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In the news: Foundations urged to invest responsibly

The head of an Australian community foundation recently recognised as a responsible investment leader is encouraging other foundations to follow its footsteps and commit to investing more ethically.

Australian Communities Foundation (ACF) has successfully met a pledge for 100 per cent of its investment portfolio to be responsibly invested, as part of a six-year journey to align the investments of its corpus with its mission and values.

ACF CEO Maree Sidey told Pro Bono News that with a corpus worth around $140 million, it was a major achievement to transition entirely to responsible investments.

Based on its performance in 2020, Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) named ACF a responsible investment leader in its annual benchmark report released last month.

“We didn’t expect to get this recognition from RIAA, so we’re absolutely delighted,” Sidey said.

“But it’s bittersweet to be the only foundation on the list because while it’s a fantastic achievement, there are a lot of private and public foundations out there that are really interested in seeing their capital used for positive social and environmental outcomes. 

“So we know that we’re not the only ones making moves in this space, and we’re hoping that others are going to follow.”