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Responsible Investing

Achieving your financial goals is important – but so is our environment, community and your personal values.

See our commitments Positive Impact Funds

What is responsible investing?

Responsible investing means looking beyond a company's financial performance and including a range of environmental, social and governance considerations in the investment process. How a company affects and interacts with the environment and society can increasingly have an impact on its value. Consequently, looking at these considerations can help drive strong long-term returns.

Additionally, we believe responsible investing means understanding and reflecting the values of our customers. This can be either a desire to minimise harm, avoiding investing in certain industries, or actively make the world a better place.

Our responsible investment approach

Incorporating responsible investment practices can help deliver the best possible financial outcome for you. This could be contributing towards returns, preserving your capital, or a balance of the two. It also ensures our investments are consistent with the values of our customers.

Our responsible approach investment encompasses the following areas:

Responsible investment as a practice continues to evolve, and we are committed to the ongoing development and improvement of our responsible investing approach.

Transparency

It's your money, so you need to be able to see where it’s invested. We publish our full portfolio holdings every six months - you can find the holdings using the links below.

ASB KiwiSaver Scheme ASB Investment Funds

Looking for the Positive Impact Fund? Check out the fund's underlying holdings with the ASB KiwiSaver Scheme or ASB Investment Funds.

Integration

Where possible, we incorporate Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) considerations into our investment decision making processes. When appointing an investment manager, we consider their ESG approach and policies, and regularly review and monitor their activities.

ESG integration is more applicable for active management approaches. Active management is where a manager is trying to beat a market benchmark by picking which securities to own. For our actively managed asset classes we use managers that incorporate ESG in their investment analysis and decision making.
 
For both actively and passively managed (those where a manager tracks an underlying benchmark index) asset classes, we monitor and ensure that our managers incorporate ESG in their engagement and voting activities.

To find out the active or passive investment management style we use for the asset classes within each fund, see the ASB KiwiSaver Scheme or ASB Investment Funds Statement of Investment Policy and Objectives.

We continue to assess the best ways to integrate ESG considerations to improve sustainability outcomes while striving to generate the best possible return for our investors.

What does ESG mean?

E is for environmental. This includes assessing a company's carbon emissions, waste, pollution, biodiversity impact and use of natural resources like water.

S is for social. This looks at supply chain responsibility and how a company works with its employees, the community and customers.

G is for governance. This includes consideration of a company's business conduct, board construction (including diversity), transparency and shareholder rights.

Exclusions

We exclude some investments, regardless of their financial performance, based on our exclusion framework. Some of the considerations we take into account when deciding to exclude an investment are:

  • If international conventions oppose or New Zealand laws prohibit investment in an industry, such as manufacturers of cluster bombs, land mines or nuclear weapons
  • If its activities are opposed to our own purpose and values
  • If our peers in New Zealand have excluded an investment or its industry
  • If the majority of our customers that we survey have a strong desire not to invest in it or its industry

For our funds, other than the Positive Impact Funds, we currently exclude investments in securities issued by companies which are involved in the activities listed in the table below. Our funds may invest in derivatives for risk management and investment purposes. Derivatives may reference broad market indices, and so may result in indirect exposure to excluded companies and sectors.

  • Controversial weapons
    The following weapons banned under New Zealand law: cluster munitions, anti-personnel mines, nuclear weapons, and chemical weapons.1

  • Civilian firearms
    Companies that manufacture, sale, retail and/or distribution to civilian customers of assault weapons or small arms.1

  • Fossil fuel producers
    Companies with a primary business activity2 in the exploration and production of coal, oil and gas, and companies that derive at least 10% of their revenue from the exploration and extraction of coal, oil and gas.3

    Companies that have a primary business activity in oil and gas refining and marketing, or oil and gas storage and transportation, are not excluded, unless they meet the 10% revenue threshold described above.

  • Whale meat
    Whale meat processing.1

  • Tobacco
    Companies that manufacture tobacco products, or tobacco-related products or services such as pipes, vaping or e-cigarette devices, or cigarette papers, and companies that distribute their own label tobacco products.1

    Tobacco retailers are not excluded.

