We use our expertise and influence to deliver strong long-term returns while accelerating our contribution to a more sustainable world.
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Superannuation is a long-term strategy, and HESTA has a history of delivering strong long-term returns for members.
Our investment performance has been highly ranked across the industry. For HESTA super members, Balanced Growth, Conservative, Sustainable Growth and High Growth have all been ranked in the top 10 for investment performance against their respective peers over 10 years to 30 June 2023.*
And we've been awarded the 20-year platinum performance rating from SuperRatings — the highest rating possible.*
Take a look at the latest performance for all the HESTA super investment options.
Investments may go up or down. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.
*Balanced Growth, Conservative and High Growth option rankings in the respective SuperRatings Accumulation Fund Crediting Rate Surveys June 2023. Sustainable Growth ranking in the SuperRatings Sustainable Fund Crediting Rate Survey June 2023. Product ratings are only one factor to be considered when making a decision. Visit SuperRatings for important information about this rating.
We believe that members' best financial interests are served by having a deep commitment to responsible investing.
Responsible investment is an approach to investing that incorporates the consideration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks and opportunities into investment decision making and active ownership, to deliver strong long-term returns.
Read our Responsible Investment Policy (pdf), which outlines the principles and commitments that direct our approach to responsible investment.
HESTA is recognised as a Responsible Investment Leader 2022 by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA). This acknowledges our commitment to responsible investing; our explicit consideration of environmental, social and governance factors in investment decision making, our strong and collaborative stewardship; and our transparency in reporting activity, including the societal and environmental outcomes being achieved.
We integrate responsible investment factors throughout our investment process to enable a better understanding and management of risks and opportunities, and to deliver strong long-term returns for our members. We seek to partner with organisations who demonstrate alignment with our values, culture, purpose and investment beliefs, including our commitment to responsible investment.
Our approach to responsible investment is underpinned by industry codes and frameworks including:
As a large and diversified asset owner, the financial performance of our portfolio is supported by a strong and stable market and influenced by systemic risks. Factors such as gender equality, decent work, and good health and wellbeing support strong market fundamentals including economic growth that drive member investment returns, while systemic risks such as climate change and biodiversity loss have the potential to undermine these.
System level issues cannot be mitigated through diversification or divestment. We endorse the ambitions of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals ('SDGs') as an ambitious framework to address systemic risks and identify areas of opportunity.
Our resourcing prioritises a number of SDGs:
We aspire to contribute to outcomes aligned with the aims of these priority SDGs through our capital allocation and active ownership. HESTA has more than $11 billion invested across the total portfolio in alignment with the priority and broader SDGs (at 30 June 2023).
Learn more about the Sustainable Development Investments taxonomy in our Annual Report (pdf).
Active ownership is the process by which HESTA seeks to leverage its rights as a shareholder or lender to influence management of responsible investment factors that can impact long-term returns at both the company and market level.
As a long-term investor that expects to own an asset for a number of years, we see active ownership as especially important in serving the interests of our members.
We do it through:
This involves a constructive communication with companies to help us better understand their business model and influence their performance and practices. Engagement with portfolio companies is undertaken directly by HESTA through collaborative initiatives and indirectly through specialist service providers and our external investment managers.
HESTA believes in the power of collective action for tackling systemic issues, as collaborating often enables us to amplify our voice and drive action while using our resources efficiently. By combining these different approaches to engagement, we're able to achieve both breadth in terms of the number of companies covered by our engagement program as well as depth by focusing our direct engagement on those issues or holdings that are most material.
We partner with the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) for engagement with Australian companies and with Federated Hermes EOS for international companies. Read more about engagement through our partners:
We provide regular input into and monitoring of annual engagement plans and receive regular reports on upcoming engagements, recent engagements undertaken and any improvements to company activities that have occurred as a result of engagement activities.
In the case of ACSI, members of our team are represented on both the ACSI Board and Member Council. We may also attend and participate in service provider-led engagements.
Where we consider that companies have failed to demonstrate adequate change, resulting in significant responsible investment risks remaining, we can use our engagement escalation framework. Escalation can include use of either one or a combination of escalation tools such as a ‘watchlist’, votes against ‘Say on Climate’ resolutions, Director re-elections, support or filing of shareholder resolutions and/or consideration of divestment where we consider that progress has been insufficient to address the risks, and where we consider this to be in the best financial interests of our members. The escalation framework is responsive to engagement/new information and may not be sequential.
This involves exercising our voting rights in both listed and unlisted markets as a key element of our active ownership approach. It is an important link in the chain of accountability between a company and its shareholders.
Read about our voting activity:
As a large superannuation fund, we seek to influence meaningful change on responsible investment issues. We use our voice to address systemic issues that are at odds with maintaining and building stable financial markets and generating strong long-term performance. This may involve seeking change to laws, regulations, standards or guidelines that we believe will deliver better financial outcomes for our members.
Read more about how we advocate for change.
We believe in the power of collective action for tackling systemic issues as collaborating enables us to amplify our voice and drive action. We work with a variety of stakeholders to undertake research on responsible investment issues, develop solutions to responsible investment challenges and to encourage companies and governments to improve their governance arrangements, risk management and disclosure on systemic risks.
|Principles for Responsible Investment||Responsible Investment Association Australasia||Australian Council of Superannuation Investors|
|30% Club||Paris Aligned Investment Initiative||Investor Group on Climate Change|
|Climate Action 100+||Transition Pathway Initiative||GRESB - Real Estate and Infrastructure|
|Carbon Disclosure Project||Australian Sustainable Finance Institute||Better Futures Australia|
|International Corporate Governance Network||Asian Corporate Governance Association||Investors Against Slavery and Trafficking|
|Nature Action 100|
HESTA has been a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) since 2006. The PRI principles establish an international framework for institutional investors to integrate ESG considerations into their investment decision-making and active ownership. HESTA was recognised through the PRI Leaders Group 2019 for its breadth of responsible investment excellence and specifically, selection, appointment and monitoring of external investment managers.
Each year, the PRI surveys signatories on their responsible investment practices. The reported information is published through public transparency reports and assessed by the PRI.
You can read our PRI Transparency and Assessment Reports below:
We’re proud to have been a signatory to the Australian Asset Owner Stewardship Code since its foundation in 2018. As a signatory, we’ve developed a Stewardship Statement (pdf) to explain how we apply the Principles of the Code.
We use our deep understanding of our members to design information, tools and support to make a meaningful impact on their confidence about the future.