Our approach to responsible investment
The trustee’s investment beliefs constitute the investment philosophy of the scheme and guide the investment of UniSaver’s assets. One of these beliefs is that responsible investment can reduce risk and impact returns positively.
Read more about our investment beliefs in our Statement of Investment Policy and Objectives.
Our policy includes not investing in companies involved in the manufacture of cluster munitions, anti-personnel mines, nuclear explosive devices and tobacco.
We have adopted a policy on responsible investment in line with our investment beliefs, and to avoid reputational risk for the scheme’s sponsors. Our policy is that we will:
- seek to avoid, where practical, investment in companies whose activities are materially contrary to the intent of New Zealand legislation – these activities currently include cluster munitions, anti-personnel mines, nuclear explosive devices and tobacco
- require our investment manager Russell Investments to be a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI)
- require the investment manager to incorporate environmental, social and governance considerations into its investment process, with the trustee receiving regular reporting on these considerations.
The trustee has deemed a fully ‘implemented’ investment model to be the most practicable and cost- effective way of executing desired investment objectives for the scheme. Under such a model, choice of investment vehicles is outsourced to the investment manager. The trustee acknowledges that it has little influence over the mandate of any particular investment vehicle, the individual securities it holds, or the voting decisions and engagement activities of the managers.
United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment
We require our investment manager Russell Investments to abide by the United Nations
Principles for Responsible Investment when making investment decisions on behalf of UniSaver.
Russell Investments manages the portfolio, selects the managers within each asset class and monitors investment
performance. Russell Investments is a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI). These are the six principles:
- We will incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes.
- We will be active owners and incorporate ESG issues into our ownership policies and practices.
- We will seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest.
- We will promote acceptance and implementation of the principles within the investment industry.
- We will work together to enhance our effectiveness in implementing the principles.
- We will each report on our activities and progress towards implementing the principles.
Read more about the UNPRI
Russell Investments’ approach and philosophy
Russell Investments was one of only 20% of firms to receive the highest possible overall score of A+ from the UNPRI.
The company believes that active ownership of investments is not just an obligation – it is part of the value creation process. Russell Investments has been voting at shareholder meetings for over 20 years, evolving its voting policies and practices alongside various developments in regulations and principles. All Russell Investments’ active ownership activities are based on two cornerstones:
- Protect and/or enhance shareholder value.
- Protect and/or enhance minority shareholder rights.
The company believes it is responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of company management and exerting influence on corporate governance, social and environmental practices through the exercise of proxy voting rights and engagement activities.
Read more about Russell Investments’ approach to responsible investing