ESG Leader Super funds announced for 2023

Published on
September 27, 2023
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ESG Leader Super funds announced for 2023

Rainmaker Information’s ESG Leader Rating has been achieved by 15 superannuation funds in 2023.

The ESG Leader Rating is earned by Australia's best super funds that are implementing environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles to a high level, while having a track record of strong investment performance.

Rainmaker has today announced the ESG Superannuation Leadership Ratings for 2023.

For a super fund to be considered an ESG Superannuation Leader it must satisfy a range dimensions regarding its ESG credentials and demonstrate high levels of investment transparency for sustainability and associated principles.

But reflecting the obligations super fund trustees have to their members financial best interests, funds must also uphold high levels of investment performance.

More specifically, these dimensions span:

  • Governance: The fund publicly declares its commitments to ESG principles.
  • Investment transparency: The fund discloses what it invests in and how it engages with companies into which it invests.
  • Publishes ESG reports: The fund reviews and discloses its environmental, climate change and social impacts.
  • Investment processes: The fund discloses the investment practices through which it implements ESG principles regarding how it invests.
  • Performance: The fund achieves its investment objectives, achieves competitive investment returns all while satisfying the Sole Purpose Test as required by the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act.

“ESG and sustainability principles are a rapidly evolving part of Australia’s superannuation landscape with ever-increasing levels of scrutiny being applied to super funds by government, regulators and their fund members,” said Alex Dunnin, executive director of research and compliance at Rainmaker Information.

“Australia’s super funds are among the most committed in the world to implementing environmental, sustainability and governance principles into their investment practices. But greater regulation and higher stakeholder expectations means that more is expected from Australia’s super funds than ever before."

Dunnin said the latest ESG Superannuation Leadership Ratings show that many of Australia’s leading super funds are embracing these challenges while also ensuring their investment portfolios perform at high levels.

“Super funds should be active investors, not activists, and with regulators stepping up their scrutiny of financial institutions and their ESG bona-fides they must also ensure they don’t make exaggerated claims regarding their sustainability practices.”

Other facets considered in Rainmaker’s 2023 ESG review were a fund’s net-zero commitment, gender diversity among its management and senior executives, investment screening and the quality of their portfolio holdings disclosures.

The ESG Leader super funds for 2023 are:

Super Fund (A-Z)

FUM ($ billions)*

Australian Ethical




Aware Super




Cbus Super


Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation 48.6

GESB Superannuation






NGS Super


Prime Super


Rest Super


Spirit Super


State Super (NSW)






*As at 30 June 2023

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