#1 fund for weathering market ups and downs3
SuperRatings' Pension of the Year three years in a row4
After 12 months of managing our redesigned Socially Responsible option in-house, we measured the positive impact your super is having through this option.
According to SuperRatings, our Socially Responsible option had the highest relative growth to June 2021.
It's a member-focused option, with tangible, real-world outcomes for a variety of environmental and social concerns – and investment returns that are the envy of other super funds.
We saw strong investment returns for the financial year ending 30 June 2021.
Members are switching to this option more than ever before.
More members are investing more money in this option.
Over the past 2 years, we asked our members what they wanted to see in a socially responsible investment option from us, redesigned the option, and began managing its investments in-house.
Our Socially Responsible option has an investment objective of CPI+3.5% per year (after fees and tax) over rolling 5-year periods, with an investment timeframe of 5 years or more.
We aim to deliver on this objective with fewer ups and downs by:
In June 2021, we entered the new Gondwana mandate, through which our SRI option can invest in private equity, infrastructure, and private debt - assets that do a lot of good but are difficult for individuals to invest in.
Our members told us they wanted our SRI option to align to strategies that have a positive impact on both planet and people.
Some of your money in our Socially Responsible option is invested in assets that meet these goals, and some is invested according to the SDGs.
Good health and well-being
Clean water and sanitation
Affordable and clean energy
Industry, innovation, and infrastructure
Sustainable cities and communities
Life on land
Total investment of $965m
All of the money in our Socially Responsible option is invested in the way members told us they wanted.
Seeks investments in:
Avoids investments in:
This example of green building and sustainable communities is a mixed-use, multi-family, mid-rise property in Washington, DC.
Through BlackRock iShares green bonds index fund, we fund projects including solar farms in the Sunshine Coast and Warwick.
This provider of women's health and medical services focuses on improving patient wellness, disease prevention, and maternity outcomes across the US.
It's hard to know what impact your superannuation investments are having on a global scale – for good or for ill. That's why we're reporting on the positive impact your super can make when you invest in our Socially Responsible investment option.
As we develop our socially and environmentally responsible investment portfolio, we'll keep you informed of progress and developments along the way.
Find out more about how our Socially Responsible option works, or download the full report (pdf) to learn more about the impact your super is making on the world.
Download full report (pdf)
Around 10 minutes to apply online, and you'll be on your way to enjoying the QSuper feeling.
Private equity and infrastructure
SDG positive impacts
The Gondwana mandate is an arrangement we set up with Swiss fund manager Partners Group to help us select and manage high-quality unlisted assets that suit our SRI option.
This provides diversification and long-term growth, while targeting positive environmental and social impact for the issues most important to members.
This means you can invest in private equity, infrastructure, and private debt that is highly impactful but would normally be difficult for individuals to invest in.
For example, two of the unique investments we've made through the Gondwana mandate are Axia Women's Health, a patient wellness network, and Dimension Renewable Energy, a community solar and grid storage developer.
The mandate aligns with a number of the the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which is a widely-adopted framework for communicating impact.
Trellis House is a mixed-use, multi-family, mid-rise property in Washington, DC. Its platinum LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating means it has the highest-level certification (over 80 points) for a building designated green by the US Green Building Council.
Scoring 91 points in the Building Design and Construction category (for new builds or major renovations), Trellis House was designed with a lower environmental footprint than comparable buildings during both construction and occupancy.
Effects of construction compared to previous site development:
As a large institutional investor, QSuper is presented with myriad opportunities to invest in real estate of all kinds around the world. Trellis House appealed for a number of reasons.
Firstly, a residential building provides defensive characteristics to our real estate portfolio – in economic downturns, people need a place to live. Where commercial office buildings have struggled to maintain occupancy during the pandemic, high-quality residential projects have proved more resilient.
Secondly, the tenants attracted to the property in Washington, DC, are from one of the most highly skilled workforces in the United States who can withstand economic ups and downs. In addition to the rent received from the residential tenants, the building earns income from retail shops and parking.
Our external manager, CIM Group, introduced us to Trellis House at an opportune time. The building was 95% complete and ready for occupancy, requiring only some finishing touches. The window of opportunity for the developer to sell the building was closing quickly, timing that proved advantageous to QSuper when we struck the deal in late 2018.
An asset like this is highly valued in current market conditions, but given that its occupancy is still rising, we consider it great value for members.
Environmental and social alignment
Thus far, Trellis House has performed well at a local level, improving the amenity for residents and the greater North Shaw neighbourhood. Advanced ventilation systems make for better indoor air quality, and high-efficiency equipment and appliances reduce energy costs.
Residents can take advantage of bicycle racks and access to public transportation, and enjoy the green roof and indoor hydroponic garden.
At a larger scale, the building’s design means its energy consumption intensity and greenhouse gas emissions are considerably lower than the national (US) median.
For buildings in its consumption tracking program, of which Trellis House is one, CIM has also set 10% reduction targets for energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and water consumption by 2023 from a 2018 baseline.
Trellis House building’s energy consumption intensity and greenhouse gas emissions compared to national (US) median:
The QSuper Socially Responsible option invests in the BlackRock iShares green bonds index fund. Green bonds are fixed-income investments designed to support environmental and social projects like reducing carbon emissions, improving water and energy efficiency, and reducing workers’ commute time.
In Australia, this green bonds index fund invests in bonds issued by corporations and state governments, including Queensland Treasury Corporation.
Proceeds finance the Warwick and Sunshine Coast solar farms, the Seqwater drought-resilient network, and low-carbon transport infrastructure.
As with other fixed interest instruments, this index fund provides diversification for the Socially Responsible option. Bonds are typically inversely correlated with movements in share markets, so when share prices are down, bond values tend to rise, and vice versa.
It's all part of the QSuper smooth ride investment philosophy – it means fewer ups and downs for your super.
QSuper made its first private equity investment through Gondwana in Axia Women’s Health, a US-based provider of integrated women’s health and medical services.
With headquarters in Philadelphia, Axia is expanding its network of specialists across the eastern seaboard and Midwest, with a focus on improving patient wellness, disease prevention, and maternity outcomes.
Axia connects women to a wider spectrum of in-person and online care that delivers innovative technology and treatments.