24 Feb 2020
Investec achieves carbon neutrality
Johannesburg landfill methane project offsets footprint and supports electricity generation.
Investec is pleased to announce that it has achieved net-zero carbon emissions and is committed to ongoing carbon neutrality.
“Taking action on climate, and publicly committing to net-zero emissions, recognises and respects the environmental limits of our planet. Being carbon neutral is vital to the fortunes of future generations and reflects the leading role Investec wants to play in the wellbeing of our communities,” said Fani Titi, Joint CEO of Investec.
His comments were made at an event hosted in partnership with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) at the Investec offices in Sandton. The event precedes a gathering of the Global Investors for Sustainable Development (GISD) Alliance, of which Titi and Leila Fourie, CEO of the JSE, are the only South African members. The group, convened by the United Nations (UN) have been tasked with securing investment from the private sector to finance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Being carbon neutral is vital to the fortunes of future generations and reflects the leading role Investec wants to play in the wellbeing of our communities.
Investec’s commitment to net-zero carbon emissions is an acknowledgment of the urgency of climate change and a signal of the Group’s serious intent in making the complex transition to a cleaner world.
Investec Limited was the first bank in South Africa to sign up to the Task Force for Climate-Related Disclosures (TCFD) and Investec plc is one of nine companies to do so in the UK banking and financial services sector.
While Investec already has a very low direct carbon impact since it is not dependent on a branch network, the Group has still been committed to lowering this impact further. Over the past ten years, total emissions per employee are down by 50% in an environment where average headcount increased by 117%. The Group’s commitment to managing its operational carbon footprint extends to calculating its total Scope 1 and 2 emissions with various projects in place to look at the full extent of Scope 3 emissions.
“Our first priority is to avoid, then limit and minimise our direct carbon impact from our day-to-day operations, as well as create awareness among our stakeholders to encourage positive sustainable behaviour. Only then do we offset our remaining carbon emissions to ensure a net-zero carbon impact,” said Tanya dos Santos, Head of Group Sustainability at Investec.
At the Paris climate summit, the UN recognised the responsibility that developed countries must take for their historic emissions. The UN also highlighted the role developed nations play in contributing funds and transferring technologies to developing countries that are needed to help avoid negative climate impact. Dos Santos went on to explain Investec’s unique position: “Investec has a global business with an operational footprint in both the developed and developing world. Seventy percent of the Group’s total emissions arise in South Africa and of these, most are a consequence of energy consumption.”
Investec has partnered with Climate Neutral Group in support of the Joburg Waste to Energy offset project. Choosing a project that is verified through the Clean Development Mechanism, allows the Group to credibly offset its footprint while contributing meaningfully to three* of the seventeen SDGs.
Investec Sandton earned a best practice award in their first Green Star Existing Building rating.
In South Africa, Investec has further cemented their responsibility to climate change, adding new technologies where possible to their head office building in Sandton, resulting in a best practice award in their first Green Star Existing Building rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa.
While maintaining a net-zero status is important, Investec acknowledges that more needs to be done to address the climate emergency. “The climate crisis and how we respond is critical to the success of our business. This is a journey and we continue to find opportunities to finance and support a cleaner, more inclusive world,” added Titi.
Notes to Editor
*SDG3 - Good health and wellbeing: Five major landfill sites around Johannesburg are covered, making them cleaner, safer and reducing the risk of methane explosions. The gas is pumped into a chimney where it is combusted into harmless emissions.
SDG7 - Access to clean energy: The project contributes towards solving South Africa’s electricity crisis by providing energy equivalent to powering up to 16 500 medium-sized homes.
SDG8 - Decent work and economic growth: There is an increase in employment opportunities as local contractors and labourers were required for construction, as well as long-term staff contracted to operate and maintain the system.
Investec is an international specialist bank and asset manager that provides a diverse range of financial products and services to a select client base in three principal markets – the UK and Europe, South Africa and Asia/Australia as well as certain other countries. The group was established in 1974 and currently has approximately 10,500 employees.
Investec focuses on delivering distinctive profitable solutions for its clients in three core areas of activity namely, Asset Management, Wealth & Investment, and Specialist Banking.
- Asset Management: A leading global asset manager with GBP121 billion in assets under management (as at 30 September 2019), well-diversified by asset class and region.
- Wealth & Investment Business: One of the leading UK and South African private client investment managers with over GBP56 billion in assets under management as at 30 September 2019.
- Specialist Banking Business: Market-leading specialist corporate and institutional banking, investment and private banking activities in South Africa and the UK with GBP25 billion in core loans and advances and GBP32 billion in customer deposits as at 30 September 2019.
In July 2002 the Investec group implemented a dual listed company structure with listings on the London and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges. In September 2018, the board of directors of the Investec group announced the proposed demerger and separate listing of the Investec Asset Management business which remains subject to certain customary approvals. The combined group’s current market capitalisation is approximately GBP4.6 billion.