Catholic Super joins corporate scrutiny of carbon emissions

The Catholic Superannuation Fund will join a number of other institutional investors in an attempt to coax the biggest companies in Australia and New Zealand to reveal carbon emissions and policies from next year.

CLICK HEREThe Age reports today that Victoria's Minister for Environment and Water, John Thwaites, is tonight expected to announce that a $211 billion-plus coalition of investors National Australia Bank, VicSuper, AMP Capital Investors, BT Financial Group and Catholic Superannuation Fund will start writing to companies in the ASX100 and NZSX50 from early next year.

The funds are members of a group of global investors, the Carbon Disclosure Project, which asks the world's biggest companies every year to disclose information about their greenhouse gas emissions.

AMP, BT, CSF and VicSuper are also in the Investor Group on Climate Change Australia and New Zealand to be launched tonight. The IGCC aims to focus attention of institutional investors on risks and opportunities associated with climate change.

The announcement today extends the reach of the CDP to Australasia and signals the growing concern by investors here about the risks associated with climate change that may affect returns. General insurance, property and agriculture are regarded as the three sectors most exposed to climate change.

Last month, a Boston-based coalition of institutional investors and environmental groups called Ceres released a study showing that insured and total property losses were rising more quickly than premiums, population and economic growth. Climate change was expected to speed up that trend.

There are 155 institutional investors in the CDP. In 2005, 71% of the companies replied to the information requests, up from 59% in 2004 and 47% in 2003. Australian companies to respond to the questionnaire were BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Telstra, Westpac, Commonwealth Bank and National Australia Bank.

Over 90% of responding companies said climate change was presenting commercial risks and opportunities. Only 51% had implemented emission reduction programs and 45% had established targets. The latest report found that 13% had reported a year-on-year reduction, and 17% an increase.

Catholic Superannuation Fund is one of three Catholic superannuation funds in Australia. The others are the National Catholic Superannuation Fund and the Catholic Super and Retirement Fund.

Green light to probe corporate carbon emissions (The Age 5/10/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Carbon Disclosure Project
Catholic Superannuation Fund

5 Oct 2005