Chief Sustainability Officer
Macquarie Asset Management
We are committed to investing and managing our portfolio in line with global net zero scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2040, where we have control or significant influence.9 Where we do not have control or significant influence, such as in our managed portfolio of public securities, we will continue to support the goals of the Paris Agreement10 in a manner consistent with our client-guided fiduciary and regulatory responsibilities.
As part of our net zero roadmap, we set a goal in December 2020 to establish net zero business plans across our portfolio, where we exercise control or significant influence, by the end of 2022. This has been a complex undertaking across our infrastructure and agriculture portfolio companies and real estate properties. Where did we get to?
|~85%||of our infrastructure and agriculture portfolio companies (that were in our portfolio as of December 2020) had board-approved Scope 1 and 2 net zero plans in place at the end of 2022.11|
|~400||properties from our Core/Core-Plus real estate investment strategy had established Scope 1 and 2 net zero plans at the end of 2022.|
For the remaining in-scope portfolio companies and properties, we are working towards establishing net zero plans by the end of 2023. For new investments, where we have control or significant influence, we are targeting completion of these steps within 24 months of acquisition.12
In the year ahead, we’re focused on supporting our portfolio companies and properties to ensure their net zero business plans are firmly embedded within their organisations and supported by the right resources. We are also committed to providing them with access to the breadth of our green investment expertise, industrial capabilities and specialist external partners. And we will continue to proactively share our perspectives, learnings and best practice from across our global portfolio.
Supporting Cleco to decarbonise its operations, pioneer carbon capture technology, and bring jobs to central Louisiana.
Taking a long-term approach to help address the shortage of quality, energy-efficient rental homes across London and key regional cities.
Over the reporting period, we also increased our recorded company engagements on climate change and the energy transition to better understand how our investee companies are adjusting their businesses to the significant changes the economy is undergoing. The investment team responsible for our Public Investments business’ Climate Solutions strategy met with the management of its portfolio holdings at least once to encourage additional carbon-related disclosures and the adoption of science-based targets. During some of these engagements, our team assessed the viability of the investee company’s available and proposed solutions for addressing climate change, the capital investment necessary to provide these solutions, and the potential customer demand.
In FY23, Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG) moved into our asset management business. This has enabled us to accelerate asset creation and investment opportunities to clients that span the energy transition landscape. Over this period, we scaled investment opportunities for our clients in the green energy transition, including through the launch of four specialised green asset developers. In addition, we also expanded our corporate-facing decarbonisation offerings beyond renewable power purchase agreements (PPAs), adding biomethane, e-mobility, carbon offsets, storage, behind-the-meter renewables and energy efficiency solutions.
Specialist global offshore wind business
Global utility-scale battery storage business
Electric vehicle infrastructure business
Biomethane producer and project developer
Developing, building and actively managing energy storage assets to enable reliable, clean energy supply.
Developing a 456MW wind project to help decarbonise one of the world's largest energy markets and support the production of green aluminium.
Within the reporting period, our Private Credit team’s Green Energy Debt Fund provided an additional €70 million of financing to solar PV and wind assets in France, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the US. The fund’s total assets are forecast to generate 3,901 GWh of renewable energy annually, equivalent to supplying the average consumption of more than 950,000 homes.13
Meanwhile, within Public Investments, our Emerging Markets Debt team grew its fund’s alignment with the EU Taxonomy to more than 10 per cent. These investments are primarily allocated to green bonds supporting wind and solar power generation projects in Chile and India.
During FY23, we continued to invest in nature-positive actions across our agricultural portfolio, including planting 60,000 trees in Eastern and Western Australia. With more than 4.7 million hectares of farmland, we have a variety of carbon sequestration projects under operation and development. And, as environmental markets mature, we expect the size of these carbon abatement opportunities to grow significantly. That is why we expanded our natural assets team and portfolio in FY23, including our acquisition of a majority stake in Forliance, a leading developer of nature-based climate protection projects.
Hectares of land registered under carbon, biodiversity and conservation projects in FY2314
Paraway is continually exploring new ways to protect and restore the 4.4 million hectares of natural landscapes it manages.
During FY23, we also continued to support the development of frameworks to identify, measure and disclose nature-related risks and impacts as a founding member of the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD).
Within Public Investments, our Global Equities team began engaging with investee companies on their deforestation risk, based on analysis of their deforestation targets and reporting, certification and traceability processes, policies and risk assessments. Through this engagement, our team aims to encourage investee companies to reduce the physical risks of deforestation in their supply chains, recognising that addressing deforestation is an important, systemic factor in reaching net zero.
