Sustainable investing

When we know better, we have the power to do better. You can now access information about a company’s recent performance in relation to environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors.

What is Sustainable Investing?

Sustainable investing is a long-term investment approach that incorporates environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into the investment process. It’s an approach to investing that explores further to reveal broader risks and help to identify greater opportunities.

The more you know, the more rewarding investing can be. 

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Discover the power of sustainable investing

Knowing how much money a company makes is important, but knowing how they make their money can be just as valuable.

Explore what it means to invest sustainably with sustainability scoring tools.


What is sustainable investing?

Sustainable investing is a long-term approach to investing that incorporates ESG factors into the investment process.

What is ESG?

ESG refers to environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors that investors may consider when making investment decisions. These factors, at times, have also been known to affect the risk and return of investments.

Why is BT Financial Group (BTFG) using the terms 'sustainable investing' and 'ESG'?

ESG has become the standard way to describe the general approach that sustainable investors take with their portfolios. Sustainable investing is commonly used as an overarching term to describe investment decisions that take into account ESG analysis, which is the evaluation of how effectively companies are addressing sustainability issues.

Is interest in sustainable investing really growing?

Investors are placing increasing importance on sustainability issues. In a 2015 survey, the Morgan Stanley Institute of Sustainable Investing found that 71% of individual investors are interested in sustainable investing.1 During 2015, the number of financial institutions that signed the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) Initiative increased by 29%. As of January 2016, nearly 1,500 firms managing in excess of $59 trillion have joined this global network of investors working to promote responsible investing.2

1. Sustainable Signals: The Individual Investor Perspective, Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing, February 2015.

Why are investors increasingly interested in integrating ESG factors into their investment decisions?

Some investors want to know they are investing in companies rated as having strong sustainable practices. Others see ESG as a set of factors often overlooked in traditional analysis that should be incorporated for a more complete assessment of an investment.

How does sustainable investing align with BT Panorama and BT Invest?

BTFG is at the leading edge of innovation and is committed to providing insights and information to help you make more informed investment decisions. Availability of sustainability scores based on ESG factors is an innovative capability integrated on BT Panorama and BT Invest, to provide a new perspective on investment analysis, which may help identify risks and opportunities that can preserve and grow the value of a client’s portfolio in the long term.

What are the sustainability scores on BT Panorama and BT Invest?

The sustainability scores for investments on BT Panorama and BT Invest, are a set of scores which can identify a company’s performance in relation to ESG issues. These are available for the ASX200 listed companies and those managed funds that invest primarily in Australian and international shares. Scores are based on a scale of 0 to 100, where 100 represents the highest score.

The sustainability scores and associated commentary for ASX200 are provided directly by Sustainalytics, a global provider of company-level ESG research and ratings. The scores for the relevant managed funds are provided by Morningstar in partnership with Sustainalytics.

Is deeper analysis of scores available?

For the ASX200 listed companies, BT Panorama and BT Invest will provide access to in depth commentary, detailed ESG scoring and controversies information, all supplied by Sustainalytics.

Why is BTFG launching Sustainability scores?

There is a growing level of investor interest in sustainable investing worldwide, but a lack of information and tools that investors can use to help evaluate investments on a sustainability basis. We are giving investors a new way to engage with their investments in relation to ESG factors so more investors can align their portfolio in a way which makes it meaningful to them.

How are sustainability scores calculated?

For the ASX200 listed companies, Sustainalytics assesses the company’s performance across a range of ESG factors along with the company’s involvement in ESG-related controversies.

For managed funds, Morningstar assesses the holdings of the fund and applies an asset weighted average of the ESG scores from Sustainalytics in relation to the underlying investments to provide a fund level score. For more detailed information, see the Methodology summary.

Do the sustainability scores suggest a ‘buy’ or ‘sell’ recommendation for investments?

Not at all. The sustainability scores only reflect information on the ESG performance of available investments. These scores are not an evaluation of an investment’s financial performance, nor a qualitative evaluation of the overall investment merit.

Who are Sustainalytics and Morningstar?

Sustainalytics is a global firm with a reputation for transparent and insightful research. The firm has 170 analysts, covering 6,500 companies on ESG performance across more than 40 sectors. Sustainalytics transparent scoring methodology is a quantitative indicator-driven approach that uses 60-80 performance indicators per company. In addition, the firm’s research analysts offer controversy assessments on more than 10,000 companies. Its ability to update controversial incident indicators in a timely fashion ensures the latest information is incorporated in the scores.

Morningstar is a global provider of independent investment research servicing investors, advisers, asset managers, retirement plan sponsors and providers. It demonstrates a deep commitment to bottom-up research with thirty years of expertise, global research coverage, and a deep analyst bench. Morningstar utilises its transparent methodologies to track, research, and rate more than 250,000 managed products.

Important notes

The role of Sustainalytics, Morningstar and BT

Role of Sustainalytics
Sustainalytics Australia Pty Ltd ABN 37 607 393 028 (Sustainalytics) is a global research firm specialised in environmental, social and governance (ESG) research and analysis and its role is solely limited to providing research and ESG analysis in order to facilitate well-informed decision-making. Sustainalytics makes no representation or warranty, whether expressed or implied, regarding the advisability of investing in any asset or including companies in investable universes and/or portfolios nor shall it accept any liability for damage or loss arising from the use of this overview or information contained herein in any manner whatsoever. Sustainalytics does not provide financial or investment advice and nothing in this document should be read and construed as constituting financial or investment advice. Investors are expected to independently determine their investment decisions and the general information contained in this overview should not be acted upon without obtaining specific legal, tax, and investment advice from a licensed professional.

Role of Morningstar 
Morningstar Australasia (ABN: 95 090 665 544, AFSL: 240892) is a subsidiary of Morningstar, Inc, a provider of investment research in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. Morningstar does not guarantee the data or content contained herein to be accurate, complete or timely nor will they have any liability for its use or distribution. Any general advice has been prepared without reference to your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the advice in light of these matters and if applicable, the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before making any decision to invest.

Role of BT 
BT Portfolio Services Ltd ABN 73 095 055 208 AFSL 233715 (BTPS) operates BT Panorama and BT Invest (together, the Services). Investor Guides are available for each Service, and can be obtained from BTPS by visiting or calling 1300 881 716. A person should obtain and consider the disclosure documents before deciding whether to acquire, continue to hold or dispose of interests in the Services. BTPS is a subsidiary of Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 (Westpac). Apart from any interest investors may have in Westpac term deposits or securities acquired through the Services, an investment in or acquired through the Services is not an investment in a bank or a bank deposit. Westpac and its related entities do not guarantee an investment in or acquired through the Services. This document contains material provided directly by third parties that is given in good faith and has been derived from sources believed to be accurate at its publication date but has not been independently verified. It should not be considered a statement of fact nor as a comprehensive statement on any matter nor relied upon as such. No company in the Westpac Group nor any of their related entities, employees, or directors gives any warranty of reliability or accuracy or accepts any responsibility arising in any other way including by reason of negligence for errors or omissions. This disclaimer is subject to any requirement of the law. Information is current as at 21 November 2016. © BT Portfolio Services Ltd 2016