Green ribbon for Australian super fund

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Local Government Super adds to ESG credentials in September

Industry super fund Local Government Super (LGS) further cemented its position as a leader in responsible investment this month with a series of local and global initiatives and awards. This included investing in the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Green Bond, receiving a Green Star rating from the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB), receiving a ‘Highly Commended’ rating in the Green Globe Awards and supporting the latest Environmental, Sustainability and Governance (ESG) disclosure guidelines to be released by the ASX.

Local Government Super was the only Australian super fund to invest in the EBRD Green Bond, issued on 10 September 2013. The bond focuses on environmentally sustainable projects in the areas of as energy efficiency, clean energy, water management, waste management, sustainable living, environmental services and sustainable public transport.

Fund CEO Peter Lambert said of the investment, “Our decision to invest in the EBRD bond reflects our longstanding view that investing sustainably is the key to delivering returns to our members over horizons in the order of 40 years or more.”

Around $3.7 billion – or just over half – of LGS’s total assets are in responsible investment strategies across Australian and international equities, property, absolute return, private equity and sovereign bonds.

Local Government Super’s sustainable property strength was confirmed with a Green Star rating from the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB), released this month. LGS was ranked 36th out of over 500 property funds globally.

Its ‘Highly Commended’ rating in the Green Globe Awards for its Marketplace Leichhardt Energy Management represents recognition from the leading environmental awards in New South Wales, acknowledging the achievements of business, government, community and individuals.

Mr Lambert said, “The results of this year’s GRESB survey show that Australia and New Zealand lead the world in sustainability in the real estate sector. We are proud that other local players see the same value that LGS does in improving and promoting sustainable practices in this vital area.”

Mr Lambert went on to emphasise that LGS is supportive of the recent ASX guidelines on ESG disclosure requirements.

“This is another positive development that once again demonstrates increasing understanding in the broader investment community that the key to long term investment success is to ensure that whatever we invest in – be it companies, properties or any other asset – is going to go the distance. For that reason we welcome the stronger reporting of ESG risks proposed in these guidelines.

“We’ve been working steadily to build a more sustainable investment portfolio for over 10 years and to see our initiatives being recognised on a global and local scale is a real honour. Speaking for a Board that has made a massive commitment to securing sustainable returns for our members, it’s been a very satisfying month. And our members can look forward to more to come.”

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