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Welcome to Thrive+

A Good Fund. That Does Good.

CFS Thrive+ Sustainable Growth is our new sustainable investment option. Our aim is to make a positive contribution to people, planet, and policy.

People

Thrive+ puts people at the heart of the investment. It seeks to invest in companies that focus on managing the social issues you care about such as ethical supply chains, forced labour, and human trafficking.

Planet

Thrive+ seeks out investments in companies that are addressing climate change, delivering solutions for waste and pollution, and committing to the transition to net zero emissions.

Policy

A company is only as good as its board and the policies it implements. That’s why Thrive+ considers board composition, fair remuneration, transparency and culture before investing in any business.

Performance

Thrive+ seeks to achieve competitive market returns. ESG funds in Australia are growing in popularity and multiple independent research reports1 suggest they deliver competitive returns over the longer term.

Thrive+ is about what matters to you

Member surveys and discussions with our investment managers have guided our choices in which industries Thrive+ supports. This criteria is outlined in the Thrive+ Sustainable Investment Charter. The top areas that Australians we surveyed said they would like their investments to make a positive contribution to are shown below.

0%

Sustainable investments2

The likelihood of Australian’s choosing a sustainable investment option.

0%

Climate change3

Delivering climate change solutions and benefiting from the transition to net zero emissions.

0%

Sustainable communities3

Addressing the need for affordable housing.

0%

Healthcare3

Tackling healthcare challenges.

0%

Resource efficiency3

Managing waste sustainably.

0%

Education & Equality3

Improving education access and inclusivity.

Footnotes: 1 Responsible Investment Benchmark Report 2022, SUPER|REVIEW No performance loss seen in ESG funds 11 October 2022, and Morningstar Sustainable Investing Landscape
for Australian Fund Investors Q2 2022.
2The CFS Sustainable Investments Quantitative Research Report, August 2022, prepared by SEC Newgate Research. Survey question to general population participants: ‘If you were to invest in superannuation or a managed fund, how likely would you be to choose a new sustainable / ESG investment options?’.
3 The CFS Sustainable Investments Quantitative Research Report, August 2022, prepared by SEC Newgate Research. Survey question to general population participants: ‘Still imagining you were looking to invest in superannuation or a managed find. From the list below, please select the top 3 areas that you would like the investments to have a positive impact on’.

Companies we seek to avoid


Summary of problem

Tobacco is a highly addictive drug and one of the world’s biggest contributors to preventable illnesses and death. Smoking negatively impacts the health of communities such as pregnant women, young people, and those from lower socio-economic backgrounds, costing the Australian economy billions of dollars every year. 

 

Thrive+ believes that investing in companies that grow, process, or manufacture tobacco products and contribute to this global health epidemic will lead to negative outcomes for consumer health and safety. 

Why Thrive+ doesn't invest in tobacco

Health

All forms of tobacco products are addictive and harmful to health.

  • Smoking is estimated to kill almost 20,500 Australians a year (13% of all deaths) and was responsible for 8.6% of Australia’s total burden of disease in 2018.1

  • Tobacco directly kills more than 7 million people per annum globally.

Exploitation

Children and young people are exploited in the production of tobacco.

  • The US Department of Labor reports there are at least 17 countries where child labour is common in the tobacco industry.3
  • 3.9% of the global tobacco workforce exploits child labour – that’s an estimated 1.3 million children worldwide.4 

Economic

Tobacco use contributes to poverty by diverting household spending away from basic needs.

  • Smoking cost the Australian economy $136.9 billion in social costs in 2015–16, including healthcare costs, family care, lost productivity, and worker absences.5

  • Over 80% of the 1.3 billion smokers worldwide live in low to middle-income countries where the burden of tobacco-related illness and death is heaviest.2 

Environmental

  • Around 4.5 trillion cigarettes are discarded each year worldwide, with up to 8.9 billion in Australia alone (almost 50% of all cigarettes consumed), making them the most littered item on Earth.6, 7
  • Cigarette litter and its management costs the Australian economy an estimated $73 million per year, leaching nicotine, heavy metals, and plastic into the surrounding environment.

