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Environmental, social and governance


As a for-purpose investor, with a central focus on cutting emissions, the CEFC has a longstanding commitment to environmental, social and governance matters. During the 2020–21 year, the CEFC Board approved our inaugural ESG Policy, which identifies the material ESG factors which are to be factored into investment and risk management decisions.

ESG policy

The ESG policy came into effect in February 2021. The policy requires the CEFC to “maximise impact” through our investment commitments; to “do no harm” with respect to indirectly related areas, and to apply an “exclusions” screen covering prohibited technologies and criminal and other activities where the CEFC will not participate. The CEFC has not identified any instances of non-compliance with either the “do no harm” or “exclusions” provisions of the policy in the reporting year.


Maximising our impact

Through our investment activities, the CEFC directly contributes to positive ESG outcomes, particularly by accelerating the decarbonisation of our economy while working to deliver a positive return for taxpayers across our portfolio. Since we began investing, CEFC investment commitments have contributed to a $33 billion lift in investment to deliver emissions abatement.

Our activities also deliver broader ESG outcomes, in addition to decarbonisation and financial measures. With the introduction of the ESG policy we are committed to reporting against nine material ESG factors where we can maximise impact. Many of these areas are discussed in detail throughout this Annual Report and on the CEFC website, including specific investments and their impacts.

Progress around the “maximise impact” requirement is reflected in Figure 7.

ESG is integrated into our investment approach, demonstrated through:

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Environmental impacts, measured via emissions reduction

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Social impacts, as we increase the flow of finance into Australia’s successful transition to a low emissions economy

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Our governance approach, which underpins the commercial rigour of our investment activities

Figure 6: Material ESG factors
EnvironmentalSocialGovernanceMaterial ESG factorsObjectiveMaximise impact Decarbonisation Climate risk Reef catchment Resource efficiency and circular economy Industry engagement and collaboration2.Do no harm1. Ecological impactsMaterial ESG factorsObjectiveWe seek to extend the benefits of our investment activities across the Australian community. Maximise impact Local job creation and socio-economic impacts First Australians and social engagement Community connection2.Do no harm1. Labour practices and employee health and safety Modern slavery Diversity and inclusion Equality and remunerationMaterial ESG factorsObjectiveWe are committed to achieving sustainable outcomes across our business, founded on the highest standards and ethical behaviour.Maximise impact ESG performance2.Do no harm1. ESG compliance Anti-corruptionWe have a deep sense of purpose: to be at the forefront of Australias successful transition to a low emissions economy.
Figure 7: Maximising our ESG impact 2020–21
Contribution to multiple industry and regulatory bodiesAustralian hydrogen market studyGreenius Cleanaway improving recycling habits campaignResearch reportEnergising resource recoveryResource efficiency and circular economyClimate riskIndustry engagement and collaborationReef catchment$13.1mInvestments through $810mnew investment in renewable energy7.9Mt CO2-eestimated avoided $1.2m~130 smaller-scale clean energy projectsInvestment through the Australian Recycling Investment Fund112 market presentations$493minvestment in energy efficiency07CEFC Green Room webinars$65mcommitments to low emissions technologiesDecarbonisation$1bproperty, infrastructure assets aligned with the TCFD reporting framework1stEnvironmentalResponsible Investment LeaderESG performanceFirst Australians and social engagementCommunity connection$87mgreen housing solutions for people with disability90%Staff participationFirst Nations Cultural Awareness trainingInvestment screening procedurefocused on impacts on First Nations peoplesInaugural roundtableFirst Nations Heritage Protection Alliance and Responsible Investment Association Australasia Australias largest Virtual Power PlantSA community housing100%ParticipationCode of Conduct and Ethics compliance training4th consecutive yearClimate Active Certification1st Modern Slavery policy1st ESG policy PublishedDirect construction jobs on renewable energy projects~100 Start-ups backedAustralias largest cleantech investorLocal job creation and social-economic impacts$5bTotal transaction value of CEFC commitments in 202021$175mInvestmentSupporting 5,800 smaller-scale investments~1,100 membersWomen in Sustainable Finance groupSocialGovernance
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