Environmental Social Governance (ESG)

Giving young people a voice

By Rebekah Swan
ESG Investment Specialist, NZ / Client Advocate / Head of Product New Zealand

Young people are the future, but have often been excluded from having a say in decisions that will affect them. That is changing as young people have never been more educated or connected on the issues of today. Look at the way they are leading the way on climate change, such as Swedish high school student Greta Thunberg’s speech at the National Assembly in Paris and the climate change school strikes which took place around the globe. The importance of youth participation in society is increasingly being recognised as vital for leading and effecting social change.

One way to support young people is to give them a platform to share their thoughts and voice their opinions. We feel it’s a voice we don’t hear enough of, so this year a Youth Advisory Committee was formed by AMP Capital to bring new perspectives to our Ethical Leaders investment process. An industry first, the committee is made up of six university students from Australia and New Zealand who will discuss ethical issues for consideration by the AMP Capital Ethical Leaders investment committee. This ensures we are giving a voice to younger people on how their money is invested, and brings new perspectives to sustainable and ethical issues. We’d like our funds to reflect the broad spectrum of investors we have, and have open and honest communication with young people about how they want their money managed.

The inaugural meeting was held in August and the first discussion topic was animal welfare. The Committee discussed a number of issues including where to draw the line on animal welfare, how animal rights might be considered by the Ethical Leaders funds, screening of the live export industry, and engagement with cosmetics companies on the use of animal testing. This issue will be further discussed at the next committee meeting.

Recently I met up with one of the Youth Advisory Committee members in New Zealand, Nadya Fauzia. Nadya talks here about her reasons for taking on this role and what she hopes to achieve through her membership of the committee.

Youth Advisory Committee member Nadya Fauzia

Clearly, the time has come to actively work to ensure the voices of young people are heard in the investment decisions and policies that affect them. Creating the future we all want requires older and younger generations to work together for change, and I believe the establishment of forums such as the Youth Advisory Committee is an important step on the way to achieving this.

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Important notes

This blog post has been prepared to provide general information and does not constitute 'financial advice' for the purposes of the Financial Advisors Act 2008 (Act). An individual investor should, before making any investment decisions, consider the information available in the relevant Product Disclosure Statement and seek professional advice. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this document, AMP Capital Investors (New Zealand) Limited and the AMP Group (together, 'AMP') make no guarantee that the information supplied is accurate, complete or timely and do not make any warranties or representations in respect of results gained from its use. The information is not intended to infer that current or past returns are indicative of future returns. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of AMP. These views are subject to change depending on market conditions and other factors.

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