How Thrive+ invests

Promoting good for people, planet and policy

 

The investment approach for CFS Thrive+ seeks to generate competitive returns whilst doing good for people, planet and policy. The Thrive+ Sustainable Investment Charter is the framework that guides us. 

  1. We seek out companies that unleash positive change in the world by supporting people, planet and policy.

  2. We seek to avoid companies that have a highly adverse effect on people and planet.8

  3. We work with investment managers who engage with companies and vote to influence sustainable outcomes. 

Thrive+ position on tobacco 

We will not invest in any companies that manufacture tobacco products including cigars, cigarettes, e-cigarettes, inhalers, snuff, chewing tobacco, or companies involved in the growing or processing of raw tobacco leaves. 

Alignment with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

The future we want 

In 2015, the United Nations introduced 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a universal call to action for governments and businesses to improve lives of people in the world while protecting the planet. 

Specific SDG Target relating to tobacco

Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages CFS Thrive+ seeks to support the SDGs by not investing in tobacco manufacturers with the aim of advancing progress towards SDG target 3: Good Health and Well-Being.

1Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2022. Smoking, www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/health-conditions-and-risks/smoking/latest-release
2World Health Organization, 2022. Tobacco, www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/tobacco
3Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2021. List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor, www.dol.gov/agencies/ilab/reports/child-labor/list-of-goods
4Cancer Council, 2022. The investment of public funds in tobacco – the case for divestment, www.tobaccoinaustralia.org.au/chapter-10-tobacco- industry/10-18-the-investment-of-public-funds-in-tobacco
5Cancer Council, 2019. New report highlights the $137 billion cost of smoking, www.cancer.org.au/media-releases/2019/new-report-highlights-the-137-billion-cost-of-smoking
6World Health Organization, 2022. WHO raises alarm on tobacco industry environmental impact, www.who.int/news/item/31-05-2022-who-raises-alarm-on-tobacco-industry-environmental-impact
7World Wildlife Foundation, 2021. No plastics in nature, www.wwf.org.au/ArticleDocuments/353/pub-WWF-Australia-Ending-cigarette-butt-pollution-3Dec21.pdf.aspx
8An exemption applies to some fixed income investments 'use of proceeds' securities such as green, social, and sustainability bonds issued by companies, that may have otherwise been screened out, to fund projects with dedicated environmental and/or social benefits and to government, government related/ supranationals. Exemptions do not apply to sustainability-linked bonds.

Summary of problem

There are more than one billion firearms in the world and the majority are in the hands of civilians. The weapons and firearms industry profits from criminal activity, civil unrest, and armed conflicts around the globe, contributing to countless deaths, human rights abuses, and reduced economic progress.1

 

Thrive+ believes that investing in companies involved in the manufacturing, storing, or processing of nuclear, controversial, and conventional weapons will lead to negative outcomes for our global community. 

Why Thrive+ doesn't invest in weapons and firearms

Economic

Violence hinders productivity and economic activity, destabilises institutions, and reduces business confidence.

  • The global economic impact of violence was estimated to be US $14.4 trillion in 2019. This is equivalent to 10.5% of the global GDP, or $1,895 per person.2

  • The economic impact in the ten most affected countries was 36.4% of global GDP. This is over nine times higher than the impact in the ten least affected countries.3

Loss of life

Armed violence and global conflict contributes to countless preventable deaths worldwide.

  •  More than 596,000 men, women and children died in 2018 as a result of armed violence.3
  • Concerted conflict and violence reduction efforts could lead to as many as 1.43 million lives being saved between 2019–2030.

Social and environmental 

Weapons and firearms force displacement, erode social capital, and destroy infrastructure. 

  •  Gun violence disproportionately and inequitably affects lower socio-economic regions. Almost half (46%) of violent deaths occurred in the four regions with the highest violent death rate: Southern Africa, Central America, South America, and Western Asia.3
  • Firearms pollute environments and impede investment in reconstruction and reconciliation. The US Department of Defence are now the world’s largest producer of greenhouse gases and the largest institutional user of petroleum.4

How Thrive+ invests

Promoting good for people, planet and policy

The investment approach for CFS Thrive+ seeks to generate competitive returns whilst doing good for people, planet and policy. The Thrive+ Sustainable Investment Charter is the framework that guides us.

  1. We seek out companies that unleash positive change in the world by supporting people, planet and policy.
  2. We seek to avoid companies that have a highly adverse effect on people and planet.5
  3. We work with investment managers who engage with companies and vote to influence sustainable outcomes. 

Thrive+ position on weapons and firearms 

We will not invest in any companies that: 

  • Manufacture nuclear weapons including manufacture and/or storage of fissile materials used in/for nuclear weapons, manufacture of nuclear warheads and/or missiles or production of uranium for nuclear weapons.

  • Manufacture controversial weapons, including chemical and biological weapons, cluster munitions, anti personnel landmines, and blinding lasers.

  • Manufacture conventional weapons or firearms. 

Alignment with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

The future we want

In 2015, the United Nations introduced 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a universal call to action for governments and businesses to improve lives of all people in the world while protecting the planet. 

Specific SDG Target relating to weapons and firearms

Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build affective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. CFS Thrive+ seeks to support the SDGs by not investing in weapons and firearms with the aim of advancing progress towards SDG target 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions. 

1Small Arms Survey, 2021. Global Firearms Holdings, www.smallarmssurvey.org/taxonomy/term/363
2Institute for Economics and Peace, 2021. Economic Value of Peace 2021, www.visionofhumanity.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/EVP-2021-web.pdf
3Small Arms Survey, 2021. Global Violent Deaths Scenarios 2019–2030, www.smallarmssurvey.org/sites/default/files/resources/SAS-SANA-BP-GVD-scenarios.pdf
4Crawford, N., 2019. Pentagon Fuel Use, Climate Change, and the Costs of War, www.watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/files/cow/imce/papers/2019/Pentagon%20Fuel%20Use,%20Climate%20Change%20and%20the%20Costs%20of%20War%20Final.pdf
5An exemption applies to some fixed income investments 'use of proceeds' securities such as green, social, and sustainability bonds issued by companies, that may have otherwise been screened out, to fund projects with dedicated environmental and/or social benefits and to government, government related/ supranationals. Exemptions do not apply to sustainability-linked bonds.

Summary of problem

Drinking alcohol is socially acceptable, but alcohol abuse is one of the world’s biggest contributors to chronic disease and premature death. It’s also commonly linked to family and domestic violence, criminal activity, and risky behaviours, placing a heavy social, financial, and health burden on our community. 

 

Thrive+ believes that investing in companies that manufacture alcoholic products including brewers, distillers, and winemakers, will lead to negative outcomes for people and society. 

Why Thrive+ doesn't invest in alcohol

There are more than one billion firearms in the world and the majority are in the hands of civilians. The weapons and firearms industry profits from criminal activity, civil unrest, and armed conflicts around the globe, contributing to countless deaths, human rights abuses, and reduced economic progress.1

 

Thrive+ believes that investing in companies involved in the manufacturing, storing, or processing of nuclear, controversial, and conventional weapons will lead to negative outcomes for our global community. 

Health

Alcohol use contributes to increased chronic disease, injury, poisoning, and premature death. 

  • More than 5,500 Australian lives are lost every year and over 150,000 people are hospitalised due to alcohol-related problems – making it one of the nation’s greatest preventative health challenges.1

  • Worldwide, harmful use of alcohol results in3 million deaths every year (5.3% of all deaths).2

  • 5.1% of global disease can be attributable to alcohol.3  

Social

Alcohol abuse can lead to anti-social behaviour, social harm, and cause health impacts.

  • Alcohol can often cause domestic, family, and intimate partner violence – with social costs up to $0.7 billion.2

  • In 2018, one in four road deaths worldwide were attributable to drinking.3  

  • Over one in four (27%) police detainees reported consuming alcohol in the 24 hours prior to their arrest, and three in ten (30%) reported that alcohol contributed to their arrest.3  

Economic

Adverse health effects result in direct costs to the Australian economy and health system.

