Australia’s Vision Super recruiting climate activist and forms high-level climate action team

A$8.75bn investor seeking person with ‘deep ties to the environmental movement’

In what has to be a worldwide first, an A$8.75bn (€5.9bn) Australian super fund is recruiting a climate activist to help push for policy changes at national and international level.

Vision Super today announced it is seeking an “enthusiastic environmental activist” for its new Climate Action Team.

The job ad states: “Do your friends joke that on the weekends you’re more likely to be found at a climate change rally than at a party? Are you a friendly, outgoing person who’s looking for an ethical job that’s not traditional 9-5? Do you want to continue your climate activism and get paid for it? We may have the perfect job for you!”

The Melbourne-based fund wants someone with “deep ties to the environmental movement” with a background in climate activism and not ‘clicktivism’. “We’re looking for someone who gets out there with banners and chanting, who goes to meetings, who volunteers, who shops at a co-op.”

Vision Super, which already offers an investment option for those who want even more focus on sustainability, says it doesn’t want someone who turns up in a sharp suit “but with no plan”.

“We’re a signatory to the Paris Agreement, and take the risks posed by climate change very seriously, so we’ve formed a Climate Action team that includes Michael Wyrsch, our Chief Investments Officer, as well as me as the CEO, and members of our investment and strategy teams,” said CEO Stephen Rowe.“Markets are not pricing climate risk in appropriately, so we’ve already acted to reduce the carbon intensity of our portfolios to protect our members’ retirement savings.”

Meanwhile, the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) has today given evidence on modern slavery at a public parliamentary inquiry. CEO Louise Davidson, said: “From an investor perspective, we urge the Australian Government to introduce laws requiring companies to report on the steps they are taking to ensure their supply chains are free of slavery.

“Markets are not pricing climate risk in appropriately”

“This will enable increased scrutiny from investors and others, and will place greater accountability on companies to act.”

ACSI said that, in addition to its tragic human impact, slavery threatens corporate sustainability and shareholder value and that Australian companies and investors are materially exposed to these risks.

Staying in the country, it’s been reported that Joel Posters, the head of ESG at the A$150bn Future Fund, is to have his remit extended. Investment Magazine cited CIO Raphael Arndt as saying Poster’s role may be expanded to include responsibility for technological risks. Posters joined the fund three years ago from Rabobank, where he was global head of sustainability.