A certified responsible super fund with a strong commitment to sustainability
Active Super (formerly Local Government Super (LGS)) is an award-winning public offer superannuation fund. It has more than 11 billion under management and approximately 90,000 members in NSW. The company is based in Sydney and has seven regional offices.
This is a certified responsible super fund with a strong commitment to sustainability and a better future for members. Pursuing Climate Active was the right step for the company. It is the only Australian Government-recognised carbon neutral certification, so unquestionable in its rigour and authenticity. It sends a clear message about climate leadership to members, staff, and the superannuation sector.
The company chose Pangolin Associates to take them through the Climate Active process. Pangolin has a long, successful history with the government program and has helped organisations of all sizes achieve certification, including financial services. Active Super became Climate Active carbon neutral in May 2020 for the financial year 2018 /19.
The certification covers all Active Super’s locations, operations and management of the superannuation fund. As well as certified carbon neutrality, the company has the following accreditations:
- Responsible Investment certification through RIAA (Responsible Investment Association of Australasia);
- A 4-star GRESB rating (Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark);
- A 5-star Green Building Council of Australia Green Star rating for the direct property portfolio.
Carbon inventory and target areas for reductions
Electricity is commonly one of the top emissions sources for office-based organisations. Active Super chose GreenPower and Powershop which reduced the need to offset these emissions.
GreenPower is a recognised way of increasing renewable energy supplies in Australia. Powershop provides 100% carbon neutral electricity, which supplies all of the company’s locations. Additionally, the Sydney head office is located in a carbon neutral building, further reducing the impact from utilities.
Some of the key emissions sources from the carbon inventory include: postage (including courier and freight), office equipment and supplies, transport and waste.
- Postage, courier and freight totalled over 818 tonnes CO2-e, a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions. In response, LGS has initiated a supply chain investigation, and a review of technologies, including digital sign-offs.
- A recycling program with staff participation will reduce waste emissions which amounted to 100 tonnes CO2-e.
- Adopting available technologies and a more flexible workplace is a key opportunity for emissions reductions, such as those associated with employee transport.
- Video conferencing and screen sharing benefits extend to air travel reductions. Air travel accounted for approximately 41 tonnes CO2-e.
- Active Super will also improve the fleet vehicle program encouraging fuel efficient alternatives.
Next steps: carbon offsets and SDGs
Offsetting with certified carbon credit projects followed the company’s Emissions Management Plan (EMP). For Climate Active-approved offsets, Active Super chose projects that also aligned with UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). A United Nations initiative, this is a blueprint for organisations everywhere that address a range of measures, including the environment.
- Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve, Borneo Indonesia – a project that addresses all 17 of the UNSDGs. See more on this project.
- Bundled Wind Power in Rajasthan, India – a project that addresses several UNSDGs, including health and sanitation. See more on this project.
Active Super’s own contribution to SDGs:
A 2020 ESG Responsible Investment Review indicated that in the company’s Private Equity portfolio the top three impacts of Active Super’s initiatives (via project mapping) aligned with three UN SDGs. These were:
- UNSDG 3 Good Health and Well Being;
- UNSDG 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth;
- UNSDG 12 Responsible Consumption and Production.
NSW-based reforestation initiative
Active Super also wanted to give back to the environment locally through reforestation. As well as the certified offsets, they invested in a Greenfleet initiative for biodiversity and climate change mitigation.
Company culture and staff loyalty
Staff loyalty is an important outcome of Climate Active certification. It is confirmation that the company has a path forward in an increasingly carbon constrained economy and will lead rather than fall behind. Investing in reduction strategies and meaningful offsetting projects embeds a culture of doing good and being accountable – measures that foster engagement and build loyalty.
Given this was the first time a project like this had been undertaken we are grateful for the knowledge imparted regarding process, offsets and final registration.
Active Super is very satisfied with the outcome, Pangolin’s suggestions for improvement and final reporting. We would highly recommend Pangolin to any organisation committed to net zero emission aspirations.
Moya Yip, Head of Responsible Investment, Active Super
- Find out more about the Climate Active certification process.
- Learn more about the carbon offsetting process.
- See some our recommended carbon offsetting projects.