Rotorua Trust's ethically-focused investment portfolio has helped it preserve long-term investment capital, despite a turbulent first quarter.
Established in 1994 to serve the community of Rotorua, the trust was formed out of the sale of Rotorua Electricity Limited, with initial capital of $32 million.
The Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust partnered with wealth and investment company Mercer in 2015 who operate a responsible investment approach for the funds.
Through careful management, this capital has grown to over $160m, with more than $125m invested back into the Rotorua community since the trust's inception.
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In a press release, Rotorua Trust chairman Stewart Edward said the portfolio excluded investments such as tobacco and controversial weapons.
"This exclusion means hundreds of companies (and the many securities issued by these companies) are excluded from our investments; we're clear they are untenable due to their expected negative social impacts.
"Our funds are currently allocated across a range of ethical investments across many asset classes including Trans-Tasman and global shares, property, infrastructure, natural resources, cash and bonds."
Trustee and head of the trust's investment committee, Gregg Brown, said it was important for the trust to partner with an investment company that was a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investing.
"Not only are we assured our investments mitigate harm through Mercer's approach, it means the trust's portfolio has a much lower average carbon intensity than the market average. It has also allowed our portfolio to engage with companies on topics ranging from waste management to improving labour practices and increasing board diversity and voting in company meetings to reflect these engagements."