  • Alcohol-related violence, illness, and lost productivity are estimated to cost the Australian economy $66.8 billion a year.1

  • Alcohol can have a harmful financial impact on families and vary by household background; the proportion of householdexpenditure on alcohol in 2015–16 was 2.2%.3  

How Thrive+ invests

Promoting good for people, planet and policy

The investment approach for CFS Thrive+ seeks to generate competitive returns whilst doing good for people, planet and policy. The Thrive+ Sustainable Investment Charter is the framework that guides us.

  1. We seek out companies that unleash positive change in the world by supporting people, planet and policy. 

  2. We seek to avoid companies that have a highly adverse effect on people and planet4. 

  3. We work with investment managers who engage with companies and vote to influence sustainable outcomes. 

How Thrive+ invests

We will not invest in any companies that manufacture alcohol products including brewers, distillers, and vintners.

Alignment with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

The future we want 

In 2015, the United Nations introduced 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a universal call to action for governments and businesses to improve lives of all people in the world while protecting the planet. 

Specific SDG Target relating to alcohol 

Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages CFS Thrive+ seeks to support the SDGs by not investing in alcohol manufacturers with the aim of advancing progress towards SDG target 3: Good Health and Well-Being. 

1VicHealth, 2014. Alcohol’s burden of disease in Australia, www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/~/media/ResourceCentre/PublicationsandResources/alcohol%20misuse/Alcohols-burden-of-disease-in-Australia.ashx
2World Health Organization, 2022. Alcohol, www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/alcohol
3Borges G, García-Pacheco JÁ, Familiar-Lopez I, 2021. Global estimates of the attributable risk of alcohol consumption on road injuries, www.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/acer.14689
4An exemption applies to some fixed income investments 'use of proceeds' securities such as green, social, and sustainability bonds issued by companies, that may have otherwise been screened out, to fund projects with dedicated environmental and/or social benefits and to government, government related/ supranationals. Exemptions do not apply to sustainability-linked bonds.

Summary of problem

Australians lose billions of dollars to the gambling industry every year, contributing to a loss of personal financial security, growing social disadvantage and in some cases, ongoing health and mental health problems. 

 

Thrive+ believes that investing in companies that own or operate gambling facilities or other betting establishments, online gambling or mobile gambling, will lead to negative outcomes for people and society. 

Why Thrive+ doesn't invest in gambling

Economic 

Australians are the world’s biggest gamblers, which can have costly consequences.

  • Australians lost approximately $25 billion on legal forms of gambling in 2018–19, representing the largest per capita losses in the world of around $1,268 per person.1
  • In NSW, poker machines can make an average of $1,200 per hour with $10 maximum bets per spin. That’s 72% of the average $1,770 weekly wage.2, 3  

Health

Gambling can result in a range of health problems including depression, anxiety, suicide, and homelessness.

  • 7.2% of Australian adults (or 1.3 million people) are at risk of or already experiencing gambling problems or harm.4  

  • Gambling is considered a public health issue. In Victoria alone, around 39% of people who gamble have a diagnosed mental illness.5  

Social

Gambling-related issues don't just affect gamblers but also their families, friends, and the wider community. 

  •  Around 35% of Australian adults aged 18 and over (6.5 million people) regularly spent money gambling.2
  • Close family members such as spouses and children were identified as the people most impacted by others' gambling problems.2

  • Indigenous and financially disadvantaged Australians can be more vulnerable, with 80% of Indigenous Australians reporting gambling in commercial forms and 40% gambling weekly.

How Thrive+ invests

Promoting good for people, planet and policy

 

The investment approach for CFS Thrive+ seeks to generate competitive returns whilst doing good for people, planet and policy. The Thrive+ Sustainable Investment Charter is the framework that guides us. 

  1. We seek out companies that unleash positive change in the world by supporting people, planet and policy.

  2. We seek to avoid companies that have a highly adverse effect on people and planet.7

  3. We work with investment managers who engage with companies and vote to influence sustainable outcomes. 

Thrive+ position on gambling

We will not invest in any companies that own or operate gambling facilities, online gambling or mobile gambling. 

