The Wilderness Society calls for global investment reform
Environmental campaigners called on the investment sector attending the International Corporate Governance Network’s annual conference in Sydney this week to get active in stopping the environmentally destructive practices of companies such as Australia’s largest export woodchipper, Gunns Ltd.

The Wilderness Society is attending the conference to explain the case for reform of companies like Gunns. International climate change campaigner, Al Gore, will be addressing the conference on Wednesday, 15 July, reinforcing the need for urgent action on climate change.

“Responsible investors have a very important role to play in protecting our planet, delivering deep cuts in carbon emissions and achieving good financial returns for their clients. Members of the International Corporate Governance Network are encouraged to actively reform the unsustainable practices of companies like Gunns, which is trashing native forests and damaging shareholder value,” said Paul Oosting, spokesperson for the Wilderness Society.

Gunns continue to base their business on the destruction of Tasmania’s precious native forests, which are a vital solution for climate change. This does not make good business sense as demonstrated by the ongoing poor performance of Gunns.

“It is essential to change poor governance practices of companies like Gunns from bad to good,” added Mr. Oosting.

Joining the cause outside the conference was the industry’s very own ‘Super Activist’. The Super Activist championed the public desire for sustainable superannuation investment, not investment that props up projects such as Gunns’ controversial Tamar Valley pulp mill.

“Super Activists represent a new era of activism in Australia. Nation wide, individuals are taking ownership of how their super funds are invested. No one wants to be associated with contributing to dangerous climate change,” said Mr Oosting.

“The many thousands of responsible Super Activists won’t invest in companies that are trashing native forests and sacrificing profits.

“Irresponsible investors are on notice. The public is waking up to poor governance, poor returns and environmentally destructive practices. The time for action is now,” concluded Mr Oosting.

The world’s natural forests form a huge reservoir of carbon. Over 20% of all greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere come from the ongoing destruction of these forests. A solution to the climate crisis is not possible without ensuring that the world’s forests are protected. Recent research shows that the forests of SE Australia are amongst the most carbon dense on the planet.

The ongoing logging of Tasmania’s world-class native forests by Gunns has to stop immediately if we are to have any chance off heading of dangerous climate change.

For more information about the Super Activist campaign visit www.wilderness.org.au/superactivist