AUSTRALIA - Superannuation schemes are ignoring members' wishes by investing in tobacco, according to the Cancer Council NSW.
Raoul Walsh, associate professor, Centre for Health Research and Psycho-oncology (CHeRP), University of Newcaste, commented: "What is significant about this research is that these superannuation funds have barely considered the issue, treating investment in tobacco companies just like any of their other shareholdings, despite the fact their members are strongly opposed."
Over two thirds of members would prefer their scheme not to invest in tobacco, even if the holdings were profitable.
Anita Tang, director of health strategies, The Cancer Council NSW, said: "Any financial gain to the tobacco industry, and therefore investors, is inextricably linked to increased death and ill-health in our community.
"This is an opportunity for superannuation funds to take a stand on ethical investments that will resonate with the vast majority of the community."
In October 2007, a Russell survey showed super fund trustees had come under increasing public pressure to take sustainability factors, such as the environment, social & governance (ESG) into account in their investment strategies.
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