RIAA’s Responsible Investment Certification Program re-launches and welcomes its first ever Certification of whole superannuation funds

From
Simon O’Connor

Simon O’Connor

Responding to the surging consumer interest in responsible and ethical investments, RIAA has announced the re-launch of its Responsible Investment Certification Program – a tool designed to help consumers and financial advisers navigate towards the growing range of responsible investment options.

RIAA’s Certification Program has been in place for 10 years and in recent months was revised and strengthened with a focus on the internal governance, program requirements, criteria and verification processes.

“With the recent work we have done on the Certification Program, we are now very excited to be bringing this to market at a time when it couldn’t be more important to provide clear, verified and transparent information about the rapidly growing range of responsible investment products.” said RIAA CEO Simon O’Connor.

“A key objective of the Certification Program is to help the growing number of engaged consumers navigate more easily towards the range of responsible investment products and better understand the differences between them. This is about helping consumers be better informed before they make investment decisions.”

To coincide with announcing the re-launch, RIAA is also very pleased to be announcing the first ever Certification for whole superannuation funds that have met the rigorous requirements for integrating responsible investment.

RIAA congratulates three leading superannuation funds for meeting the demanding requirements to attain Certification:

  • Australian Ethical Super
  • Christian Super
  • Local Government Super

 

Australian Ethical CEO Phil Vernon said “A rapidly growing number of Australians are using their choice of super to advance both a sustainable future and their best financial interests. RIAA’s Certification Program helps investors make that important choice, and we value their recognition of Australian Ethical’s leadership in investing for people, the planet and our members.”

Tim Macready, CIO at Christian Super said “RIAA’s Responsible Investment Certification is a valuable recognition of the work that our Fund does to achieve good outcomes for members using ethical and sustainable decision making principles and processes. We are privileged to be able to manage our members’ money in accordance with Biblical principles so that their superannuation can change the world for the better ”

Local Government Super’s Chief Executive Officer, Peter Lambert, said “We are very pleased to receive this independent recognition of Local Government Super’s leadership in sustainable and responsible investing. It also endorses our commitment to superior environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance, and ethical investment management.”

To attain Certification across the entire superannuation fund, these funds demonstrated leading practices to integrate responsible investment across their entire fund, specifically: apply at least two responsible investment strategies across the fund; with at least 75% of the assets under management under clearly defined responsible investment strategies; disclose their full portfolio holdings; systematically apply other active ownership strategies including engagement and proxy voting; and actively contribute to advocating for more responsible financial markets.

“We congratulate these three superannuation funds for meeting what are very strict requirements, showing a deep commitment to applying a responsible investment approach across their entire fund.” said Mr O’Connor.

The RIAA Certification Program website[1] currently profiles more than 80 products from 30 investment organisations across equities funds, fixed interest funds, ETFs, banking products, private equity, property, impact investments as well as 20 Certified Financial Advisers.

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[1] www.responsibleinvestment.org/program-overview/

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