Sustainable Investment.

A survey by SBN has revealed that New Zealanders care deeply about how their KiwiSaver funds are being invested and that they want more sustainable KiwiSaver options.

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The survey of 1400 New Zealanders has also uncovered a strong public desire for KiwiSaver providers to report on the sustainability performance of the companies in which they are investing on the public’s behalf.

The survey, which was conducted in June-July 2014, was designed by the Sustainable Business Network with support from AMP Capital, Prometheus Finance, Glenn Saunders and Colmar Brunton. It focused on KiwiSaver, as it is the most common form of investment among New Zealanders.

The key findings are:

• 97% of respondents would actively look to change their KiwiSaver provider to a more sustainable one if the financial return was the same. Almost two thirds would do this even if the financial risk was higher.

• 96% of respondents want their KiwiSaver provider to report on the sustainability performance of the companies in which they are investing. They want to know about environmental and social indicators, as well as financial.

• One in five respondents is able to influence the default KiwiSaver provider in their organisation at present.

• 90% of respondents want to be actively investing in companies with a strong sustainability commitment, such as:

  • Renewables and clean technology
  • Sustainable transportation options (such as biofuels)
  • Recycling and resource recovery.

• A large majority would avoid investing in ‘sin’ industries. More than 90% would avoid investing in labour exploitation, tobacco and arms, while more than 80% would avoid investing in gambling, pornography and fossil fuels.

Overall, the survey results show categorically that there is a good, and growing, public demand for sustainable KiwiSaver options.

SBN believes there is a need for KiwiSaver providers, as well as other wealth management advisors in New Zealand, to meet the needs of a growing client base wanting to invest in smart, clean tech, healthy, future-focused businesses.

SBN will be working with willing companies to identify what is needed to meet the consumer demand identified in this survey and ensure that these consumers have products they will be proud to invest in.

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Sustainable Investment project
This survey has formed part of SBN’s project on sustainable investment, which we initiated in response to interest from our members. We believe that investment is a key mechanism for influencing and supporting sustainable behaviour, and for helping transition New Zealand to a sustainable society.

Find out more about our project on Sustainable Investment.

If you would like to find out more, please contact Julia Jackson.

Survey Report

Click here to view the full Investing in Our Future: creating better KiwiSaver funds report. Please note that this is only available for SBN members to view.

If you are not a member and would like to find out more about joining our network, click here.

A summary report of the survey findings is available here: SBN Sustainable Investment Report Summary 2014.