Investec recognises that a clean, resource-rich natural environment supports the growth of business and the economy and is vital for healthy communities.
While it is impossible to continue business without having some impact on the environment, by supporting green initiatives we can minimise this impact and in fact give back to the earth while sustaining our businesses.
Minimising our direct carbon impact
Investec’s environmental policy takes into account the challenges that climate change presents to the global economy. We will consider any meaningful activity that either reduces the negative impact, or prolongs life, on our planet. We believe that as a financial services organisation, and given our positioning in the developed and emerging worlds, we can make a meaningful impact in addressing climate change. The carbon impact of our daily operations is limited. Investec’s strategy therefore is focused on creating awareness and encouraging behavioural change in recognition of our environmental responsibilities.
Operating an effective environmental management system
Investec recognises that we cannot fulfil our environmental responsibilities as an organisation if we do not have an effective environmental management system.
Our environmental management system allows us to reliably calculate our carbon footprint, and set targets for future emissions. Each year we strive to improve our data collection and increase our coverage of Scope 3 emissions. In the past year we implemented a focused project to understand our Scope 3 financed emissions and established a baseline, strategy and targets to reach net zero.
Increasing awareness among staff
We continue to drive awareness about our direct operational impacts by influencing internal behaviour. We do this through programmes communicated to staff by Investec's Environmental Sustainability team.
Our key focus areas to reduce our operational carbon footprint include:
- Reducing energy consumption
- Reducing water usage
- Reducing overall waste
- Reducing single-use plastic
- Increasing waste recycling rates
- Promoting sustainable travel
- Promoting sustainable procurement.
Sustaining our natural heritage and rich wildlife
Investec's heritage fuels our passion to ensure the continued existence of African species. Our approach to conservation aims to protect critically endangered species and the environment they inhabit, by:
- uplifting vulnerable communities living alongside national parks and reserves
- promoting a clean environment through carbon-reducing initiatives
- combatting illegal wildlife trafficking, using our business systems and resources.
We do this by partnering with specialist and trusted NGOs through Investec Rhino Lifeline.
Insights from Investec Focus
Environmental sustainability at Investec
Changing behaviour at work and at home
We strive to promote awareness of environmental issues amongst our staff. By doing this, we believe we can change our people's behaviour and contribute to a healthy environment at work and at home.
We are driven by an environmental consciousness behind our decision-making. Making a positive impact on our environment is not just our responsibility, it is part of our legacy.
Incorporating environmental practices into our daily operations:
The environmental sustainability team works actively towards:
- Raising staff awareness around various environmental issues and encouraging behavioural change to contribute to a greener working environment
- Inspiring and engaging staff to create meaningful change within Investec and in their personal capacity
- Identifying opportunities that support Investec's purpose of reducing the group’s operational impact
- Producing measurable results that contribute to Investec's company-wide environmental goals
Some of our recent environmental sustainability initiatives include:
- Recycling bins in all offices
- Paper, cans, plastic and glass is seperated and collected by recycling organisations
- Food waste being sent for composting
- Going plastic-free in our Sandton restaurant
> R2.5 million
Investec launched a campaign to reduce single-use plastic in the Sandton office. We removed plastic straws from the dining room, replaced plastic spoons with wooden sticks as stirrers and introduced milk fridges in the pause areas to reduce the number of plastic milk bottles going to landfill. Water machines in the Sandton office filter and dispense still and sparkling tap water. Staff are encouraged to use a glass or bottle to fill up in an attempt to reduce the use of plastic bottled water.
In response to the Cape Town water crisis in 2017/18, Investec spent R2.5 million on water initiatives to ensure the continuity of our business.
We also donated R400,000 for boreholes in the Khayelitsha community in Cape Town.
In the past year, staff donated over 100,000 litres of water to 152 identified care homes in Cape Town.
Our offices in Southern Africa have achieved a 13.7% reduction in energy since 2014, despite a 37.6% growth in staff headcount. Our biggest energy consumption is from airconditioning systems (heating and cooling), lighting and information technology. During the past year, we spent R1 million on infrastructure improvements and together with consolidation and modernisation in the data centre, were able to reduce our energy consumption figures.