  • Russian Federation securities
    Securities issued by Russian Federation domiciled entities, where the country of issue is the Russian Federation. 

    Some of the Funds have exposure to a small number of securities issued in Russia that are subject to sanctions and cannot currently be divested.

  • Global standards screening
    Companies that are assessed by our third party ESG research provider as non-compliant with one or more of the United Nations Global Compact principles.

  • One off exclusions
    Securities excluded for exceptional reasons such as strong customer consensus objecting to the nature of the company activities or where the company activities do not align with ASB's values or policies.

  1. Captures companies that derive any revenue from the relevant activities.
  2. Company business activities as identified by our third party ESG research provider.
  3. Captures companies that derive at least 10% revenue from the relevant activities. Coal, oil or gas includes these fuels where derived from unconventional sources such as tar sands or shale. Metallurgical coal is not included in the term "coal".

Our Positive Impact Funds invest in third-party managed funds which have their own exclusion policies. Due to differences in exclusion categories, definitions, and research providers, the Positive Impact Fund may have indirect exposure to a security on our ASB Exclusion List.

To find out more about our exclusion policies and definitions, see our Statement of Investment Policy and Objectives for the ASB KiwiSaver Scheme and ASB Investment Funds.

Exclusion list

Engagement and voting

When you invest with ASB, our underlying investment managers use your funds to buy shares in different companies.

Those investment managers actively engage with companies as shareholders. They vote at shareholder meetings on our behalf, and use those votes to move companies to more responsible and sustainable practices. 

Our investment managers disclose their engagement and voting activities and outcomes on their websites:

Impact investing

Impact investing is a responsible investment strategy that aims to generate social and/or environmental impact as well as financial returns.

We took our first step into impact investing when we launched the Positive Impact Fund in 2019.

The Fund aims to provide moderate to high returns through investments that make a positive impact on society or the environment in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Find more information and how to join, transfer or invest.

ASB KiwiSaver Scheme ASB Investment Funds

Our commitment to responsible investing

Signatory to the Principles for Responsible Investment. This commits us as an organisation to enhancing our responsible investing practices, and contributing to developing a more sustainable global financial system.

Membership with the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA). RIAA is the largest and most active network of people and organisations engaged in responsible, ethical and impact investing across Australia and New Zealand.

Some of the funds in our ASB KiwiSaver Scheme and ASB Investment Funds have been certified by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) according to the strict operational and disclosure practices required under the Responsible Investment Certification Program. See www.responsiblereturns.com.au for details.*

Founding Signatory to the Aotearoa New Zealand Stewardship Code. This commits us to adopting and embedding the Code and publishing our first stewardship report in 2024.

More guides on investing with ASB

Choosing where to invest

Whether you're a seasoned investor or just starting out, ASB offers a wide range of investments and resources that you’d expect from a bank that’s committed to helping you find the best solution.

Investment options

If you're an experienced investor, or just starting out, ASB offers a wide range of investment options to suit your individual needs.

What a Wealth Manager can do for you

Recently inherited money, sold a business or have significant savings you'd like to grow further? With such big decisions to make and a lot at stake, you might want to get professional investment advice from an ASB Wealth Manager. Here’s what to expect.

Contact us

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0800 803 804

Visit a branch

Visit us at one of our many branches across New Zealand.

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Interests in the 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 administration and distribution services for the Schemes. 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 Product Disclosure Statement or the ASB Investment Funds Product Disclosure Statement available from this website and the register of offers of financial products at www.disclose-register.companiesoffice.govt.nz (search for ASB).

*The Responsible Investment Certification Program does not constitute financial product advice. Neither the Certification Symbol nor RIAA recommends to any person that any financial product is a suitable investment or that returns are guaranteed. Appropriate professional advice should be sought prior to making an investment decision. RIAA does not hold a Financial Advice Provider license.

As part of RIAA's RI Certification Program we are required to recertify every two years. If any of our funds failed their recertification we would work with RIAA to resolve the issue, or if the issue cannot be resolved RIAA will revoke certification and we will notify our customers.