First State to match Aussie bushfire donations from responsible investment community

New fundraiser is targeting A$5k to support environmental response

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A fundraising campaign has been set up to encourage the responsible investment community to support the environmental response to the Australian bushfires. 

Set up by Pablo Berrutti, Senior Investment Specialist for Sustainable Funds Group at Australia’s Stewart Investors, Désirée Lucchese, an ESG consultant for MSCI, and Stan Soosur, Senior Director at Glass Lewis, at least a portion – and possibly all – the money raised will be matched by a donation from First Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Australian asset management giant Colonial First State. Colonial First State is the Australian arm of First State Investors – both are in the process of being rebranded as First Sentier Investors. Stewart Investors is part of the same group. 

“These fires have been extraordinary, and they point to some of the issues that we, in the responsible investment community, work with every day, so we wanted to make it easy for people to help,” said Berrutti, who is also the former Chairman of the Responsible Investment Association Australasia and a member of Australia’s Sustainable Finance Initiative.  

At the time of writing, the fundraising campaign had raised just over A$1,500 (€930), with 11 donations. It has a target of A$5,000. The money will be donated to three charities, all focused on protecting wildlife and habitats in Australia, Berrutti told RI. The first, WIRES NSW, provides an emergency rescue and response service to injured animals; the second is WWF, which has a fund dedicated to recovery from the bushfires; and the third, Bush Heritage Australia, specialises in longer-term conservation and habitat management in affected areas. 

Berrutti is also the founder of Altiorem, a new sustainable finance hub.

Note: This article was amended January 20th due in order to correctly describe the relationship between Stewart Investors and Colonial First State.