SelfWealth introduces ESG rating integration to empower ethical investors

SelfWealth introduces ESG rating integration to empower ethical investors

Australia’s only listed low-cost trading platform, SelfWealth (ASX:SWF), has made it easier to invest in companies that take their Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) footprint seriously.

In what is believed to be an industry first, SelfWealth has added ESG integration to its platform. This means a company’s ESG rating is instantly available helping traders understand that company’s commitment to this growing sector. An A rating is excellent, B rating good and C rating satisfactory.

The SelfWealth rating is provided by Refinitiv, a highly regarded global provider of financial market data. It ranks 10,000 businesses globally and uses 186 measurements to calculate an ESG score for each company.

SelfWealth CEO Cath Whitaker said the rating will provide members with an additional level of information to help them decide whether to invest or not in a particular company.

“There is a heightened demand for sustainable investing – not just in Australia but globally – as investors seek to reflect their values and goals within their portfolio,” she said.

“And ESG is much more than just looking what a company is doing from an environment or climate change perspective. The rating also accounts for a company’s social impact, such as its workforce, and governance, such as its management.”

Ms Whitaker said SelfWealth members were already ahead of the curve and had been investing in ESG focussed companies for many years, particularly through ETFs.

She also said assets in Australian ESG and social responsible investing platforms tracked by EPFR, a data provider, had jumped three-fold in the past two years to $3.2 billion at the end of August.

Ms Whitaker said there were several examples in recent days that ESG is gaining more momentum in Australia.

“Only last week, 55% of AGL Energy investors demanded steeper carbon cuts and to set short, medium and long-term decarbonisation goals. AGL is Australia’s biggest polluter and the vote called for the changes that meet the Paris Agreement, a pact that aims to keep temperatures to less than two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and means phasing out coal plants by 2030.”

Additionally, global fund manager Janus Henderson announced its flagship ESG fund will be launched in Australia to meet the growing demand for sustainable investing.

The Janus Henderson Global Sustainable Equity fund, which has $4.7 billion in assets, will launch as an active exchange traded fund, providing Australian investors with access to the listed vehicle three decades after the portfolio was launched.