Aus funds’ ESG voting revealed

Only a minority of Australian superannuation funds disclose their voting records, and many have failed to back shareholder resolutions on ESG issues in their own country, whilst supporting them overseas. Those are a couple of the top-line messages from a new report from the Australian Council for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR).
According to the ACCR, just 11 of the 50 largest funds disclose a complete proxy voting record, including both Australian and international shares. And just three funds supported more than 75% of the shareholder proposals on ESG issues that they voted on globally in 2018: Local Government Super (91%), Vision Super (88%) and Cbus (77%). A further six funds supported more than 50% of the shareholder proposals on ESG issues that they voted on globally in 2018: AustralianSuper (63%), VicSuper (60%), UniSuper (59%), HESTA (56%), Mercer (52%) and Tasplan Super (50%).
Notably public sector funds – including Local Government Super, VicSuper and Vision Super were more likely than other types of funds to support shareholder proposals on ESG issues in 2018, and members of investor industry associations ACSI, IGCC, PRI and RIAA were more likely to support shareholder proposals on ESG issues in 2018 than non-members.
The ACCR also found an interesting geographic split, whilst five funds supported 50% or more of the shareholder proposals on ESG issues at Australian-listed companies that they voted on in 2018, ten funds supported 50% or more of the shareholder proposals on ESG issues at US-listed companies in the same year. Thirteen funds supported a significantly lower proportion of the shareholder proposals on ESG issues at Australian-listed companies than the proportion of proposals they supported at US-listed companies in 2018.

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *