International specialist banking and asset management group and GGA supporter Investec has achieved net-zero carbon emissions and says it 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. “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 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 10 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.
Seventy percent of the group’s total emissions arise in South Africa and of these, most are a consequence of energy consumption. That is why 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.
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.