Financial Services Industry Awards
14 December 2007 at 2:42 pm
This year two new awards were introduced to recognise how the financial services industry was responding to the challenge of incorporating environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into the investment climate.
The Inaugural Sustainable Super Fund of the Year was awarded to VicSuper – a fund which has adopted sustainability as its ‘central operating principle.’ VicSuper demonstrated to the judges that it was the leading superannuation fund in terms of: integrating ESG factors into its investment process, awarding sustainable investment mandates, public support for sustainability and the degree to which it had demonstrated environmental and social responsibility in its own operations.
An award was also introduced to recognise the development on new research in Australia that is exploring the link between sustainability and investment factors.
From a strong field of nine nominees the Special Award for Sustainability research went to Nicholas Taylor and Scott Donald from the Russell Investment Group for their report Sustainable Investing: Marrying Sustainability Concerns with the Quest for Financial Return for Superannuation Trustees.
Released only in October, the judges felt this study was an insightful, well-constructed, nicely written and well-referenced literature review that could have single-handedly debunked any residual concerns around the merits of sustainable investment and could fundamentally change how Australian superannuation trustees now tackle this subject.