Rest Cio Asserts That The Energy Transition Presents An Immense Prospect For Investors

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Andrew Lill, a chief investment officer of the $70 billion retail industry super fund REST, believes that handling investments in a decarbonizing world is one of the most incredible opportunities and tests for today’s investment managers.

Super funds in Australia, as well as asset owners generally, have a really important role when it comes to responsible investing and the commitment to moving to net zero,” Andrew said. 

“It’s probably the biggest opportunity for investors of my generation to think about the transition of energy away from fossil fuels. It is both a responsibility and an opportunity, and it’s not easy.” Andrew Lill, REST CIO since August 2020, added.

“But it is a tremendous challenge and one which we want to give a lot of perspective, but the path of progress towards decarbonizing our portfolios won’t be simple, and it won’t be linear.” Andrew continued. 

REST is blazing a trail toward net zero with an estimated $500 million in inflows each month to invest. To demonstrate their commitment, they own the largest wind farm in Western Australia – Collgar Renewables, located near Merredin and 260 km from Perth.

Spanning nearly 18000 hectares of land, this energy source has 110 turbines producing up to 222 MW of clean, renewable power.

REST, the only super fund in Australia that owns a wind farm entirely, is leveraging its knowledge from its Collgar investment to extend its renewable capacity by introducing solar energy.

By investing in our connections to the grid, we can get a much larger production capacity,” says Lill.

REST has pledged to double its investment in renewables from $1.2 billion to a whopping $2 billion. Lill further shares that the two million members of REST, many of whom are young women under 30, ardently care about climate change and environmental issues.

Our members are much younger than most other members in super funds. We have a very high proportion of young women. We know they are incredibly passionate about tackling climate change and broader environmental issues,” he added.

Lill emphasises that the consistent net cash inflows of REST, which range from $300 to 600 million per month, give it an advantage in various investments such as sustainable agriculture and wind farms – areas where they have a distinctive presence. Currently, 25% of their portfolio comprises these unlisted assets.

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