The climate crisis poses a great threat to the economy and society. To help address this, we work hard to reduce our operational environmental footprint, promote sustainable behaviour, and preserve biodiversity.
Sustainable action from within
Our environmental initiatives are coordinated and communicated by a group of Investec employees and contractors passionate about the environment called Team Green. The group is led by our sustainability team and contains 73 volunteers, across 20 of our offices including the UK, Ireland, Channel Islands, and Switzerland. The team is responsible for coordinating environmental awareness campaigns on both a national and local scale to promote sustainable behaviour change as well as identifying opportunities for operational resource efficiency.
We’re proud to set the bar high when it comes to environmental best practice. Our external recognition includes 17 consecutive annual Clean City Awards, from the City of London Corporation, for best practice in our waste management efforts, including three Chairman’s cups, a Plastic Free Cities award, and a Communication and Engagement award for our internal campaigns.
Promoting sustainable operations
A business is only sustainable within a healthy natural environment, and we work hard to reduce our carbon footprint. Our operational environmental programme focuses on six key areas of sustainability: energy, waste, water, air quality, sustainable procurement and sustainable travel.
Managing our waste
Our waste policy is simple: no waste should make it to landfill.
Reducing energy use
We’re always looking at ways to reduce our use of energy.
Use of water
Water is a precious resource, and we strive to use it responsibly.
Air quality and travel
We invest in green and effective alternatives to business travel.
We are committed to encouraging and embedding sustainable procurement practices and considering products and services to reduce our carbon impact and technologies to improve our carbon footprint.
Managing our waste
Our waste policy is simple: no waste should make it to landfill. Following the Waste Hierarchy, we reduce, re-use, and repair whenever possible and only recycle as a last resort. To do that, we first look at our consuming habits and then do everything we can to source and promote reusable alternatives to disposable products.
As an organisation, we’ve made significant progress since 2006 in reducing our waste, including single-use plastics in our UK head office in London, where we operate a zero-to-landfill waste policy. This is achieved through both; running sustainable behaviour change initiatives with the aid of Investec’s Team Green to encourage and influence our people, as well as working collaboratively with our third parties.
Reducing energy use
We’re always looking at ways to reduce our use of energy. We first achieved our integrated Energy Management System certification to the internationally recognised energy standard ISO50001 for our UK, Channel Island, and Ireland offices in March 2018, and retain certification today. Furthermore, we have installed submeters in our offices, introduced new energy monitoring software, and replaced our desktop computers with energy-efficient laptops.
Use of water
Water is a precious resource, and we strive to use it consciously across our offices. We installed the state-of-the-art toilet system Propelair, exclusively in our new London offices in 2018. Propelair uses 1.5 litres of water per flush compared to a standard toilet system that uses approximately seven litres. We also run education campaigns in our offices, for example in support of World Water Day, to help our people save water at home too.
Air quality and travel
We invest in green and effective alternatives to business travel. As a global organisation, our people need to travel regularly to meet client requirements. We invest, however, in effective alternatives to business travel, such as telepresence alternatives across our buildings.
We will continue to encourage and incentivise active travel among our colleagues through our cycle-to-work scheme and facilities, as well as promoting greener commutes to work through cleaner air walking routes and the use of public transport. We include our travel footprint under scope 3 of our annual carbon footprint.
We are committed to encouraging and embedding sustainable procurement practices and considering products and services to reduce our carbon impact and technologies to improve our carbon footprint. Investec Group remains committed to the 10 principles of the United Nations (UN) Global Compact with respect to human rights, labour, environment, and anti-corruption. Our culture and values demonstrate our belief that as an organisation we can have a positive impact on the success and well-being of local communities, the environment and on overall macroeconomic stability.
We support the international agenda to abolish human trafficking, slavery, forced and child labour and support the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015. Our philosophy as an organisation is to respect the dignity and worth of the individual. We recognise the potential for our procurement and supply chain practices to be agents for change in respect of the different aspects of sustainability. We continue to engineer, within select industries, changed outcomes across economic, social, and environmental fronts.
Some of our achievements
Global 100 Sustainable Companies
CDP A- list rating
Investec’s Energy Management System has been certified to the international energy standard ISO5001 in 21 of our UK, Ireland and Channel Island offices since 2018.
The Environment Management System which covers the operational aspects of 19 of our UK and Channel Island office buildings has been certified to the international environment standard ISO14001 since 2021 (London since 2012).
Trees for Cities partnership
Trees for Cities delivers projects with both social and environmental impacts. They engage with local communities and schools to plant trees, shrubs and to grow food, helping to reconnect people who live in cities with nature. We first partnered with them in 2010.
For over 10 years, volunteers from our London, Manchester, Leeds and Reading offices have regularly rolled up their sleeves to improve their local environment with Trees for Cities.
In addition, we support the charity's Planting Healthy Air in Schools project, which helps address London’s poor air quality around specific schools and the detrimental effects this has, particularly on children. The programme involves redesigning areas of the school playgrounds where air quality is particularly poor, including planting trees and other vegetation and creating woodland shelters and wildlife areas to help create greener, healthier playgrounds for play and outdoor learning.
Our global approach to conservation aims to protect critically endangered species and the environments they inhabit.
Our projects aim to uplift vulnerable communities living alongside national parks and reserves, promote a clean environment through carbon-reducing initiatives, and combat illegal wildlife trafficking, using our business systems and resources.
Hawk Conservancy Trust partnership
In the UK, we focus on the rescue, rehabilitation and release of birds of prey through our partnership with the Hawk Conservancy Trust (HCT) in Hampshire. We also work closely with our team in South Africa to rescue vultures via poison response training and equipment in Southern Africa through the HCT and the Endangered Wildlife Trust.
We work with the HCT on creating new opportunities to inspire future generations of conservationists by working with local schools, and on understanding the wellbeing and health benefits of engaging with nature.
It’s an honour to work alongside Investec, who’s shown real leadership in sustainability and conservation, in the UK and in South Africa. We share a common goal to create a lasting positive impact for birds of prey, their habitats, and also our own species, by getting people closer to nature.
Conservation efforts in South Africa
We do this by partnering with specialist and trusted NGOs through Investec Rhino Lifeline.
Since Investec acted to save the African rhino from decimation in 2012, we have supported the rescue and rehabilitation of dozens of rhino orphans, raised awareness with millions of people internationally, reached thousands of children in South Africa with conservation learning, and provided conservation learnerships to hundreds of young people through the Youth Employment Service (YES).
We believe that investing in biodiversity and inclusive conservation is vital to sustaining our rich wildlife and will lead to a better future for us all.
Download our policy statements and reports
Project grants for charities
Outside our partner organisations, we support small to medium charities through small project grants. If you represent a charity that works in our focus areas – education, entrepreneurship and/or environment – and are local to one of our offices, you can apply for a grant. Please read the full criteria below to find out more and get in touch.
Get in touch
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Supporting our communities
Our award-winning community programme focuses on education, entrepreneurship and the environment.
Investing in our people
It’s the passion and dedication of our people that enables us to deliver superior client service and value for stakeholders.
Our business decisions are driven by our values and the intention to live in society, not off it.