How to have greater power to put your money where your values lie
In the middle of June this year, ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission) found that a majority of superannuation funds weren’t as environmentally friendly as they had claimed to be and accused them of ‘greenwashing’. It has been found that eight out of eleven supposedly “sustainable” investment options were not good as they claimed to be, as stated by Brett Morgan from Market Forces on ABC Mornings with Virginia Trioli.
According to ASIC, ‘greenwashing’ is ‘the practice of misrepresenting the extent to which a financial product or investment strategy is environmentally friendly, sustainable or ethical.’
The review, which looked at a sample of superannuation and investment products, recognised a few areas to improve in. From its review, ASIC has issued the below guidelines on greenwashing:
- Use clear labels
- Define the sustainability terminology they being used
- Clearly explain how sustainability considerations are factored into investment strategy
But how do we know that our superannuation fund is investing our money in the right places?
One way is to go to ASIC directly for independent financial advice. A good example of where not to go is looking for a popular ‘finfluencer’ (financial influencer) online, where it may not be clear where these people come from, what their credentials are, and why they’re giving free advice.
There is a large number of superannuation funds that are responsible with their money and put it towards sustainable and environmental causes. Research has found that CareSuper, UniSuper, Hostplus, Aware Super, Australian Ethical Super and Vision Super, alongside many others, are amongst the most ethically responsible super funds.
Doing your own research by looking at a variety of superannuation funds and independent studies done on where they spend your money, is the best way to find out which super fund is best for you. Many of these funds give you the option to choose where your money is directly invested, allowing you greater power to put your money where your values lie.
So double check on your super fund to see where it puts your investments, and ensure that your money is going to sustainable causes.
By Sarah Panther