Responsible investment policy

Mercer’s Responsible Investment Policy

At Mercer, we are committed to sustainable and ethical investment. Investing responsibly is as much about what we invest in, as it is what we don’t. As a strong advocate: we believe a sustainable investment approach is more likely to create and preserve long-term value:

1.       Commitment - Our Responsible Investment specialists have been advising clients since 2004 – We help to shape the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) agenda for investors globally.

2.       Sustainable themes – We invest in assets which we believe are sustainable in a time of climate change, like wind farms and timber.

3.       Integrated approach – We include Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors into our manager selection process. We evaluate and select managers that focus on sustainable long term returns.

4.       Engagement – Our investment managers positively influence the companies we invest in by engaging with them, sometimes behind the scenes and sometimes in public.

5.       Proxy voting – We actively vote on resolutions at company meetings to let the directors know what’s important to you as our investor, this is when you get a say in how the companies that you invest in are run.

6.       Exclusion – We exclude those companies or sectors that you have said you don’t want to invest in. Currently we exclude tobacco and controversial weapons such as cluster munitions and nuclear weapons.


All Mercer KiwiSaver scheme’s funds have been certified by Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA)1, an organisation that operates the world’s first responsible investing certification programme for investment products.



  • Mercer’s Responsible Investment Commitment and Heritage

We’ve been involved in helping clients invest responsibly since 2004. Our specialist Responsible Investment team is acknowledged as a world leader and as such, we have helped to shape the ESG agenda for highly-regarded investors, such as the New Zealand Superannuation Fund.

Mercer has been a signatory of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investing (UNPRI) since 2006 (as a consultant) and by signing the 2015 Paris Pledge for Action and the 2014/2015 Global Investor Statement on Climate Change, we have supported two initiatives that signal the investment community’s support for strong domestic and international climate policies.

  • Sustainable Themes

Some of Mercer’s managers have made an active investment decision to allocate funds to assets which are likely to have a positive environmental impact, as well as delivering on financial objectives, such as windfarms and timber.

  • An Integrated Approach to Responsible Investment

We have developed an Environmental, Social & Government (ESG) rating system to identify those managers that make good use of ESG factors in their investment process. We regularly review our investment manager ESG ratings. We     also seek to improve the overall ESG ratings through engagement with existing managers during the monitoring process and in the selection of new managers.

  • Engagement

Mercer strongly believes in engagement as an aspect of responsible investing as it provides an opportunity to communicate stakeholder values to companies which provide them the opportunity to change their internal processes. We encourage our investment managers to engage with the companies we invest in, topics include executive remuneration, supply chain, environmental records and carbon disclosure.

  • Proxy Voting

Mercer votes across all our directly managed portfolios, guided by the principle that resolutions are voted to protect and enhance the long-term value of the portfolio. 

  • Exclusion

We have developed a framework which outlines how we assess which sectors or companies to exclude. This includes where engagement is likely to be ineffective. Currently we exclude companies manufacturing tobacco and controversial weapons.



Mercer is continuously working on responsible investment implementations, watch a short clip below to find out more:


Read Mercer's Responsible Investment Policy, which covers Sustainable Investment, Ethical Investment and Corporate Governance and take a look at Mercer's Proxy Voting results.



All Mercer KiwiSaver scheme’s funds are certified. Take our risk quiz to find out which one might be right for you?

Mercer is a member of the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) and Mercer’s KiwiSaver funds are certified by the world’s first certification programme for responsible investment products.

Launched in 2005, the programme is managed by RIAA and to be certified Mercer had to meet the strict operational and disclosure practices.


The Certification Symbol signifies that a product or service offers an investment style that takes into account environmental, social, governance or ethical considerations. The Symbol also signifies that the Mercer KiwiSaver scheme adheres to the strict operational and disclosure practices required under the Responsible Investment Certification Program for the category of Product Provider. The Certification Symbol is a Registered Trade Mark of the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA). Detailed information about RIAA, the Symbol and Mercer KiwiSaver scheme’s methodology, performance and stock holdings can be found at, together with details about other responsible investment products certified by RIAA.1

1. The Responsible Investment Certification Program does not constitute financial product advice. Neither the Certification Symbol nor RIAA recommends to any person that any financial product is a suitable investment or that returns are guaranteed. Appropriate professional advice should be sought prior to making an investment decision. RIAA does not hold an Australian Financial Services Licence.


This product is issued by Mercer (N.Z.) Limited. For information about this product, please refer to the Mercer KiwiSaver scheme Product Disclosure Statement.

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