As the first bank in South Africa to release a separate report aligned with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) Investec has shown that sustainability is central to the strategic direction of the bank.
This was reflected at the company’s AGM, held earlier today (6 August 2020), where the Group voluntarily tabled a climate risk-related resolution, seeking shareholder support for their continued commitment to climate change.
The following items tabled included:
The resolution passed with 99.95%, further highlighting the importance investors are placing on issues of environmental, governance and social metrics.
The resolution however, is only one part of Investec’s broader commitment to sustainability and indicative of a journey that began almost 20 years ago, long before ESG investing was in the spotlight. Commenting on Investec’s position, Global Head of Sustainability and member of the newly formed Group ESG Executive Committee, Tanya Dos Santos said: “Investec first reported on sustainability back in 2002. Since then we have been consistently improving our sustainability efforts as the industry evolves and matures. While our commitment extends beyond climate-related issues, stakeholders have significantly raised the spotlight on the environment and climate change, and it is gratifying to receive shareholder support for our efforts.”
Earlier this year, Investec became the first South African bank to publicly disclose a group fossil fuel policy, covering coal-fired power generation, coal mining, and oil and gas. Investec has subsequently also signed up with the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF), which is developing a common methodology to assess greenhouse gas emissions from loans and investments made by firms in the financial sector.
The PCAF partnership is a collaboration between financial institutions to develop and implement a coordinated approach to measure and disclose the greenhouse gas emissions associated with loans and investments.
“The private sector, and in particular the financial sector, has a pivotal role to play in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We believe that the greatest impact we can have is to partner with our clients to decarbonise their activities and to offer products and services that help accelerate a cleaner, healthier world. By participating in PCAF we have a strong starting point to set measurable targets and align our corporate lending portfolio with the climate goals of the Paris Agreement,” concluded Dos Santos.