A look at our investments: tobacco-free portfolios

There’s a global movement well underway looking to ‘put out’ investment in the tobacco industry. 

A global movement

Maritime Super is part of the global movement to stop the investment of funds into tobacco products and companies. It started in Australia back in 2010 when Dr. Bronwyn King, who cared for cancer patients at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, learned that some of her money was flowing into tobacco companies through the default option of her superannuation fund. Bronwyn approached her super fund, following numerous meetings and a presentation to the Board, they undertook a detailed analysis of the issue and in 2012 and made the decision to go tobacco-free.

Bronwyn has since worked with the finance industry to engage and act on this issue, and today the work of Tobacco Free Portfolios has a global focus. Their mission is to inform, prioritise and advance tobacco-free finance by eliminating tobacco from investment portfolios across the globe.

We’ve signed the pledge, and are working towards the next step

Maritime Super is proud to be among the super funds who signed the Pledge in 2018 to move away from tobacco investments, but we’d started on this journey back in 2014 when we instructed our fund managers to get out of tobacco stocks. The Pledge aims to recognise leading financial organisations that have moved to tobacco-free finance and to encourage others to follow suit. There were more than 90 ‘Founding Signatories’ of The Pledge including some of the world’s largest banks, insurers and pension funds.

Going tobacco-free is one way we’re supporting sustainable investments and driving better Environmental, Social and Govenance (ESG) outcomes. Where investment mandates allow, we divest member money away from tobacco products and industries. This is an ongoing process and we are working toward being fully tobacco-free in our portfolios.

Some facts about tobacco

Whether you are a smoker or not, some of these facts are hard to look away from and these confirm our movement away from tobacco investments.

Did you know?

  • Each year, tobacco is responsible for an estimated 7 million deaths worldwide, estimated to rise to 8 million by 2030. 
  • Two out of three smoker's deaths can be attributed to smoking.
  • The World Health Organisation estimates that more than 10% of smoking-related deaths are due to ‘passive’ smoking, with children and women at greatest risk.
  • There are more than 4000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, of which at least 250 are known to be harmful and more than 50 are known to cause cancer.
  • Smokers who die from tobacco-related disease are estimated to have lost between 12 and 32 years of life.
  • In Australia, the total social cost of smoking in 2004/2005 was over $31 billion. By comparison, revenue from sales of tobacco in 2008 amounted to just $5.6 billion.
  • The USA Department of Labor lists 16 countries that use child labour to grow tobacco leaf.

To learn more about Tobacco-Free Portfolios and the sources for these facts, visit https://tobaccofreeportfolios.org/

The information on this page has been issued by Maritime Financial Services Pty Limited (MFS). It contains general information that doesn’t take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. It’s important to consider how appropriate this general information is in relation to your situation before making an investment decision. We recommend that you seek financial advice before making any decisions regarding your super or investments. The information on this page is current at the time of publishing.