REST's Approach to Sustainable Investing


REST believes that investment managers that identify and effectively manage risks, including sustainability risks, are likely to produce super long-term financial performance.

 

In looking after members’ retirement savings, REST’s primary objective is to deliver real returns for members, to act impartially for all members and to act in the members’ best interests. This is both a legal requirement and what we think is right given our trustee responsibilities.

We believe that investing is fundamentally about understanding and managing uncertainty and risk. In investing, there is a wide number of risks, including economic risks such as interest rates, exchange rates, inflation and the fortunes of individual investee companies, to name a few. 
 
Long term investment returns will also be impacted by broader sustainability factors including the impact of environmental, social and governance issues (ESG), and changes in regulation and political outcomes and technological advancements.  It may also include the use of excessive gearing in companies or investment structures as was experienced during the Global Financial Crisis (GFC).
 
ESG factors are very important because the long term value of investments and the returns from them can rise or fall materially with changes in social attitudes and standards of what is considered acceptable, or changes in the environment, or changes in political structures and policies.  Understanding these trends and the impact that these trends might have on particular investments is a fundamental part of investing.

ESG issues are important to us because they represent risks that could influence the performance of our investments over the long term.
 
From our experience, prudent investing involves looking at all the factors that determine the sustainability of an investment. This involves considering ESG related risks in a balanced manner with other investment risks. Therefore, we do not include or exclude an investment solely on a single risk or issue in isolation but seek to balance each risk against the probable benefit of holding an investment.
 
We also actively seek to manage these risks, and seek to improve sustainable returns, through direct engagement with relevant stakeholders such as our investment managers and advisers. This is in line with our primary objective to deliver the best returns for members taking into account all relevant risks.

We appoint investment managers who are experts in their fields to actively manage investments on your behalf. Before appointing an investment manager, we conduct extensive due diligence to assess their ability to invest sustainably and meet set investment objectives.
 
We require our investment managers to consider the full range of relevant factors, including ESG related risks, in their investment decisions. In addition, we ensure that sustainability issues are considered by our investment managers in the context of long term investment performance when exercising voting rights and participating in all aspects of our investment.

REST believes that exercising our voting rights and being an active owner is a practical way for us to influence how ESG risks and other risks are considered and managed.
 
We also believe that having a “seat at the table” with investees and constructively engaging with them is an effective way of aligning their focus on our members’ financial interests.
 
REST actively engages with its investment managers, advisers, peers or relevant industry bodies to ensure that sustainability issues are properly factored into our investment process. We may also engage with investee companies where it is appropriate or with our investment managers and relevant industry bodies, to understand and improve the management of specific sustainability issues.

REST's Investment Beliefs

The central tenet of REST’s investment philosophy is the active management of our investments in order to meet the investment return objectives of each of the investment options. REST’s investment philosophy and approach is guided by eight core investment beliefs.

SEE BELIEFS

REST’s Voting and Proxy Policy

Our Voting and Proxy Policy sets out how our voting and proxy rights, with respect to our investments, are managed. The guiding principle of our approach is that voting rights should be exercised and proxy votes should be cast in a manner that seeks to improve the long term investment performance of our investments.  

SEE VOTING AND PROXY POLICY

SEE PROXY VOTING BEHAVIOURS

Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI)

REST is a member of ACSI, an organisation that collaborates with Australian and international asset owners, bound together by their common interests as long-term investors in the capital markets.
ACSI's research supports advocacy, engagement and voting programs and includes long-running annual projects, such as CEO Pay in ASX200 Companies and Sustainability Reporting Practices of the ASX200, as well as thematic research on specific material ESG issues

SEE REPORTS

This website is provided by Retail Employees Superannuation Pty Limited ABN 39 001 987 739, AFSL 24 0003, trustee of Retail Employees Superannuation Trust ABN 62 653 671 394, of which REST Super, REST Corporate, REST Select, REST Pension and Acumen are part. It contains general advice that has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the information or deciding whether to acquire or hold a product, consider its appropriateness and the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), which is available on this website.

Awards and ratings are only one factor to consider when deciding how to invest your super. Further information regarding these awards can be found at rest.com.au. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance. SuperRatings Pty Limited does not issue, sell, guarantee or underwrite this product. Go to www.superratings.com.au for details of its ratings criteria. For further information about the methodology used by Chant West, see www.chantwest.com.au