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Green investing gain strong support and momentum in Australia

Investment strategies that take climate change into account as a financial threat are becoming common practice for pension funds. According to the former head of Australian Cbus, David Atkin, the practice has become mainstream for pension funds.

At the recent UBS Australasia, Mr Atkin quoted research from the Investor Group on Climate Change which states that less than 10 % of investors consider climate change a fringe issue, according to a report by Financial Review.

In recent months a number of major funds have committed to reaching net net-zero emissions by 2050.

Joining a growing list of institutional investors and major companies aligning their operations to achieving zero emissions by 2050, are IFMUniSuperHESTA, AustralianSuper and REST reports Financial Review.

In a separate development, the property fund ISPT has become 100% carbon neutral. The certification is for the base building operations on all ISP-owned and operated properties, as well as their corporate offices.

ISPT manages a $19 billion portfolio that invests in and develops commercial, retail, logistics, warehousing and residential property in Australia.

In an industry first, ISPT has procured 100% Australian Carbon Credit Offset Units (ACCUs) with a focus on programs connected to Indigenous communities, states a company press release.

The ACCUs is an innovative tool to offset a company’s carbon footprint and is mainly applicable to programs that benefit Indigenous communities.

The fund has previously shown its commitment to the protection of the environment by using renewable energy on many of its properties, power purchase agreements, and energy efficiency measures.

“We’ve accomplished this carbon neutral pathway by managing climate risks in our portfolio and operations through energy efficiency, onsite renewables, offsite renewables through Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), and then by offsetting the remainder of emissions with ACCUs,’’ said Rosemary Hartnett, Chair of ISPT.

“ISPT doesn’t just invest in property – we seek to build better and more sustainable futures for our investors, customers and communities. Achieving carbon neutral status is testament to this commitment and 15 years of hard work and perseverance by ISPT’s team and board.’’

“At ISPT, we recognise our responsibility to anticipate and manage the impacts of climate change as part of our responsible investment approach,” Alicia Maynard, ISPT’s General Manager, Sustainability & Technical Services, said.

“This is why we have taken action now to achieve carbon neutrality across 100 per cent of our owned and operated properties where we have full operational control and, in doing so, will support positive environmental, social and economic outcomes for Australians.”

In another development, Social Energy, a UK rooftop solar energy and battery retailer launched an Australian concern recently. Social Energy connects its customers’ solar-generated energy to approved energy storage products and trade this energy, resulting in a saving of up to 70% for a household.

The green power retailer plans to gain customers by offering Australian households an attractive price for the electricity that their solar systems generate. Social Energy has undertaken to pay customers ‘’feed-in tariffs’’ of 40c per kilowatt-hour (kWh) – a much higher tariff offered elsewhere in Australia.

According to data from EnergyMadeEasy the average rate in New South Wales is 7.67c per kWh, South Australia 8.77c per kWh and, Queensland 7.01c per kWh).

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