Keeping companies responsible

We believe that investing in companies that are well run and responsible is critical to protecting the value of your investments and achieving investment objectives.

We are active in supporting good business practices in companies and other investments. And we advocate for change where we think that a business could be run more responsibly.

There are two key ways we take an active role on behalf of our members:

  1. share voting
  2. engagement with companies, regulators and governments. 

Read our Active Ownership Policy to find out more about our approach to keeping the companies you invest in responsible.

SHARE VOTING

We use voting to send a message to companies on:

  • independence and diversity of boards
  • executive pay
  • voting rights of shareholders
  • appointment of auditors
  • conflicts of interest
  • take-overs and acquisitions. 
  • transparency on environmental and social issues.

We aim to vote all of the shares we hold, subject to legal requirements (there are some situations where there are legal barriers to share voting).

Australian Shares

For Australian shares, voting is decided by us, taking into account the advice of our fund managers and also the advice of our corporate governance adviser - the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) for ASX 300 companies and CGI Glass Lewis for ASX300 plus companies.  We publish our share voting every 6 months.  

 

Reporting period Voting summary and analysis Detailed voting record
1 Jan to 30 Jun 2019 Share voting report Share voting record
1 Jul to 31 Dec 2018 Share voting report Share voting record
1 Jan to 30 Jun 2018 Share voting report Share voting record
1 Jul to 31 Dec 2017 Share voting report Share voting record
1 Jan to 30 Jun 2017 Share voting report Share voting record
1 Jul to 31 Dec 2016 Share voting report Share voting record
1 Jan to 30 Jun 2016 Share voting report Share voting record
1 Jul to 31 Dec 2015 Share voting report Share voting record
1 Jan to 30 Jun 2015  Share voting report Share voting record
1 Jul to 31 Dec 2014 Share voting report Share voting record
1 Jan to 30 Jun 2014 Share voting report Share voting record
1 Jul to 31 Dec 2013 Share voting report Share voting record
1 Jan to 30 Jun 2013  Share voting report  n/a
1 Jul to 31 Dec 2012 Share voting report  n/a
1 Jan to 30 Jun 2012  Share voting report  n/a
1 Jul to 31 Dec 2011 Share voting report  n/a
1 Jan to 30 Jun 2011 Share voting report  n/a

 

International Shares

For international shares the process is different.  We hold shares (on behalf of members) in around 2,500 companies outside of Australia and we aren't resourced to make voting decisions on all of these companies. 

To help us with this, we partner with Hermes Equity Ownership Services (Hermes EOS) to vote shares and to undertake company engagement on our behalf. We vote according to Hermes’ share voting policy. We give Hermes input on this policy and we reserve the right to override any voting decision made by Hermes EOS. 

 

Reporting period Voting summary and analysis Detailed voting record Engagement Summary
1 Jan to 30 Jun 2018 HERMES share voting report Share voting record Engagement report
1 Jul to 31 Dec 2017 HERMES share voting report Share voting record Engagement report
1 Jan to 30 Jun 2017 HERMES share voting report Share voting record Engagement report
1 Jul to 31 Dec 2016  HERMES share voting report Share voting record Engagement report
1 Jan to 30 Jun 2016 HERMES share voting report Share voting record Engagement report
1 Jul to 31 Dec 2015    HERMES share voting report Share voting record Engagement report
1 Jan to 30 Jun 2015 HERMES share voting report Share voting record Engagement report
1 Jul to 31 Dec 2014 HERMES share voting report Share voting record  n/a
1 Jan to 30 Jun 2014 HERMES share voting report Share voting record  n/a
1 Jul to 31 Dec 2013 HERMES share voting report Share voting record  n/a
1 Jan to 30 Jun 2013  HERMES share voting report  n/a
 n/a
1 Jul to 31 Dec 2012 HERMES share voting report  n/a
 n/a
1 Jan to 30 Jun 2012  HERMES share voting report  n/a
 n/a
1 Jul to 31 Dec2011 HERMES share voting report  n/a
 n/a
1 Jan to 30 Jun 2011 HERMES share voting report  n/a
 n/a

For more information on Hermes EOS including voting and engagement policies visit Hermes Investment Management.

 

GENERATING CHANGE IN COMPANIES THROUGH ENGAGEMENT

Engagement is the process through which we use our influence as an owner to encourage companies in which we invest to improve their management of environmental, social or corporate governance issues.

Examples of engagement would be encouraging a company to raise their labour standards for their workers or supply chain, or requesting an oil and gas company to disclose how climate change risks might impact their business model. We are very active with our engagement program, both in Australia and overseas.

HESTA's Engagement providers:

 

AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL OF SUPERANNUATION INVESTORS (ACSI)

HESTA is a founding member of ACSI, which provides a collective voice on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues on behalf of Australian and international asset owner members. 

ACSI is our proxy advisor and engagement provider for Australian-listed companies and also conducts policy advocacy and research on ESG issues.

 

REGNAN

Regnan is an ESG research and engagement provider that focusses on the long term performance of companies through identifying ESG risks and opportunities. It provides us with engagement with Australian-listed companies.

 

HERMES EOS

Hermes EOS aims to protect the value of financial assets by engaging with companies on long term ESG risks. It provides proxy voting, ESG engagement and public policy advocacy services across our International equities investments.[SA2]

As well as the engagement conducted by our Engagement providers and External managers, we have joined the following initiatives to support broader improvement in corporate practices:

 

SHAREACTION WORKFORCE DISCLOSURE INITIATIVE (WDI)

WDI is an organisation focusing in improving transparency in how the largest 500 global companies manage workers. The ultimate goal is to improve the quality of jobs in companies’ operations and supply chains. 

 

30% CLUB

The 30% Club (Australian Chapter) focuses in encouraging Australian listed companies to improve the level of gender diversity in their boards of directors.

 

CLIMATE ACTION 100+ 

HESTA has joined this investor-led five-year engagement program with more than 100 of the world’s largest listed corporate greenhouse gas emitters. It aims to reduce emissions, strengthen climate-related financial disclosures and improve governance on climate change risks.

 

HOW WE ADVOCATE FOR BETTER PUBLIC POLICY

Being an active owner also means that we seek opportunities to influence laws, regulations, standards or guidelines established by government or regulators to protect or increase the long-term economic value of individual companies or the market as a whole.

An example of our advocacy activities is encouraging the Australian government to establish a Modern Slavery Act or encouraging the G7 governments to take action to achieve the goals set in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change in 2015.  

HESTA has Australian and international partners that support our advocacy:

 

PRI

The PRI’s aim is a sustainable global financial system that supports long-term, responsible investment. It conducts advocacy with the investment industry, regulators and governments to address obstacles to sustainable finance that lie within market practices, structures and regulation.

 

INVESTOR GROUP ON CLIMATE CHANGE (IGCC)

The IGCC is a collaboration of Australian and New Zealand institutional investors focussing on the impact that climate change has on the financial value of investments. 

The IGCC aims to encourage government policies and investment practices that address the risks and opportunities of climate change for the ultimate benefit of superannuation members.

HESTA was a founding member of IGCC and maintains active involvement in the organisation.

 

INTERNATIONAL CORPORATE GOVERNANCE NETWORK (ICGN)

HESTA is a member of ICGN, a global membership organisation of institutional investors based in 50 countries with a mission to raise standards of corporate governance worldwide. 

 

ASIAN CORPORATE GOVERNANCE ASSOCIATION (ACGA)

HESTA is a member of ACGA, an independent, non-profit membership organisation dedicated to working with investors, companies and regulators in the implementation of effective corporate governance practices throughout Asia.