Since our last update, our Conscious Capital Forum has been busy working on various projects and initiatives all with the aim of making our business more sustainable. We'd like to take this opportunity to share with your some of the highlights from the past few months.
Our Journey to Net-zero:
Tracking the commute:
When calculating our carbon emissions, we have committed to not only including Scope 1 & 2 emissions, but also Scope 3. Scope 1 and 2 emissions are what we can directly control, e.g. the amount of gas burned in our boilers or the electricity we consume. Scope 3 emissions differ, in that they are not directly caused by us, but are a consequence of our activities.Included in Scope 3 is the commute of our employees which currently makes up 42% of our carbon footprint. We see this as an area where we can make significant gains in the short-term by encouraging our staff to change their travel habits.
Having already put in place cycle to work and electric vehicle leasing schemes for our employees, it’s important that we are able to accurately track the impact of this work. Thus far, our measurements for commute related carbon have been reliant on staff surveys which do not produce the most precise or timely data.
To gain a truer insight into the commuting habits of our people, and the emissions produced as a result, our Development team are in the process of building a travel to work pop-up which will appear as part of the log-in process at the end of each week to ask employees how they travelled to work. This will produce a much more accurate picture of the commute and help us to understand how we can encourage our employees to make positive changes to their travel habits.
Following an audit earlier this year of the waste produced at our headquarters, Capital House, it was found that 70% of what had been thrown in general waste, could have been recycled.
To encourage our employees to recycle more often, we have removed under-desk waste bins from across our offices and installed a recycling area in a central location on each floor. This adds to the recycling facilities already in use in our kitchen areas and we expect this change to vastly increase the amount of waste that is recycled.
In July we hosted our first in-person seminar since the pandemic. The main event took place in Johannesburg where we invited over a hundred guests to join us in person. We also invited guests from around the world to dial into the event and we streamed in speakers from South Africa, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands to share their views on current affairs including climate change, sustainability and investing in the community.
In support of our Conscious Capital agenda, we decided against purchasing branded merchandise for INVEST talk attendees and instead made a donation to our South African charity partner, Souper Troopers, to help fund the admin costs of obtaining ID cards for their clients.
To give our guests something to take away with them, we chose to print our event pamphlets on biodegradable seeded paper which can be planted to grow a selection of fragrant flowers or herbs.
Conscious Capital Investments:
Inflation Reduction Act:
Previously known as the Build Back Better Bill, the US’ Inflation Reduction Act was passed on 7th August with $369bn dedicated to climate and clean energy programmes including:
- A methane penalty of $900 per metric ton of methane emissions which exceed federal limits in 2024, rising to $1,500 per metric ton in 2026.
- $30bn will be allocated to fund advanced nuclear reactors, solar panels, wind turbines, batteries and geothermal plants. This will include tax credits over 10 years to replace short-term wind and solar credits.
- $20bn will be invested in cutting emissions produced by the agriculture sector.
We are already seeing this having a positive impact on our exposure to renewables which contributed to Fusion ESG’s best monthly performance, returning 7.6% in July.
Our investment team has also been shortlisted for the STEP Private Client Awards ‘Investment Team of the Year’ for our Fusion ESG Strategy.
We are planning some changes to the asset allocation for Fusion ESG in H2, predominantly adding exposure to Green Finance, Circular Economy and Biodiversity themes within the equity allocation and introducing Carbon and a sustainably sourced Gold asset as proxies for commodities in the alternatives allocation.
Our Fusion ESG solution is ideal for advisors and professionals who are now required to assess client ESG preferences under the new MIFID II requirements which came into effect at the start of August.
The Big Splash Trail:
In June, Hospice Isle of Man’s Big Splash Trail went live with 32 dolphin sculptures placed around the Isle of Man. The charity is encouraging people to download the Big Splash App and make their way around the Island visiting each of the sculptures which will later be auctioned off to raise funds.
As a sponsor of the trail, we worked with local artist Eve Adams to help make her design, ‘Clockwork’, stand out from the crowd. We used our digital skills to build a webpage featuring family activities, including an interactive quiz as well as a photo competition with the chance to win a family boat trip.
Our team in South Africa recently took some time out of the office to visit the Souper Troopers community garden in Bo-Kaap. Alongside the Souper Squad, the Capital volunteers helped to renovate the garden which is used to grow vegetables and herbs.
It was also a pleasure to invite Souper Troopers founder, Kerry Hoffman, to speak at our INVEST talk event in Johannesburg as part of a panel discussion on sustainability. Kerry spoke about the value a partnership with a social enterprise can bring to businesses. Our Marketing team also supported Kerry with a slide pack which she and her team are now able to use when speaking to potential new corporate partners.
Thank you for your continued support. We look forward to updating you on our 2022 initiatives in a few months’ time.
Disclaimer: The views, thoughts and opinions expressed within this article are those of the authors and not those of any company within the Capital International Group (CIG) and as such are neither given nor endorsed by CIG. Information in this article does not constitute investment advice or an offer or an invitation by or on behalf of any company within the Capital International Group of companies to buy or sell any product or security or to make a bank deposit