Responsible Investment & Social Responsibility

Responsible Investment & Social Responsibility

At Antipodes, we recognise our duty of responsible investment and corporate social responsibility to our clients, shareholders and employees as well as to the community and the environment. We set high standards for ourselves, ensuring a responsible approach is firmly embedded into our investment process.

The governance of a company has a significant impact on its operating and financial performance.

As an investment manager, we believe that a company’s response to Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) factors may impact that company’s financial performance and longer-term outcomes. Our investment process includes consideration of ESG principles for the benefit of our investors, while at the same time contributing to a more stable, sustainable and inclusive global economy.

Screening

Antipodes combines quantitative ESG benchmarking with a pragmatic, case by case qualitative approach to assessing individual corporate ESG performance.

In a quantitative sense, we integrate ESG ranks into the investment process (screens, stock and industry research notes and portfolio scores). This includes company-level measurements of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to understand and benchmark our portfolio’s carbon intensity.

In our candidate investments, as a threshold, we generally look for minimum acceptable standards, peer group leadership and a high level of disclosure or, in areas of weakness, a culture of continuous improvement. In instances where we believe a company demonstrates wilful disregard for ESG principles and show no credible plans to improve, we may choose to avoid or divest.

Engagement

Corporate engagement forms an integral component of Antipodes’ responsible investment and screening processes. In instances where we identify that a company is not meeting minimum acceptable ESG standards, we may engage with the company to influence its thinking with respect to these matters.

Proxy Voting

We are active owners and thoroughly consider all proposed resolutions prior to voting at company AGMs and EGMs. In addition to conducting our own analysis, we also subscribe to Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) for proxy voting guidance.

Reporting

Antipodes seeks to conduct its operations with utmost respect for the environment, to be socially minded and adhere to a robust and transparent governance framework. We aim to achieve the dual mandate of delivering investment excellence for our clients, while demonstrating the highest standards of corporate citizenship.

Each quarter we publish a review of ESG issues that have emerged throughout the year, detailing examples of both positive and negative ESG activities within our portfolio or in stocks under consideration. The ESG review details Antipodes’ active social involvement, presents our portfolio carbon intensity metrics against the MSCI All Country World Index and reports on our proxy voting and corporate engagement with investees.

Our commitments

Antipodes is a signatory to the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investing (PRI). The PRI promotes the inclusion of ESG factors into investment and ownership decisions and measures the progress corporations make towards this goal. We are also an investor signatory to the CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project), a global carbon, water and forestry disclosure program. Our CDP membership recognises our commitment to engaging with companies on environmental issues. Similarly, the Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI), whom we support, measures and reports on the ability of companies to address climate risks in their business models and transition towards the 2015 Paris Agreement commitments.

 

Owen Scarrott

“For our investors – integrating responsible investment into our investment process will be a defining requirement for the next decade.”

Owen Scarrott, Investment and ESG Analyst

As well as holding companies to account with respect to sound ESG practices, we seek to conduct our own business operations with the utmost respect for the environment, to be socially minded and adhere to a robust and transparent governance framework.

Business operations

From an environmental perspective, we pay carbon credits for all business travel flights. We also purchase “green” office stationery products where possible, and support recycling initiatives. As a business, we support the ongoing training and education of employees. We also encourage wellness and participation in community and/ or charitable causes. We have a strict policy of putting client interests ahead of our own, with staff remuneration tied to client outcomes.

Pro bono activities

Antipodes is proud to be one of the founding fund managers of Future Generation Global (ASX:FGG), Australia’s first internationally focussed, charitable listed investment company. FGG seeks to provide shareholders with diversified exposure to selected global fund managers while changing the lives of young Australians who are affected by mental ill health. As a pro bono fund manager, we do not charge management or performance fees, allowing FGG to invest 1% of assets to its supported charities each year. Since inception in 2015, Antipodes have foregone an estimated $1.9m in management and performance fees, which has contributed to Future Generation in donating $14m to charities focused on youth mental health across Australia.

Corporate giving

Together with the Pinnacle Charitable Foundation we have forged a long-term partnership with ReachOut Australia. ReachOut is the country’s leading online, mental health organisation dedicated to offering practical support to young people and their parents. Designed by experts, ReachOut’s website helps families navigate the often-traumatic path through teenage years. The site is accessed by 132,000 Australians every month and Antipodes is enabling the charity to provide appropriate content and tools based on real-time events via a range of online support and referral services.

In the wake of the 2019-2020 Australian bushfires, Antipodes employees decided to contribute to the recovery and regeneration of wild spaces that had been impacted by the bushfires. We chose to direct our bushfire relief efforts to South Endeavour Trust, an independent, not for profit, charitable trust that owns and manages ten conservation reserves across eastern Australia. Seven out of eight of South Endeavour’s New South Wales reserves were impacted by the fires and a lot of work will need to be done to help protect the land from feral animal and weed invasion while it recovers. Our contribution has allowed South Endeavour to provide six months of feral animal and weed invasion control at their Bezzants Lease reserve.

Our Workplace Giving Program

All employees are encouraged to make donations to any charity of choice via pre-tax payroll deductions. Antipodes matches employee donations and pays all associated administration costs.

To all the people who haven’t got any help, I know it can be really challenging reaching out and getting help, and it can be scary as well, but I honestly think it can change your life, and it can save you. It can really save your life. I know for me if I didn’t reach out and if I didn’t get help, I don’t know where I would be today.”

Roxy, 24 years old