In FY23, we further expanded our investment in the circular economy. This included acquiring two waste-to-resource businesses in the US, DTG Recycle and LRS, both with new materials recovery facilities. We also continued to invest in our existing waste businesses’ circular processes, including through Beauparc, which expanded into bioenergy during the year, producing energy from waste wood that would otherwise end up in landfill. In 2022, the biowood plant produced 13.8 GWh of low-carbon energy.
Tonnes of waste treated every year15
Scaling GreenWaste's operations to recover, repurpose and reuse more of Northern California's existing materials.
Beyond the waste sector, many of our portfolio companies are encouraging more sustainable product use and reuse. For example, in response to increasing amounts of e-waste16 – fuelled by higher consumption of electronics, shorter life cycles and fewer repair options17 – our telecommunications portfolio company 2degrees is helping to keep phones out of landfill in New Zealand by refurbishing and reusing them through the mobile recycling scheme RE:MOBILE.
Meanwhile, in the UK and Europe, some of our development partners in our Opportunistic real estate business are adopting innovative construction techniques and working with partners to increase the use of recycled materials. For example, sustainable office developer Edge is using prefabricated elements that require less material to produce and are simple to deconstruct and recycle at the end of a building’s life. At its London Bridge development in the UK, Edge has also incentivised its general contractor to procure recycled and sustainable materials, including steel reinforcements containing 97 per cent recycled content and using a neighbouring development site’s excess raw material to establish development foundations.
In FY23, we continued to invest in the adaptation and resilience of our infrastructure portfolio to improve early detection of potential risks and take proactive measures to reduce downtime of these critical assets. Many of our portfolio companies have been installing back-up power supplies to strengthen their networks, and are using sensors, drones and geospatial technologies to anticipate and manage extreme weather events.
People who rely on MAM-managed essential services every day18
Denmark’s largest digital infrastructure provider has rolled out a flood prevention and mitigation program to protect its critical facilities.
We also recognise that the impacts of a changing climate will not be evenly distributed, with lower-income countries more at risk and with fewer resources to enable them to adapt. During FY23, through UK Climate Investments (UKCI), a joint venture with the UK government’s Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, we continued to support an affordable green housing platform in Kenya with energy efficiency and other measures to better cope with a more extreme climate. In India, we supported investments in waterless cleaning and wastewater recovery systems at various renewable energy plants to help them adapt to increasing water scarcity, especially in the most arid regions.
We have been engaged in Australia’s specialist disability accommodation (SDA) sector since 2017, supporting the funding and construction of purpose-built residential property for people living with severe or profound disability and very high support needs. During FY23, through our Australia-based platform My Specialised Accommodation Solutions (MSAS), we delivered 50 new SDA homes, providing more than 140 people with disabilities with high quality, customised homes. During the reporting period, we committed to finance 29 new SDA homes across eight new locations. We also developed and trialled a safeguarding mechanism and ‘speak up’ platform for tenants to anonymously raise an issue, or provide a suggestion, about their home or care. We expect this to play an important role in helping to safeguard tenant wellbeing.
Specialist disability accommodation rooms financed to date across Australia19
Over the reporting period, our specialised build-to-rent residential businesses committed to increase access to sustainable, community-based housing at an affordable price. This included UK-based Goodstone Living20 implementing community audits on its first two development projects, assessing the needs of the local communities to create bespoke social value strategies for each asset during development and operation. These strategies are focused on generating local jobs, supporting local businesses, and creating homes that local people can afford. In addition to providing a component of social housing, Goodstone Living will offer rental homes at mid-market price points to ensure that more than 50 per cent of its private units are affordable for at least 50 per cent of local residents. Discounted rents will also be offered to local enterprises and agencies to facilitate local job opportunities.
Local is committed to allocating at least 10 per cent of each project to impact housing.21
Across our Private Credit business, we continued to tailor long-term finance to the needs of not-for-profit builders and local government authorities during FY23. This included providing £90 million of senior secured debt to UK-based Alliance Homes, with lending now totalling £180 million. This financing will allow Alliance Homes to grow its social and affordable housing stock in areas with significant need for housing in the west of England, with the aim of delivering 2,000 homes over 10 years. Meanwhile, we arranged a £58 million long-term financing package to enable London’s largest borough to build more than 200 affordable homes. These will provide a more permanent home to those currently homeless or in temporary accommodation.
Investment made to date on behalf of clients in the UK local authority and social housing sector22
During FY23, we supported our infrastructure portfolio companies in carbon-intensive industries to decarbonise and engage with stakeholders to align on long-term goals. Within Public Investments, we held targeted company engagements with select investee companies on their plans to transition away from fossil fuels, including how they are considering the impacts of these changes on their workforces and communities.
As the world moves away from fossil fuels, a community that has been exporting coal for over 200 years is in a state of transition.
