Vision Super is the industry super fund for Victorian local government employees.
Since launching our fossil fuel divestment campaign around six months ago our hard-working volunteers have held 15 (and counting!) petitioning sessions outside local council offices, finding significant support among Vision Super members.
Hundreds of members have joined the call for their retirement savings to be divested of fossil fuels.
You can help the campaign by printing out this petition and finding Vision Super members to sign it, or forward them this link to email Vision Super directly (by filling out the first form in the left-hand column).
Photos from some of our petitioning sessions around Melbourne
There has also been three Victorian councils (Moreland, Darebin, Yarra) who have passed motions calling on Vision Super to put a fossil fuel divestment plan in place.
Below is an outline of the positive steps Vision Super has taken so far and what we think their next steps should be. Vision Super have indicated they are open to going further, and with enough member pressure we can help Vision Super become an example for other super funds to follow, helping shift billions of dollars away from the fossil fuel industry.
Vision’s positive actions so far
In October last year Vision Super moved their passive equity investments (representing 20-25% of funds under management) to the IFM Low Carbon Australian Shares Fund and the MSCI Low Carbon (World) Index.
Vision says that this step has resulted in 70% reductions in carbon exposure in their international shares and 17% reductions in Australian shares (for the 20-25% of total funds). We hope to see the details of these indices in order to be able to verify this.
Vision doesn’t disclose its voting record, but we know they have voted in favour of some climate resolutions at company annual general meetings.
A fossil-free option is not the answer
There are rumours circulating that Vision Super is considering a fossil free investment option. While introducing a fossil free option would mean you have the chance to choose an option that lines up with your interests on climate change, the problem is it might only affect a small portion of members, leaving most still exposed to dirty coal, oil and gas companies.
Or, to put it another way, while some members might get their retirement savings out of fossil fuels, we’re more interested in the best result for you and the climate. That means divesting from fossil fuels across the whole fund. For more information see our critique of VicSuper’s proposed “fossil-free option”.
What should Vision Super should do next?
We think Vision can build on the steps taken so far by doing the following:
- – Put in place a timetable for divestment from pure-play fossil fuel companies (those companies that get all their revenue from coal, oil or gas).
- – Put in place a timetable for divestment from fossil fuel infrastructure (gas pipelines, coal ports, etc.).
- – Put together a plan for engaging with diversified fossil fuel companies, detailing what that engagement entails and what consequences there will be for companies that don’t change their behaviour.
- – Disclose their holdings so members know what their money is invested in (at the moment, just over half of their share investments are still undisclosed).
For more detail on Vision Super’s fossil fuel investments check out their SuperSwitch page.