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Go green with your super to save the world


“‘Green Super’ could halve Australia’s entire household carbon footprint,” is the message Australian Ethical (ASX:AEF) and federal MP Zali Steggall OAM are trying to push across to Australians. New calculations conducted by the fund manager contend that Australians have an “unprecedented opportunity to address climate change” through their super savings.

  • For example, the average Australian isn’t aware that their superannuation fund has the power to make such a positive effect on the world.

    In reality, super is the largest sum of savings an Australian will have at any given point. With the average Australian super balance ranging between $24,000 (25 years old) and $523,000 (65 years old), if every Australia used their balance to invest into a climate-friendly fund, it would collectively result in a carbon footprint reduction that is equal to half the household emissions across all of Australia.

    And so, fund manager Australian Ethical has joined forces with ex-Olympic gold medallist Zali Steggall OAM – the architect of the recently shot-down Climate Change Bill – in urging Australians to open their eyes to the power of their super when considering how they can personally help to address climate change.

    According to the fund manager, “the difference between putting Australia’s $3 trillion pool of super into a climate-friendly fund, versus one that was not, was equivalent to a lower carbon footprint of around 78 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions (CO2e) per year, or the same as:

    • 4.6 million average Australian households (half the total number of households in Australia),
    • 16.9 million cars on the road (close to the total number of cars in Australia of 20 million),
    • 1 million tankers of petrol, or
    • 3.3 million garbage trucks of waste being recycled instead of going to landfill every year (the equivalent of 3 tonnes of waste per Australian household)”

    The fund manager says that not investing in carbon-producing companies “sends a strong signal and hurts their back pocket, which can drive a positive change in their behaviour, or even render them unviable if they continue to pollute at the same levels. This could turbocharge the impact of other efforts, such as recycling, saying no to plastic, or reducing meat consumption.”

    John McMurdo, CEO of Australian Ethical, said: “It’s an alarming truth that many – if not most – Australians don’t actually know what their super funds are invested in. This means that your money could be supporting companies that completely undermine your values, like those related to climate change. Opening your eyes to where your money is being invested and making a change could be the fastest and most impactful thing every Australian can do, right now, to help solve the climate crisis.”

    One of the added bonuses from investing in Australian Ethical funds is that it doesn’t “require making any personal or financial sacrifices. Ethical funds can also be some of Australia’s best performing.”

    Steggall, the Federal Member for Warringah, said: “As a component of Warringah’s Roadmap to Zero, an initiative of my office, I encourage my constituents to consider which super fund they are with and look at all available options to make the shift. There is no doubt that if they and other Australians moved their money, we could have a tremendous impact on when we reach net-zero-emissions.”

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