Alignment with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

The future we want

In 2015, the United Nations introduced 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a universal call to action for governments and businesses to improve the lives of all people in the world while protecting the planet. 

Specific SDG Target relating to gambling

In 2015, the United Nations introduced 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a universal call to action for governments and businesses to improve the lives of all people in the world while protecting the planet. 

1Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2021. Gambling in Australia, www.aihw.gov.au/reports/australias-welfare/gambling
2Australian Government Productivity Commission, 2010. Productivity Commission Inquiry Report, www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/gambling-2010/report/gambling-report-volume1.pdf
3Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2022. Average Weekly Earnings, Australia, www.abs.gov.au/statistics/labour/earnings-and-working-conditions/average-weekly-earnings-australia/may-2022
4Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2021. Understanding gambling harm and ways to identify those at risk, www.aifs.gov.au/resources/short-articles/understanding-gambling-harm-and-ways-identify-those-risk
5Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health, 2020. Gambling and Mental Health Correlation, www.mcwh.com.au/wp-content/uploads/Gambling-and-mental-health-2020-English.pdf
6Australian Gambling Research Centre, 2014. Indigenous Australians and Gambling, www.aifs.gov.au/sites/default/files/publication-documents/agrc-dp2-indigenous-gambling_0.pdf
7An exemption applies to some fixed income investments 'use of proceeds' securities such as green, social, and sustainability bonds issued by companies, that may have otherwise been screened out, to fund projects with dedicated environmental and/or social benefits and to government, government related/ supranationals. Exemptions do not apply to sustainability-linked bonds.

Summary of problem

Fossil fuels are the dominant cause of global warming as they release large amounts of carbon dioxide into the earth’s atmosphere when burned. In response to the global challenge of climate change, it is critical that we drastically reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.

 

Thrive+ believes that investing in companies that have material exposure in certain fossil fuel related activities will lead to negative outcomes for the environment and society.

Why Thrive+ doesn't invest in certain fossil fuels

Climate change

Emissions from fossil fuels are the dominant cause of global warming.

  • In 2021, global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rose by 6% to 36.3 billion tonnes, their highest ever level. This is largely due to increased use of thermal coal for electricity generation as high natural gas prices pushed up operational costs for gas power plants.1

  • Fossil fuel use is the primary source of carbon dioxide, with 64% of global CO2 emissions coming from fossil fuels and industry.2

  • Even a 2-degree temperature rise would lead to animal and plant extinctions, fiercer storms, disappearing coral, smog and infectious disease, and a surge in deaths from heat exhaustion. 

Economic

As countries adopt their strategies for decarbonisation, many fossil fuel assets will be unable to deliver financial returns.

  • The adoption of the Paris Agreement set a worldwide objective of keeping the global average temperature well below 2 degrees. Fossil fuel production must be drastically scaled back to achieve this.

  • The International Energy Agency says there is no need for investment in new fossil fuel supply in our net zero pathways. 

Health

Fossil fuels pose significant community health risks that can lead to early death, heart attacks, respiratory disorders, stroke, and asthma. 

  • Air pollution caused by the burning of fossil fuels was responsible for 8.7 million deaths globally in 2018 – one in five of all people who died that year.5

  • Each year, an estimated 40,000 children die before their fifth birthday because of exposure to particulate matter and pollution from fossil fuels.6

  • Nitrogen dioxide, a by-product of fossil fuel combustion in vehicles, power plants, and factories, is linked to roughly 4 million new cases of asthma in children every year.6

How Thrive+ invests

Promoting good for people, planet and policy

The investment approach for CFS Thrive+ seeks to generate competitive returns whilst doing good for people, planet and policy.

The Thrive+ Sustainable Investment Charter is the framework that guides us.

  1. We seek out companies that unleash positive change in the world by supporting people, planet and policy.

  2. We seek to avoid companies that have a highly adverse effect on people and planet.7

  3. We work with investment managers who engage with companies and vote to influence sustainable outcomes. 

Thrive+ position on fossil fuels

We will not invest in companies that derive more than 5% of gross revenues from:

  • Thermal Coal: Thermal coal mining, extraction, production, refining or processing. Oil & Gas – Conventional/Unconventional: Oil and gas exploration, production and refining.

