Future Super has announced that $50 million has flowed into its new Future Super Growth (Renewables Plus) option in the 10 days since the fund option has been in operation.Renewables Plus option “boasts an industry-leading 20% target allocation to renewable energy and zero investment in fossil fuels,” Future Super said. The majority of funds have come from existing members switching their money into the new option, and Adam Verwey, executive director, Future Super, notes that the majority of people who have signed up for Future Super for the first time have chosen the Renewables Plus option.
Adam says Future Super is surprised by how fast members have moved into the new option.
“We surveyed our members late last year and asked what are the options and features that we can bring to our members,” Adam says. “Seventy-seven percent wrote back and said, ‘we want an option that invests even more in renewable energy. There has been a lot of members support for this. You expect that there’s an action gap between what people say they want and what they do, but in this case we’re not seeing it. We built up a wait list for Renewables Plus, and 1500 members put themselves on the wait list, and almost all have switched in the last two weeks.”
The option officially launched on 8 May. Adam notes that Future Super’s growth option features renewable energy allocation of between 10-13%, and that uptake of Renewables Plus signifies is clear demand for more investment in renewable energy.
Renewables Plus’s renewable energy investments are in stocks, but Adam says the majority of investment will come from bonds, infrastructure debt and direct investment in unlisted assets, such as private equity. Investing in bonds, infrastructure and unlisted assets increases the impact that Future Super can make, he adds.
“That’s really important, because they’re the really impactful investments we can make,” Adam says. “We’re supporting new renewable energy, not just buying renewable stocks on the secondary market.”
Future Super has seeded a fund with boutique infrastructure fund manager Infradebt and has seeded Infradebt’s Ethical Fund with a commitment to invest $50 million by the end of the year.
Future Super and 350.org recently commissioned research by the UTS Institute of Sustainable Futures (ISF) that showed that Australia could fund the country’s transition to 100% renewable energy power by 2030 with an investment of 7.7% of superannuation savings. To achieve full decarbonisation for the entire energy system by 2050 – including transport and industry – would require an allocation of 12.4%, according to the report.