Strong consumer demand for responsible, ethical super and investment: RIAA

New research from the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) shows that nine out of 10 Australians expect their superannuation or other investments to be invested responsibly.

Further, research found that four in five Australians “would consider switching their super or other investments to another provider if their current fund engaged in activities inconsistent with their values, and just over half will consider making ethical or responsible investments in the next 1 to 5 years.”

RIAA commissioned Lonergan Research to conduct the survey, which finds that consumer demand for responsible and ethical investment is increasing.

“Consumer sentiment mirrors the continuing growth in the sector with responsible investment more than quadrupling over the past 3 years and nearly half of Australia’s assets under management now being invested through responsible investments” said RIAA’s CEO Simon O’Connor. “As more Australians show a desire for their investments and savings to align with their values, those already investing their money responsibly are enjoying strong financial performance,” he added.

The research found that Australians want superannuation investments to go into companies that build clean energy infrastructure, or avoid controversial weapons. Other issues for consumers include animal cruelty (69%), human rights violations (62%), and pornography (56%), the research found.

Three quarters of Millennials say they are likely to invest in a responsible super fund that considers ESG along with investment return, and they are most likely to consider making ethical and responsible investments in the future (69%).

More than half – 56% – say that there is not enough independent information available regarding switching to a responsible or ethical super fund or super fund option. RIAA announced at its annual conference that it has launched a webtool, responsiblereturns.com.au, to connect Australian consumers who care about responsible and ethical investing, with products that match their values.

“From investing in sustainable transport and education, to avoiding investing in armaments and fossil fuels, Responsible Returns allows users to filter products based on their areas of interest and location,” O’Connor said.