  • Oil includes oil sands, tar sands, shale oil. Gas includes Coal Seam Gas and shale gas.

  • Fossil Fuel Utilities: Thermal coal power generation. 

Alignment with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

The future we want

In 2015, the United Nations  introduced 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a universal call to action for governments  and businesses to improve  the lives of all people in the world while protecting the planet.

Specific SDG Target relating to fossil fuels

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts CFS Thrive+ seeks to support the SDGs by not investing in fossil fuel companies having highly adverse effect on the planet with the aim of advancing progress towards SDG target 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. 

1International Energy Agency, 2022. Global Energy Review: CO2 Emissions in 2021, https://www.iea.org/reports/global-energy-review-2021 
2Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2022. Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change, www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg3/downloads/report/IPCC_AR6_WGIII_SPM.pdf
3PBS News Hour Borenstein, S, 2022. Study finds nations can keep global warming to 2 degrees if pledges are met, www.pbs.org/newshour/world/study-finds-nations-can-keep-global-warming-to-2-degrees-if-pledges-are-met
4International Energy Agency , 2022, Net Zero by 2050 – A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector, https://www.iea.org/reports/net-zero-by-2050
5Vohra, K, Vodonos, A, Schwartz, J, Marais E A, Sulprizio, M P, Mickley, L J, 2021.Global mortality from outdoor fine particle pollution generated by fossil fuel combustion: Results from GEOS-Chem, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0013935121000487
6Nature Climate Change, 2022, Stranded fossil-fuel assets translate to major losses for investors in advanced economies, www.nature.com/articles/s41558-022-01356-y
7An exemption applies to some fixed income investments 'use of proceeds' securities such as green, social, and sustainability bonds issued by companies, that may have otherwise been screened out, to fund projects with dedicated environmental and/or social benefits and to government, government related/ supranationals. Exemptions do not apply to sustainability-linked bonds.
8In certain circumstances, there may be an exception to the less than 5% revenue threshold if a company has publically reported, in line with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), on its progress to net zero by 2050 with a clear transition plan that also addresses thedecommissioning, rehabilitation and social impacts of the transition. This will only be considered for a company where the excluded fossil fuel revenues remain a small part of their overall revenue.

Summary of problem

With the proliferation of the internet, pornography is easier to access online than ever before, making it a multi-billion-dollar industry that profits from exploitation and normalises sexual objectification and violence. Pornography is particularly concerning when it comes to the health and development of young people due to abuse of underage subjects and exposure of explicit material to underage audiences.

 

We believe that investing in companies producing X-rated films, sexually explicit video games, magazines, or adults-only internet material, will lead to negative outcomes for people and society.

Why Thrive+ doesn't invest in pornography

Exploitation

Producers of pornography who force, defraud, or coerce performers are guilty of sex trafficking, a form of modern-day slavery. 

  • Pornography is the third-most common form of sex trafficking, after escort services and illicit massage.1
  • Sex trafficking generates an estimated $99 billion annually.2
  • 4.8 million people are trapped or forced into sexual exploitation globally and more than one in five victims of sex trafficking are children.

Health

Pornography is proven to have adverse health effects.

  • The brain activity of heavy users is linked to substance and gambling addiction.

  • Adolescent users are more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviours and have anxiety and depression.4

  • In Australia, teenagers have sustained serious injuries trying to replicate violent or dangerous acts seen in pornography.5  

Social

  • Pornography reinforces harmful gender stereotypes and can lead viewers to form unhealthy or violent sexual behaviours.

  • Children and young people are accessing pornography at increasing rates. Nearly half (48%) of young men have seen pornography by the age of 13, and nearly half (48%) of young women by 15. In fact, 56% of young men are watching pornography every week.6

  • Women in videos analysed from Pornhub and Xvideos were found to be the targets of violence and/or aggression 97% of the time.7 

How Thrive+ invests

Promoting good for people, planet and policy

The investment approach for CFS Thrive+ seeks to generate competitive returns whilst doing good for people, planet and policy.

