Investing with impact to make the world a better place

As one of the world’s largest funds, we’re a universal owner, meaning we recognise our responsibility to consider the impacts of our investments. We developed our Impact Portfolio recognising that where we allocate capital can make a difference and to ensure a stronger, proactive manifestation of all three components of Universal Ownership. Below we highlight some of the investments we have made on your behalf into our impact portfolio.

How we make an impact

We’ve partnered with the NSW government and ROC Partners to implement the $150 million GO NSW Equity Fund. The fund will provide expansionary capital to high-growth and high-potential small to medium-sized enterprises based in NSW that have reached the stage where they wish to expand. The fund will also focus on companies that demonstrate positive socio-economic benefits such as job creation, regional growth or building intellectual property. Target industry sectors include food and agribusiness, tourism, smart cities infrastructure and advanced manufacturing.

Renewables

Climate change is a risk factor which can result in direct and indirect impact to  our members’ financial returns. As a result, we also seek to actively invest in renewables. Our portfolio now includes solar in the Philippines and wind and hydro in India, as well as renewable projects through South America.

Venture capital

It’s still early days for self-drive car technology, but things are moving quickly. Zoox is a robotics start-up based in California. While it is a smaller player in the self-drive market compared to the likes of Apple, Google and General Motors, Zoox is still valued north of $US1.5 billion. Zoox is aiming to provide a fully autonomous taxi service, similar to Uber but with no driver or steering wheel, by 2020. Supporters of driverless cars say they will make roads safer by cutting down on accidents caused by distracted drivers or other human errors, as well as reducing traffic pollution.

Zoox was founded by Melbourne creative entrepreneur, Tim Kentley-Klay and American engineer, Jesse Levinson.

Social infrastructure

These types of investments tie directly to the provision of social services, like healthcare, transport or education. The International Convention Centre (ICC) in Sydney opened in December 2017, with First State Super being part of a  consortium that developed the new $1.5 billion precinct.

The ICC has received global recognition for its sustainability credentials in 2017. The internationally recognised LEED Gold Award cited some impressive sustainability achievements, including the reuse of 100,000 cubic metres of concrete from the original site, the use of 96% recycled steel in the exhibition halls, and Australia’s largest electric car charging station.

The ICC houses one of Australia’s largest solar arrays within a central business district – powering the equivalent of more than 100 homes every year. Infrastructure Partnerships Australia voted the ICC Best Infrastructure Project, attributing the award to excellent design, prudent construction and outstanding financial performance, all while delivering the nation a new and emblematic piece of tourism infrastructure.

Retirement living

Housing is one of the biggest costs of living and we are focused on finding investments to contribute to making it more affordable. An example is our investment in Oak Tree, a centre designed to facilitate affordable aged care living, with a focus on independence and quality of life.