Commitment to our communities

Sustainability report 2022

Commitment to our communities

Our community initiatives are central to our values of making an unselfish contribution to society

Our approach:

communities

Our vision to create enduring worth depends on a thriving economy with active economic participants and a healthy planet. Our community initiatives are central to our values of making an unselfish contribution to society, nurturing an entrepreneurial spirit, valuing diversity and respecting others – all of which support our commitment to reducing inequality (SDG 10) and underpin our aim to be a responsible organisation. In addition, our corporate social investment (CSI) initiatives include our passion to preserve biodiversity through our conservation efforts and greening our communities, acknowledging the clear link between climate change and biodiversity loss.

We understand that no single business can address the many socioeconomic needs that continue to present everyday challenges for many in the geographies in which we operate, so we have focused on that which we believe is better aligned to our philosophy. Our approach focuses on three categories of impact: education and learnershipsentrepreneurship and job creation, and environment and philanthropy.

We are committed to:

Education and learnerships

We focus on creating education and learnership opportunities within our communities contributing to SDG 4 (Quality education).

Entrepreneurship and job creation

We aim to create jobs for young people through quality work experience placements. Through our entrepreneurship and job creation programmes we contribute to SDG 8 (Decent work and economic growth).

Environment and philanthropy

We have a strong commitment to ensure we live sustainably, within the planetary boundaries. We do this by protecting biodiversity, promoting a clean environment and supporting high-quality, carbon reduction initiatives.

Staff volunteerism

Through our staff volunteering programme we support and encourage staff participation. We believe that far more can be achieved through our collective knowledge, expertise and influence than through cash donations alone.

Learn more about our commitment to:
  • Education and learnerships

    In South Africa, our education interventions are intended to drive change that will see a greater number of disadvantaged youth produce exceptional maths and science results, make informed career decisions, access tertiary education, and pursue and complete courses in the financial sector and other critical qualifications which they may not have been able to pursue without exposure to our initiatives. Our learnership opportunities aim to address the youth unemployment in our county and we facilitate placing youth interns with our partner organisations. 

    In the UK, we aim to empower young people to achieve their goals in life through the education projects we support. While we recognise the importance of academics, our community partners also focus on employability as well as life and interpersonal skills.

  • Entrepreneurship and job creation

    In South Africa, our approach is the desire to enable as many people as possible, especially the youth, to become active economic participants in society. This has a positive effect on those people, as well as their communities and society. Economically active people quickly realise a sense of contribution, worth, dignity and direction and stand a better chance of occupying their rightful place in society. We are aware of the many socio-economic challenges in South Africa, but recognise the possibilities of enabling people to become active economic participants through entrepreneurship as one of our key CSI focus areas.

    In the UK, we help launch new social enterprises. The launched enterprises tackle a variety of social issues such as youth unemployment, social exclusion, food poverty, homelessness, upcycling plastics and more. Many of the entrepreneurs are female, black and of ethnic minority.

  • Environment and philanthropy

    In South Africa, through our projects we aim to have a positive impact on our natural heritage, by uplifting vulnerable communities living alongside national parks and reserves, promoting a clean environment through carbon-reducing initiatives, and combatting illegal wildlife trafficking, using our business systems and resources.

    In the UK, through our partnerships we aim to have a high impact on not only the rescue and protection of wildlife, but on community awareness, and human wildlife mitigation through community responses to issues.

    Our philanthropic donations are not always aligned to our corporate social investment strategy as we recognise that globally there are many good causes that fall outside our current key focus areas. 

  • Staff volunteerism

    In South Africa and the UK,  we support and encourage staff participation through our staff volunteering programme. Our people give selflessly giving of their time, money, goods and skills to support our communities.

     

     

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Performance against our targets

At 31 March 2022 CSI spend as a % of operating profit* was 1.3% against a target of >1%

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* Before goodwill, acquired intangibles, non-operating items, taxation and after other non‑controlling interests.

Progress and priorities

Progress in 2022

  • In South Africa, Promaths continued to achieve exceptional results in maths and science for our learners
  • In South Africa, we awarded high school bursaries to assist maths-inclined outliers from grades 10 – 12 to attend a high school of their choice that they might otherwise not afford.
  • In the UK, we continued to fund Arrival Education that supports young people from challenging backgrounds and minority ethnic groups, encouraging social mobility
  • In the UK, we continue to be the sole funder for the Bromley by Bow Centre’s Beyond Business Programme.

Priorities for 2023

  • Leverage off our business, staff and culture to maximise social impact
  • Advance CSI interventions with emphasis on quality rather than quantity
  • Adopt a long-term view to our interventions
  • Facilitate more focused interventions as opposed to being everything to everyone.

Key learnings in 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions, challenges, opportunities and realities have had a marked impact on the past two years. It had an enormous impact on not just the education sector, but on the whole corporate social investment space. How we sought to bring about meaningful change in the lives of many was affected, and we continuously looked for ways in which we could make a difference.

2022 highlights

£8.9mn*

spent on community initiatives (2021: £9.8mn)

4018

Investec-funded learners participated in Promaths (2021: 1212)

9001

staff volunteering hours with 759 staff involved

* Before goodwill, acquired intangibles, non-operating items, taxation and after other non‑controlling interests.

Download the full report

Sustainability report 2022