Bold action required to achieve a sustainable future: First State Super


Deanne Stewart

First State Super is one of 30 global businesses to have joined a United Nations-backed Alliance, who will work together over the next two years to support the delivery of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Speaking from New York at the launch of the Global Investors for Sustainable Development (GISD) Alliance, First State Super CEO Deanne Stewart said achieving the Agenda for Sustainable Development would require a bold and committed response from the public and private sector.

The 2030 Agenda, adopted by all UN Member States including Australia, is made up of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which set out a future underpinned by sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

First State Super is the only Australian organisation on the GISD Alliance, and Ms Stewart said it was critical organisations like hers were planning for a sustainable future.
‘As a long-term retirement provider, First State Super has a duty to manage the risks and opportunities associated with our investments and our members’ retirement savings in the long term,’ Ms Stewart said. ‘We have to protect and enhance the retirement savings of members who are at the end of their career, and also those who are just entering the workforce and may live beyond the turn of the century. In both cases, our members want their savings to support a long and happy retirement.

‘Considering and supporting long-term sustainability and value creation is critical to our ability to deliver on our purpose and support our members, no matter where they are on their life journey.

‘We know that future economic growth and prosperity will be delivered by those organisations who use their resources sustainably; treat their employees, customers and suppliers fairly and ethically; and have strong governance and culture; consistent with the SDGs.

‘Taking bold and decisive action now to deliver on the SDGs is critical to achieving long-term sustainable economic growth.’

The GISD Alliance has a two-year mandate to work together to consider ways to free up private capital to support the delivery of the SDGs.

Ms Stewart said First State Super had identified a number of focus areas aligned with the SDGs and made capital commitments in support of these. Its involvement in the GISD Alliance was a further opportunity to collaborate with other organisations globally to achieve real change.

‘The private sector has a pivotal role to play in achieving a sustainable future, in addition to considerable financing expected to come from public sources,’ Ms Stewart said. ‘The short two-year mandate for the GISD Alliance requires us to focus on clear targets and actions which will influence real change and deliver a genuinely sustainable future.

‘This is consistent with our purpose of delivering the best possible retirement outcomes for our members and being a force for good in the communities where they live, work and retire.

‘We have made a great start, and I look forward to seeing where our efforts take us over the next two years.’

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