Our commitment to responsible investment
In times of market turbulence, like those we have seen over the last four years, some will look at responsible investment and put it to one side as something to be considered when times are better. We believe such an approach is short-sighted and misses the bigger picture, which is why we continued to implement our responsible investment framework in 2011 and we will continue to increase our effort and allocation of resources to this area in 2012.
This responsible investment report on progress, our second, lays out our achievements and our disappointments in 2011 and maps our goals for 2012. While the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) provides a good basic framework, there is no universally accepted standard for incorporating environmental, social and governance factors into investment practices. The benefit of this is that our approach, like the proven investment process it is being integrated with, can evolve into a unique feature of our business. The disadvantage is that it is a slower process then picking a solution ‘off the shelf’.
Over the past two years our efforts have involved trial and error, with some important successes in enhancing our investment process. We have also collaborated with other members of the industry who share our vision and understanding of what responsible investment means.
We are proud to work with and support the PRI, the Investor Group on Climate Change, the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) and the Responsible Investment Association of Australia, among others, who continue to take the industry forward. Initiatives like the Financial Services Council / ACSI environment, social and corporate governance (ESG) reporting guidance for companies, investor statements and research on climate change, the PRI clearing house, and the development of the Responsible Investment Academy, pave the way for broader acceptance of responsible investment.
Internally, we have also continued to build our capability. We sought and obtained high quality ESG research and reporting for asset managers and have included responsible investment requirements in our equity analyst’s key performance indicators. We have also enhanced our responsible investment policy to include specific requirements and guidance on resources companies and remuneration. This progress is reflected in our PRI benchmarking report which showed improvements in all areas.
Overall we are pleased with our progress in 2011 and look forward to taking further steps in 2012. I encourage you to consider our progress in this report and let us know if you have any feedback or questions by contacting our Head of Responsible Investment by emailing PRI@perpetual.com.au.
CEO and Managing Director
View our responsible investment policy.