We are all aware of the many, sometimes Herculean efforts across Australia to work to end death and disease caused by tobacco. But did you know that there is a good chance that your superannuation and public dollars are investing in that very same industry?
ACOSH, in partnership with ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) Australia, Tobacco Free Portfolios and others, is campaigning to end investments in tobacco companies by federal, state and territory governments, and by major super funds.
Since the campaign commenced in December 2011, we have seen some positive steps forward with the governments of Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and South Australia all divesting their public investment in the tobacco industry.
The Australian Government’s Future Fund likewise divested all its funds from the tobacco industry, along with a number of major superannuation companies.
Companies that deserve commendation for divestment include HESTA, VicSuper, First State Super, UniSuper, Local Government Super Fund, Christian Super, and most recently, GESB.
There are also other funds which have opted to not invest in the tobacco industry on ethical grounds: AMP Capital, Australian Ethical Investments, Hunter Hall, and UCA Funds.
ACOSH and Tobacco Free Portfolios will continue to advocate for all state and territory and the Commonwealth governments and superannuation funds to remove tobacco from their investment portfolios. ACOSH will especially continue to advocate for the WA Government to divest.
If you want to join our campaign, you can write to your government and your superfund and ask them three questions:
- Do you invest in the tobacco industry?
- Have you made a determination that investment in tobacco is a socially responsible investment?
- If so, what was that determination?
Let them know that is NOT alright with you that they are investing your money in the tobacco industry!
For more information on why governments and super funds should divest from tobacco companies please read ACOSH’s Position on Risks of tobacco investments and why states, territories, super funds and investors should divest.