HESTA dumps coal, targets absolute net zero

Industry superannuation fund HESTA will divest pure play thermal coal miners immediately, reduce its emissions footprint by 33 per cent over the next decade, and dump all carbon-emitting companies by 2050.

The commitments are part of a new climate change transition plan, announced on Friday, which the $52 billion healthcare sector fund claims is one of the most ambitious put forward by any major super fund.

HESTA CEO Debby Blakey says climate change is the "single most important issue" of the 21st century. Wayne Taylor

The plan means HESTA has aligned itself with the Paris Agreement goal of keeping temperature increases below 2 degrees and as close to 1.5 degrees as possible, which requires the world to get to net zero by the middle of the century. The method by which HESTA will get to absolute net zero, however, remains unclear.

If achieved, every single company HESTA owns would have net zero emissions across scopes 1, 2 and 3. That means no direct emissions (scope 1), no emissions from electricity use (scope 2), and no emissions anywhere in those companies' product and supply chain (scope 3).

Read the full article in the Australian Financial Review, published 26th June 2020