HESTA’s net zero by 2050 target sets a new benchmark for climate action in Australia’s superannuation industry.

The health and community service superannuation fund has announced it will develop an ‘ambitious’ Climate Change Transition Plan to achieve net zero across its investment portfolio.

The HESTA announcement, made in June, sees the $52 billion industry super fund commit to reducing absolute greenhouse gas emissions – the total amount of emissions being financed through its investment portfolio – by 33% by 2030 and to ‘net zero’ by 2050. 

We have assessed the HESTA announcement as ‘fully aligned’ when measured against the goals of the Paris Agreement.

This announcement is the first of its kind for an Australian superannuation fund, and sets a new benchmark for climate action in the industry. 

The Net Zero Momentum Tracker is a ClimateWorks and Monash Sustainable Development Institute joint initiative to assess organisational climate commitments against the global ambition to limit temperature rise to well below two degrees Celsius.

This assessment finds that by committing to a net zero by 2050 emissions target for its investment portfolio, supported by an interim target and a commitment to develop a transition plan, HESTA has satisfied the Tracker’s ‘fully aligned’ criteria

We look forward to seeing the specific investment principles HESTA intends to follow to decarbonise its portfolio, details which are expected as part of the Climate Change Transition Plan.

Highlights:

  • A portfolio target committing to net zero emissions by 2050
  • An interim portfolio target of 33% absolute emissions by 2030.

How we assess momentum to net zero:

Fully aligned: Net zero by 2050 target for all material emissions.

Closely aligned: Net zero by 2050 target for most, but not all material emissions.

Aligned aspiration/pathway: Net zero by 2050 aspiration, or an aligned interim target.

Partially aligned: Net zero by 2050 target for a small proportion of emissions.

Not aligned: Undertaking emissions reduction activities, but these are not sufficient to reach net zero by 2050.

No target: No emissions targets or activities have been disclosed.

Learn more about our assessment methodology

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