Engaging with one of America’s largest power companies on how it is supporting communities affected by coal plant shutdowns.
We are also focused on emerging markets where the transition is more challenging, and where rapid progress will be needed if these markets are to meet their sustainable growth ambitions within wider global climate goals. This includes leading the development of a new blended finance platform with the UN’s Green Climate Fund. It aims to deliver $US1.5 billion of financing to the e-mobility sector over its 10-year investment term to drive the adoption of electric vehicles across India.
Funding target for blended financing platform23
During FY23, we partnered with the Macquarie Group Foundation to help address barriers to employment in the UK and create a pipeline of skilled and motivated candidates to meet the growing demand for green jobs. This shared-value initiative, launched in conjunction with Generation UK, has already yielded positive results in its first year and is now expanding to France.
Partnering with Generation UK to provide profession-specific training to people facing barriers to employment.
Our people also continued to offer their time, money and skills to the causes they feel passionate about. Across Macquarie Group, our staff raised and donated $A14.6 million during FY23, a $A2 million increase on the previous financial year. The Foundation doubled the impact of these donations through its matching program. Our people also gave their time, either on their own or as part of a team, through hands-on volunteering or by providing professional expertise. More than $A6.6 million24 in value was contributed through skilled volunteering hours alone across Macquarie Group.
MAM employees who contributed their time, money or skills in FY2325 (+4% YoY)
Through UKCI, we are helping developing countries respond to the challenges and opportunities presented by climate change. During FY23, the UKCI team visited some of its community projects in South Africa, Kenya and India, where the impact of the fund’s investment extends beyond promoting cleaner, greener growth in these developing countries. During the reporting period:
Following the appointment of MAM’s Global Head of DEI, in FY23 we launched MAM’s updated DEI strategy. We have taken steps to improve the quality of our internal DEI data, including launching a self-identification campaign, in which over 85 per cent of our employees participated, and expanding our demographic data to reflect disabilities, race and sexual orientation. We also established and reviewed our DEI baseline metrics to understand where we can improve at the business and regional levels.
Representation of women across MAM’s business (+1.3% YoY)
Proportion of women and men promoted in the FY23 promotion cycle
Executive Director promotions from an underrepresented group in FY2328
In our Private Markets business, we continued to embed DEI considerations into our due diligence processes and encouraged our assets to implement board-approved DEI strategies. This included upskilling our non-executive and HR directors on the importance of using data in DEI strategies, and creating tools such as a DEI policy and Self-ID playbook to help our portfolio companies adopt DEI best practices.
Securing Rainbow Tick accreditation, following a two-year journey to establish a new diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging strategy.
During FY23, we prioritised training, industry benchmarking and enhancing safety processes to improve workplace health and safety (WHS) across our infrastructure portfolio companies. This included hosting 17 masterclasses with almost 160 of our Real Assets nominee directors, asset managers and operating partners. Delivered in partnership with an external advisor, the training was designed to simulate a portfolio company board’s WHS committee meeting, where our nominee directors engaged with the CEO and chief safety officer of a fictional business on WHS strategy, critical risk management, incident investigations and WHS performance.
Over the reporting period, we also reviewed and enhanced our approach to managing assets with process safety risk, including bulk liquid terminals, industrial gas facilities and gas distribution and transmission networks. This included piloting a high-impact, low-probability (HILP) review at one of our portfolio companies in South Korea. The systemic review was aimed at better understanding and gaining confidence in the processes used to identify and manage high-impact, low-probability events. Following the pilot’s success, we will be rolling out the HILP methodology to other assets with process safety risk in the coming years.
Supporting Australian-based recycling and waste management company BINGO Industries to improve its safety outcomes.
Enabling the funding of major works to upgrade the safety and energy-efficiency of its homes to meet increasingly stringent standards.
During FY23, we introduced a risk-based approach to implementing Macquarie’s good practice principles29 across our infrastructure, green investments and agriculture portfolios. This included using a third-party risk rating tool, supported by qualitative analysis, to identify portfolio companies that are exposed to elevated human rights risks arising from their industry or jurisdictions, and assess how their risk management processes align with our good practice principles. We also trained our nominee directors sitting on these portfolio company boards to work with them to improve their human rights risk management and to report annually on their progress towards aligning with Macquarie’s good practice principles.
Within Public Investments, our SDG Oversight Committee added two specific human rights-related datapoints to our SDG database during FY23. These datapoints evaluate companies on their efforts to assess forced labour risks in their supply chains and their overall human rights disclosures. Prior to recommending these datapoints for inclusion, we engaged with the organisations responsible for the assessments to gain an understanding of their processes and methods for evaluating companies.