We know that you have a strong interest in how we invest your money. That’s why we’re constantly reviewing and refining our approach to responsible investing. We wanted to let you know about some big changes we’ve recently made to our Responsible Investment policy that further reduce the exposure to fossil fuels in the BNZ KiwiSaver Scheme, YouWealth and Private Wealth Series funds.
You may be aware that we have a long-standing commitment to not invest in companies that are involved in manufacturing cluster munitions, landmines, nuclear weapons, tobacco, or producing fossil fuels. We’ve now increased the number of companies that we won’t invest in by changing our approach to carbon intensive industries and by avoiding investments in gambling and adult entertainment companies.
Getting tougher on fossil fuels
We’re taking a stricter stance on companies involved in the production and use of fossil fuels by reducing the revenue thresholds on our existing exclusions from ‘more than 20%’ to ‘more than 10%’. We’ve also stopped investing in industries where the primary business activity is in oil and gas and coal – for example, the sector that provides services or equipment to oil and gas companies. These changes to our fossil fuels approach are stricter than those required by the New Zealand Government under the new Default KiwiSaver regime.
Climate change risk is one of the most significant and pressing issues of our time. Reducing our investments in these sectors will also reduce the risk of losses to our customers as we move towards a low emissions economy over the long-term.
Not investing in gambling or adult entertainment companies
We know it’s important our investments have a positive social impact, so it’s not appropriate for us invest our customers’ money in companies that get more than 10% of their revenue from gambling operations and services. We’ve also explicitly excluded investments in companies that earn more than 10% of their revenue from the production and distribution of adult entertainment.
BNZ’s approach to sustainability
These changes bring the policy in line with BNZ’s long-term sustainability strategy that was formalised at the end of 2020.
As a part of our sustainability strategy, we’ve committed to two principles that are important to the long-term future of our country:
Kaitiakitanga – Accelerate the transition to a low emissions economy, one that supports the regeneration of the natural environment.
Manaakitanga – To grow the long term social and financial wellbeing of all New Zealanders.
We’ll continue to adapt our Responsible Investment policy
We have a part to play in developing a more sustainable global financial system, and our updated Responsible Investment policy ensures we are accountable to our customers for everyone’s future goals. We’re here to help our customers grow their investments, but also ensure we help protect the impact these investments have on the environment and our communities. That’s why our policy is not something we set and forget.
The information and recommendations in this article are the personal views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BNZ, or its related entities.
This article is solely for information purposes and is not intended to be financial advice. If you need help, please contact BNZ or your financial adviser. Neither BNZ nor any person involved in this article accepts any liability for any direct or indirect loss or damage arising out of the use of, or reliance on, all or any part of the content.