Catholic Super commits to slavery-proofing measures

The CEO of Catholic Super Frank Pegan has strongly endorsed the Modern Slavery Act introduced in the Australian Parliament today.

Mr Pegan said superannuation funds and their managers had a responsibility to strengthen and formalise their guidelines to help stamp out slavery practices throughout the world.

“We are working on measures to slavery-proof our supply chain,” Mr Pegan said.

“One tool we are looking at is the introduction of a new reporting requirement to compel our investment stakeholders to report on slavery risks in their supply chains.”

“Catholic Super’s philosophy is to incorporate environmental, social and governance factors into our investment decision making. This includes human rights considerations and we’re strongly committed to the protection of human rights,” he said.

Examples of modern slavery include forced labour, human trafficking and child labour. The International Labor Organization estimates that 20.9 million people are victims of forced labour globally.

“While delivering strong returns to our members is our main measure of success, of equal importance is the way we achieve this,” Mr Pegan said.

“Working towards the eradication of modern slavery is part of our approach to responsible investing.”

Mr Pegan last week represented the investment community at the 3rd Rome Roundtable, where global Catholic and business leaders endorsed ambitions to scale up wider business-academia-faith partnerships to tackle human trafficking, global slavery and forced labour. Catholic Super was also one of the first Australian super funds to sign the Principles for Responsible Investment in 2006.