The Thrive+ Sustainable Investment Charter is the framework that guides us.

  1. We seek out companies that unleash positive change in the world by supporting people, planet and policy.
  2. We seek to avoid companies that have a highly adverse effect on people and planet.8
  3. We work with investment managers who engage with companies and vote to influence sustainable outcomes.

Thrive+ position on pornography

We will not invest in any companies that produce or sell X-rated films, magazines, sexually explicit video games or internet material. 

Alignment with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

The future we want

In 2015, the United Nations introduced 17 Sustainable Development Goals SDGs as a universal call to action for governments and businesses to improve the lives of all people in the world while protecting the planet.

Specific SDG Target relating to pornography

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls CFS Thrive+ seeks to support the SDGs by not investing in the pornography industry with the aim of advancing progress towards SDG target 5: Gender Equality. 

1Polaris, 2019. 2019 Data Report, www.polarisproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Polaris-2019-US-National-Human-Trafficking-Hotline-Data-Report.pdf
2International Labour Office, 2014. Profits and Poverty: The economics of forced labour, www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_norm/---declaration/documents/publication/wcms_243391.pdf
3International Labour Office, 2017. Global Estimates of Modern Slavery, www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/@dgreports/@dcomm/documents/publication/wcms_575479.pdf
4Principi N, Magnoni P, Grimoldi L, Carnevali D, Cavazzana L, Pellai A, 2022. Consumption of sexually explicit internet material and its effects on minors' health: latest evidence from the literature, www.pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30761817/
5ABC News Wood, P, 2019. Australia’s porn problem, www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-16/australias-porn-problem/10668940#:~:text=Australian%20 ranked%20ninth%20for%20visitors,girls%20have%20seen%20online%20porn
6OurWatch, 2020. Pornography, young people, and preventing violence against women, https://www.ourwatch.org.au/resource/pornography-young-people-and-preventing-violence-against-women-background-paper-2020/ 
7Fritz N, Malic V, Paul B, Zhou Y, 2020. A Descriptive Analysis of the Types, Targets, and Relative Frequency of Aggression in Mainstream Pornography, www.pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32661813/
8An exemption applies to some fixed income investments 'use of proceeds' securities such as green, social, and sustainability bonds issued by companies, that may have otherwise been screened out, to fund projects with dedicated environmental and/or social benefits and to government, government related/ supranationals. Exemptions do not apply to sustainability-linked bonds.

Summary of problem

Predatory lenders use abusive and unscrupulous practices to trap hundreds of thousands of Australians in a harmful cycle of debt, contributing to negative financial, social, and health outcomes. The industry is known to target vulnerable and disadvantaged communities with fast but unaffordable loans that include excessive interest rates and fees. 

 

We believe that investing in companies providing credit that incorporates interest rates, fees and/or contractual terms that do not reflect appropriate risk-based pricing and are unfair on borrowers, will lead to negative outcomes for people and society. 

Why Thrive+ doesn't invest in predatory lending

Economic

Predatory lending options drive hundreds of thousands of Australians into unmanageable debt.

  • Over 4.7 million individual payday loans were written between April 2016 and July 2019 – worth an approximate $3.09 billion.1

  • Interest rates can range as high as 407%, forcing Australians to take out additional payday loans.1

  • Over a five-year period, around 15% of payday loan borrowers fall into a debt spiral that can lead to bankruptcy.1  

Health

The growing burden of debt can lead to negative health outcomes such as depression and anxiety.

  • Money stress can make people up to 20 times more likely to make a suicide attempt.2

  • People who struggle to pay their debts are more than twice as likely to have mental health challenges like depression and anxiety.3  

Social

  • There is evidence that predatory lenders contribute to growing inequality by targeting low-income households and vulnerable groups.

