Australian share investments and disclosure

Company classifications are determined as per the methodology for the Out of Line, Out of Line study.

‘Fine’ is the percentage of a super fund option’s ASX 300 equities* investments that we know to be invested in companies that have demonstrated alignment with the Paris climate goals, or whose operations are not overtly inconsistent with the Paris climate goals.

‘Work to do’ is the percentage of a super fund option’s ASX 300 equities investments that we know to be invested in companies that need to demonstrate alignment with the Paris climate goals.

‘Borderline’ is the percentage of a super fund option’s ASX 300 equities investments that we know to be invested in companies that need to demonstrate alignment with the Paris climate goals, and are directly exposed to the fossil fuel sector.

‘Out of line’ is the percentage of a super fund option’s ASX 300 equities investments that we know to be invested in companies that are actively undermining the climate goals of the Paris Agreement.

‘Not disclosed’ is the percentage of a super fund option’s ASX 300 equities investments that is not disclosed to members.

*ASX 300 equities = shares in companies listed in the top 300 (by market capitalisation) on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Exposure calculations

This analysis considers only the disclosed ASX 300 shareholdings of a fund’s option, as well as the undisclosed portion of Australian shareholdings. More specifically:
  • The ‘undisclosed’ portion (%) represents the relative value of an option’s Australian shareholdings which are not disclosed.
  • The portions (%) assigned to all other categories (‘fine’, ‘borderline’ and ‘out of line’) represent the (estimated or actual, see below) relative value of an option’s disclosed ASX 300 shareholdings. ASX 300 shareholdings are defined as those companies listed in the S&P/ASX 300 list (as at 16 January 2020, sourced from Thomson Reuters Eikon)
  • Where the value of an ASX 300 shareholding as a proportion of the option’s overall Australian shareholdings was undisclosed or otherwise unable to be derived or obtained, the holding’s ASX300 weight (%) as at 16 January 2020 was assigned. In other words, under these circumstances the value was estimated.
  • Where (1) the value of an option’s disclosed ASX 300 shareholdings relative to all Australian shareholdings (%) was less than (2) the value of disclosed Australian shareholdings relative to all Australian shareholdings (%) , the former (1) was proportionately increased so as to equal the latter (2).

Example

Option A disclosed 90% of Australian shareholdings with corresponding weights for each holding (% of Australian shareholdings). Option A’s disclosed ASX 300 shareholdings represent 80% of its Australian share value and 30% are ‘fine’, 40% are ‘borderline’ and 10% are ‘out of line’. The option’s shareholdings would be displayed as follows:

  • Undisclosed: 10%
  • Fine: 30% / (80/90) = 33.75%
  • Borderline: 40% / (80/90) = 45%
  • Out of line: 10% / (80/90) = 11.25%
  • Total: 100%

Exclusions

Methodology:

  • None = No explicit fossil fuel exclusions
  • Minimal = Explicitly excludes investments in companies involved in some coal, oil or gas, but allows investments in the majority of fossil fuel companies
  • Some = Explicitly excludes investments in companies with material exposure to most coal, oil and gas activities
  • Comprehensive = Explicitly excludes investments in all companies with exposure to any coal, oil and gas activities

See each option’s page for details of specific exclusions.

Calling for Paris-alignment

Funds must demonstrate that they are calling on specific companies to align their business strategies with the climate goals set out in the Paris Agreement. These calls must be made publicly, along with consequences for a company’s failure to comply. One obvious way to do this is to vote in favour of shareholder resolutions calling on companies to align with the Paris climate goals.

Many shareholder resolutions calling on companies to align their business strategies with the Paris climate goals have been lodged in Australian since 2018, including: Whitehaven Coal, QBE, Rio Tinto, Suncorp, IAG, AGL, Origin, ANZ, NAB and Westpac.

Climate Voting Record

The percentage of disclosed votes on climate-related shareholder resolutions that have been cast in favour of positive climate action since 2017. Data has been collated from Market Forces’ Voting Against Climate Action study and ACCR’s 2020 Preliminary Vote Like You Mean It report.

Scenario Analysis

Scenario analysis is an important tool for funds to measure their exposure to climate change risk under different climate action scenarios, including ones in which the goals of the Paris Agreement are met. Funds should conduct and disclose detailed scenario analysis, providing quantified estimates of value at risk to their portfolios under different climate change scenarios, including one in which warming is held to 1.5°C.

Methodology:

  • None = No publicly disclosed climate change scenario analysis
  • Limited = Disclosure that provides some description of the exposure to climate risk a fund faces under different scenarios, but without quantitative information that allows the public to assess the extent of risk faced
  • Partial = Disclosure of scenario analysis that considers a range of scenarios (including a 1.5°C scenario), provides quantitative data, but does not cover all fund holdings
  • Detailed = disclosure of scenario analysis that considers a range of scenarios (including a 1.5°C scenario), provides quantitative data, and covers the fund’s holdings comprehensively

DISCLAIMER

The information provided by Market Forces does not constitute financial advice. The information is presented in order to inform people motivated by environmental concerns and take actions based on those concerns. Market Forces is organising data for environmental ends.

The information and actions provided by Market Forces do not account for any individual’s personal objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be used, relied upon, or treated as a substitute for specific professional advice.

Market Forces recommends all users obtain their own independent professional advice before making any decision relating to their particular requirements or circumstances. Switching super funds may have unintended financial consequences.

For more information about Market Forces, please visit the about page of the site. To see how we profile super funds go to the methodology page.