savings might be funding industries like live animal export, detention centres, guns, tobacco and gambling. These companies addict, pollute and cause harm to people, animals and the planet.
So if you want to get your money out of harmful industries, where can you invest it? At Verve superannuation our members choose to join us because we seek out investments that create a better future, companies involved in renewable energy, green technology, affordable housing, medical technology, sustainable food production, education and companies that promote women in leadership.
The good news is investing ethically doesn’t mean you have to compromise on returns. In fact, companies that care more about the environment and the community tend to perform better. This is supported by data from The Responsible Investment Association of Australasia, which consistently finds that ethical funds outperform mainstream funds over all time periods.
The results in Australia aren’t unique. Global studies from Oxford University, Harvard Business School, and the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative, have demonstrated similar positive returns for ethical investments.
This is not new information, it’s simply time to act. As we watch government continue to lag behind a thriving renewable future we have the opportunity to use the power of our investment to create change.
Women will have 1.25 trillion dollars in superannuation by 2025. That’s an enormous amount of financial power, that if invested ethically could remarkably reshape our economy — and our planet.
It’s up to us to decide the world we want to create and what legacy we want to leave behind. Check out Verve, how we invest ethically and why it’s time to talk about guns...and your superannuation.