LGS wins SuperRatings Infinity Awards

Local Government Super has been named the Infinity Award winner for 2011 by independent super research company SuperRatings, reinforcing its position as the leader in sustainable behaviour in the superannuation industry.

The Award was presented at the Conference of Major Super Funds last week.

The Infinity Award recognises the super fund that is leading the industry in the pursuit of genuine responsible investment principles and open communication of these processes to its members. SuperRatings assesses Infinity Award candidates based on three fixed criteria - investment, engagement and behaviour.

Bill Hartnett is the Sustainability Manager at LGS. He said he was pleased the Fund’s internal culture and sustainable and responsible investment practices are being recognised.

"LGSS has a strong and long-standing commitment to sustainability, which is guided by the vision of our Board of Trustees and the management team. Winning the Infinity Award recognises that our approach is industry best practice.”

LGS has approximately $3.1 billion invested in responsible investment strategies.

This is the most recent recognition of what has been a long-standing commitment to investing responsibly. LGS was awarded Sustainable Super Fund of the Year in 2010 at the Australian Sustainability Awards and earlier in the year was rated Australia's leading superannuation fund for managing the investment risks posed by climate change in the Asset Owners’ Disclosure Project on climate change - a joint initiative between the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees and The Climate Institute.

The 2011 results for the current Asset Owners’ Disclosure Project will be announced in the next few weeks and hopes at LGS are high.

If you would like more details about what the LGS does to deserve this Award, you should check out the new, exciting and fabulously attractive new website and if you'd like to hear more from Bill about what responsible investment is, check this webcast out.

As a historical note, LGS separated from First State and State Super from 1 July 1997 and almost immediately started looking at whether it was necessary to invest in companies which did bad things. The Board resolved in 1999 to never again own tobacco shares (a product which even when even used in accordance with the manufacturer's directions can kill the user and also sometimes those they live or work with who they smoke over). This decision followed advice from the Fund’s external Asset Consultant that LGS could safely not own tobacco stock with no ill effect.

Later, in 2002, the Fund started implementing a process with its Australian shares that allowed it to effectively not hold shares of companies with poor environmental practices, or primarily involved in gambling, uranium mining or processing etc. As this is a separate process, LGS can show that adding this additional level of risk to the analysis of the companies it owns, has made money.

And as a final aside, post Fukushima is a good time to not be owning uranium shares. If the reactor melts down we’ll all be Fukushima-ed.

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