VicSuper becomes official supporter of the Natural Capital Declaration
14 May 2015 – Melbourne, Geneva, Oxford: The Australian superannuation fund VicSuper has become an official signatory to the Natural Capital Declaration (NCD), the global finance-led initiative convened by the Global Canopy Programme (GCP) and the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI). As a signatory, VicSuper’s CEO Michael Dundon has committed the superannuation fund to understanding natural capital considerations and supporting the development of methodologies to integrate them into investments, as well as working towards natural capital accounting and reporting frameworks.
The NCD is a finance sector initiative, endorsed at CEO-level by over 40 financial institutions. It advances both environmental risk management and innovative conservation finance, as well as financial sector accountability for the impacts and dependencies of portfolios companies. Over 38 non-financial organisations are NCD supporters, contributing a range of expertise to the initiative’s practical work programme to develop tools, methodologies and guidance to build capacity for signatories to meet the NCD commitments.
VicSuper is a $15 billion strong profit to member superannuation (pension) fund. They operate in Australia with over 242,000 members and over 21,000 participating employers. As a universal investor and a responsible corporate citizen, VicSuper has a long history of integrating the consideration of environmental, social and governance factors into the way they invest and operate their business.
Liesel van Ast, GCP Natural Capital Declaration Programme Manager states, “VicSuper brings a wealth of expertise and experience in sustainability and integrated reporting to the NCD work programme. This will be invaluable as its employees help to shape financial sector leadership on natural capital. The NCD Steering Committee has approved VicSuper’s nomination as the Vice-Chair of Working Group 4, which will develop a disclosure framework and guidance for financial institutions on natural capital issues to contribute to understanding the significance of global trends, such as resource constraints, environmental degradation, to investment portfolios and financial sector resilience.”
“We are interested to see how the NCD helps the investment industry drive the capture and reporting of natural capital data at the company and industry level. We believe that more comprehensive disclosure and analysis of natural capital risks, impacts and performance by companies will help our external investment managers to make more informed, balanced and longer term investment decisions.” – Michael Dundon, VicSuper CEO.
For further information, or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Global Canopy Programme
Rachel Mountain, Head of Communications
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Tel: +44 (0)1865 724 333
Kirsten Simpson, Manager Corporate Responsibility
Email: Kirsten.Simpson@vicsuper.com.au | Tel: +61 3 9667 9231
UNEP Finance Initiative
Robert Bartram, Communications Lead Officer
Email: email@example.com | Tel: +41 22 917 89134
Notes to editors
1) About VicSuper
VicSuper is a $15 billion strong not-for-profit superannuation (pension) fund with over 242,000 members, over 21,000 participating employers and over 10,000 pension members (figures as at 30/06/14). The underlying assets of the Fund have almost doubled over the past 5 years. Open to all Australians, membership is strongest in Victoria where the Fund began nearly 20 years ago. The Fund’s strategic plan is designed to grow and build long term resilience into the Fund to deliver long term value for its members.
2) About the Natural Capital Declaration
The Natural Capital Declaration (NCD) is a global finance-led initiative to integrate natural capital considerations into financial products and services, and to work towards their inclusion in financial accounting, disclosure and reporting. It is signed by the CEOs of 40 financial institutions, which are actively working with supporting (non-financial) organisations to develop methods to implement the four commitments in the Declaration. This is being done through a steering committee of signatories and supporters and four working groups, supported by a secretariat formed of the UNEP Finance Initiative and the Global Canopy Programme (GCP).
1: Creating systematic methods for financial institutions to assess their impacts and dependencies on natural capital through portfolios.
2: Developing and testing (quantitative, analytical) methods to link natural capital to financial risks and opportunities.
3: Working towards an accounting framework that includes natural capital.
4: Working towards disclosure and reporting that enables financial institutions to understand how they are positioned for natural resource risks and opportunities. www.naturalcapitaldeclaration.org
3) About the Global Canopy Programme
The Global Canopy Programme (GCP) is a tropical forest think-tank, working to demonstrate the scientific, political and business case for safeguarding forests as natural capital that underpins water, food, energy, health and climate security for
4) About UNEP Finance Initiative
The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) was established in 1992 as a partnership between policy makers and the finance sector. With over 200 members representing banks, insurers, and investors from around the world, UNEP FI contributes the perspectives of financial institutions to the United Nations and global activities on sustainable finance. UNEP FI’s mission is to bring about systemic change in finance to support a sustainable world by “Changing finance, financing change”. www.unepfi.org
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