We've dialled up the impact of our Positive Impact Fund

23 June 2022 / Published in Your Money

Our Positive Impact Fund is a huge opportunity for any investor wanting to make a difference. We invest your money with the aim to achieve a financial return while making the world a better place.

We introduced the Positive Impact Fund in 2019. Now we've improved it - for the better.

In the past, the Fund invested in some impact investment strategies, while avoiding investment in areas we know members want to avoid.

Now it's 100% invested to deliver positive impact by advancing global social and environmental goals. That's a great change for investors who want to invest in funds that make a positive difference to the world.

What was the Fund doing before?

When we launched the Fund in 2019, there was limited access for us to invest in businesses that were making a positive difference to the world.

The growth assets invested in some impact investment strategies, with the remaining investments aligned to positive Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) approaches.

The Fund also excluded investment in industries that may cause social or environmental harm, such as tobacco, fossil fuels and some armaments.

Since the Fund's launch, we have been watching it grow and exploring more impact investment options.

So how has the Fund improved?

Impact investing is one of the strongest responsible investing approaches. With the help of our investment partner, BlackRock, we've explored various impact investment options to select these new and exciting strategies.

Now 100% of our fund is invested in businesses, industries and bonds that are actively working to make a positive difference to the world in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Our growth assets (around 60% of global equities) invest in impact themes, including:

  • Green energy
  • Sustainable food, water and waste
  • Public health
  • Education and skilling
  • Affordable housing
  • Financial and digital inclusion
  • Efficiency, electrification and digitisation
  • Pollution remediation and prevention
  • Safety and security

Our income assets (around 40% of global Green Bonds) invest in projects with environmental benefits, such as:

  • Alternative energy
  • Sustainable water
  • Green buildings
  • Energy efficiency

Why are you making these improvements?

We have a deep conviction that our customers should have a choice to invest ethically and having an impact Fund option allows ASB customers to make that choice.

Since we first established the Positive Impact Fund, the investment landscape has evolved to lean towards ethical and sustainable investment practices.

In fact, more and more customers see "doing no harm" as the bare minimum. They also want us to focus on ESG-positive and impact investments across the board. By moving our Positive Impact Funds even further toward the impact end of the scale, we're giving people an option to advance global social and environmental goals while still helping them save for the future.

Does impact investing mean lower returns?

Investing in a limited area can mean more volatility in returns, but it doesn't necessarily mean lower returns. The Fund aims to provide moderate to high returns over the long term, allowing for large movements of value up and down.

So while the Fund will focus on delivering positive impact, we're confident that our Positive Impact Fund will also deliver investment outcomes over the long term.

How do I invest in the ASB Positive Impact Fund?

We offer the Positive Impact Fund in both the ASB KiwiSaver Scheme and ASB Investment Funds if you have at least 11 years to invest.

If you're already in the ASB KiwiSaver Scheme, you can switch to the Positive Impact Fund on your mobile or online. The request is usually processed immediately, and you will see your new fund online in 2-3 working days.

Remember, you can always talk to one of our KiwiSaver specialists to find out more about the Positive Impact Fund and whether it's right for you. They're here from 8am to 8pm during the week, or 8:30 to 5pm on Saturdays, on 0800 272 738.

If you want to invest, you can open an ASB Investment Funds account online, and choose the Positive Impact Fund there. Contact our ASB Wealth Advisory Service to find out more about ASB Investment Funds Positive Impact Fund. They're here from 9am to 5pm weekdays on 0800 108 084

Interests in ASB KiwiSaver Scheme and ASB Investment Funds (Schemes) are issued by ASB Group Investments Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of ASB Bank Limited (ASB). ASB provides Schemes administration and distribution services. No person guarantees interests in the Schemes. Interests in the Schemes are not deposits or other liabilities of ASB. They are subject to investment risk, including possible loss of income and principal invested. For more information see the ASB KiwiSaver Scheme and ASB Investment Funds Product Disclosure Statements available from ASB’s website and the register of offers of financial products at www.business.govt.nz/disclose (search for ASB KiwiSaver Scheme or ASB Investment Funds).


More articles from ASB