  • 23.1% of Indigenous peoples accessed fringe credit, such as payday loans, in the 12 months to 2019, compared to just 1.9% of the general population.4

  • The number of women using payday loans has risen from 177,000 in 2016 to 287,000 in 2019 – 41% of whom are single mothers.1

  • 37% of Australians were struggling to pay down their own debts in 2019.5  

How Thrive+ invests

Promoting good for people, planet and policy

The investment approach for CFS Thrive+ seeks to generate competitive returns whilst doing good for people, planet and policy.

The Thrive+ Sustainable Investment Charter is the framework that guides us.

  • We seek out companies that unleash positive change in the world by supporting people, planet and policy.
  • We seek to avoid companies that have a highly adverse effect on people and planet.6
  • We work with investment managers who engage with companies and vote to influence sustainable outcomes. 

Thrive+ position on predatory lending

We will not invest in any companies involved in controversial lending practices, defined as those in which lenders take advantage of borrowers' lack of understanding and/or lack of access to more traditional financial services to impose loan terms that place a disproportionately and often untenably high burden on the borrower. 

 

This is often done through deception, fraud, or manipulation via aggressive sales tactics. 

Alignment with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

The future we want

In 2015, the United Nations introduced 17 Sustainable Development Goals SDGs by(SDGs) as a universal call to action for governments and businesses to improve the lives of all people inthe world while protecting the planet.

Specific SDG Target relating to predatory lending

Reduce inequality within and among countries The CFS Thrive+ seeks to support the SDGsby not investing in companies involved in predatory lending with the aim of advancingprogress towards SDG target 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries. 

1Stop the Debt Trap Alliance, 2019. The Debt Trap: How payday lending is costing Australians, www.consumeraction.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Payday-Lending-Report_FINAL_UPDATED_WEB-1.pdf
2Health, Zapata, K, 2021. Financial stress is a leading catalyst for suicide – these steps can help save lives, www.health.com/money/financial-stress-suicide-risk
3Gathergood, J, 2012. Debt and depression: causal links and social norm effects, www.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1468-0297.2012.02519.x
4First Nations Foundation, 2019. Money stories: Financial resilience among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, www.firstnationsfoundation.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/full_report_2019.pdf
5ABC News Janda, M, 2019. Australians' record debt is making us work longer, spend less, www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-18/household-debt-leaves-australians-working-longer-spending-less/11608016
6An exemption applies to some fixed income investments 'use of proceeds' securities such as green, social, and sustainability bonds issued by companies, that may have otherwise been screened out, to fund projects with dedicated environmental and/or social benefits and to government, government related/ supranationals. Exemptions do not apply to sustainability-linked bonds

Disclaimer: We seek to avoid companies that have a highly adverse effect on people and the planet, these are governed by the Thrive+ Sustainable Investment Charter

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Avanteos Investments Limited ABN 20 096 259 979, AFS Licence 245531 (AIL) is the trustee of the Colonial First State FirstChoice Superannuation Trust ABN 26 458 298 557 and issuer of FirstChoice range of super and pension products. AIL is also the trustee of the Avanteos Superannuation Trust ABN 38 876 896 681 and issuer of FirstWrap Plus Super and Pension and FirstWrap Super and Pension (closed to new investors 28 March 2011). Colonial First State Investments Limited ABN 98 002 348 352, AFSL 232468 (CFSIL) is the responsible entity and issuer of products made available under FirstChoice Investments and FirstChoice Wholesale Investments. CFSIL is also the Investor Directed Portfolio Service (IDPS) operator, administrator and custodian of the Avanteos Wrap Account Service which includes FirstWrap Plus Investments and FirstWrap Investments (closed to new investors 28 March 2011).

 

This information does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation, needs or tax circumstances. You can find the Target Market Determinations (TMD) for our financial products at  www.cfs.com.au/tmd, which include a description of who a financial product might suit. You should read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), Investor Directed Portfolio Service Guide (IDPS Guide) and Financial Services Guide (FSG) carefully, assess whether the information is appropriate for you, and consider talking to a financial adviser before making an investment decision. You can get the FirstChoice PDSs and the FSG from www.cfs.com.au or by calling us on 13 13 36 and FirstWrap PDSs, FSGs and IDPS Guides from https://www.firstwrap.com.au/ or your adviser.