$200 Million In 2 years: How Future Super Helped Thousand Of Aussies Divest Their Superannuation

Future Super was born in 2014 to solve a big problem.

At that time, every superannuation fund in Australia put its members’ life savings in the hands of the fossil fuel industry.

How Future Super Helped Thousand Of Aussies Divest Their Superannuation

Research revealed over 50% of retirement money was being invested in polluting activities, with only 2% in climate solutions like renewable energy. It’s particularly shocking when you consider Australians collectively have over $2 trillion in super.

Imagine the power of all of us moving our super money out of fossil fuels and into funding climate solutions. Superannuation is mandatory, but investing in fossil fuels shouldn’t be. Australians deserve a choice.

Future Super’s co-founders, Simon Sheikh and Adam Verwey, decided to do something about it. Simon had been the National Director of Australia’s leading progressive advocacy organisation, GetUp, and Adam had a decade of experience in ethical superannuation and investment. Together, they gathered a group of superannuation experts, climate campaigners, technologists, investment specialists and community organisers.

The guiding principle was simple. Fossil fuel companies pose too many risks from an environmental, social and financial perspective, and the transition to a clean energy future presents an unprecedented opportunity to benefit members, people and the planet.

Future Super’s team got busy designing an ethical, diversified portfolio that completely excludes fossil fuels. No coal, oil, gas or coal seam gas. No banks that finance fossil fuels. No companies that provide polluters with essential services. The portfolio had to be 100% fossil fuel free, because we can’t prevent climate change if we continue to invest in it.

By cutting out the climate polluters and other harmful industries (like tobacco, gambling, detention centres and live animal export, to name just a few) more could be invested in exceptional companies whose activities are making the world a better place.

In September 2014, Future Super officially launched. By the start of 2017 over 6,000 Australians had switched to Future Super, moving hundreds of millions of dollars away from super funds that are funding the fossil fuel industry. As more and more people make the switch, the pressure on other super funds to divest from fossil fuels and other harmful industries keeps on increasing.

Future Super’s returns have regularly outperformed,* showing that you don’t have to destroy the planet to make a dollar. Our diversified, fossil free portfolio is investing millions in new renewable projects across Australia and around the world. We’re continually developing new ways to track the financial impact of fossil fuels in local and global markets. And, most importantly, we’re connecting everyday Australians to their super power (pun intended) with the knowledge that your retirement savings can make a real difference in the real world, right now.

By working together, we can use super to build a better, fossil free future.

About the author:
Michael Bones
Michael is Head of Growth at Future Super. He writes about the intersection between climate change, finance and ethics. Michael is a recipient of the Thomson Reuters Prize for his studies in Climate Law, and previously worked in communications for Canada's leading renewable energy social enterprise, Bullfrog Power.
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Michael Bones
Disclaimers
We love writing about ethical and fossil-free investing, but please be aware that the information provided is general in nature, not personal or financial advice. When we discuss companies, it's not a recommendation to buy, hold or sell shares in that company. If we mention returns, please remember that past performance isn't a reliable indicator of future performance. Before acting on any information provided, you should consider if it's appropriate to you.

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We will always respect your privacy. See our Privacy Policy to find out more.

You should read the PDS (or pension PDS), Additional Information Booklet and Insurance Guide before making any financial decisions regarding Future Super funds.