We take the management of your hard-earned money going into your KiwiSaver funds very seriously. We want to ensure that we can generate consistently good investment returns on your funds, to help you reach your retirement or savings goal, and we also want to invest your money in companies committed to improving their sustainability practices.
So what does this mean? There are many words used by fund managers to describe how they manage money, so it is not doing harm to the environment, society or investors back pockets. Words such as responsible, ethical and sustainable. There are two main ways managers can implement their approach. One is to simply exclude the companies they believe are not responsible or sustainable and to leave them to continue on their merry way. The other is to engage with companies and influence them to bring about positive change.
At Milford, we want to be part of the solution. We are committed to creating a more sustainable future by actively engaging with the companies we invest your KiwiSaver (and all of our other funds) in to improve the sustainability of their practices. As providers of capital to businesses we believe we can make the biggest impact by driving companies to do better and challenging them on their environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance.
We analyse the ESG credentials of every company we invest your money in. As shareholders in these businesses, our detailed analysis allows us to have educated conversations on what the transition to a more sustainable future can and should look like, request increased transparency and help them to improve and do better. If a company won’t engage with us or is ignoring sustainability risks, we won’t invest your money in it.
Each year we release our Engagement Activity and Outcomes Report. This report summarises the three types of engagements we have with companies, being proactive engagements, reactive engagements and active proxy voting. Each of these activities keep boards and management accountable for good outcomes for their business and their shareholders.
You can see a copy of the 2022 report here which includes examples of how and why we have engaged with companies like Spark, Ryman Healthcare and Fletcher Building, to name a few. You can also learn more about our Sustainable Investing approach on our website here including our Sustainable Investment Statement
Of course, there are companies we simply will not invest in. You can see a full list of these companies on our Exclusions List.
We are also signatories to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investing and a member of the Responsible Investment Association of Australasia. In 2020, we were awarded an A rating* by UNPRI and recognised for strong engagement with policymakers and regulators.
Full details are available in Milford’s UNPRI Transparency Report.
As stewards of your hard-earned savings, we want to ensure we are playing our part to influence positive and sustainable outcomes from the companies we actively engage with and invest in. That way we all get to benefit.
*In 2020, Milford was awarded an A rating on four UNPRI modules including our overall Strategy and Governance and ESG Incorporation.