HESTA has signed a world-first Investor Statement on Tobacco, encouraging other investors to acknowledge this global issue and as a show of support for tobacco-control measures taken by governments around the world.
HESTA has a portfolio-wide exclusion on companies that manufacture cigarettes and tobacco products and is among the first Australian superannuation funds to sign the Investor Statement.
HESTA CEO, Debby Blakey said as the industry super fund dedicated to those working in Health and Community services sector, HESTA had an important role in raising awareness of the negative impacts of tobacco and in encouraging other investors to examine their exposure to tobacco.
“Many of our members work in hospitals and health settings across Australia, where tobacco related illness clearly increases pressure on service availability and to the health system overall. It’s vitally important that we raise awareness of this issue.
“We’re committed to responsibly investing our member’s super savings by being a careful long-term steward of their investments. Our portfolio-wide exclusion on tobacco and signing this Investor Statement reflects our ongoing commitment to ensuring that we’re making a positive impact on the world our members will retire into,” Ms Blakey said.
Coinciding with World No Tobacco Day, the statement is supported by the United Nations backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) who will release a list of signatories today.
The PRI is the world’s leading investor proponent of responsible investing, with the combined assets of members representing more than US$62 trillion.
Implemented in 2013, HESTA’s tobacco portfolio-wide exclusion applies to all its investment options and the Fund has committed to having minimal exposure to tobacco manufacturers through collective investment vehicles.