Integrated Annual Report 2015

Corporate responsibility

Sustainable business practices

Our sustainability philosophy


Guided by our purpose to create sustained long-term wealth, we seek to be a positive influence in all our core businesses and in each of the societies in which we operate. We do this by empowering communities through entrepreneurship and education and leveraging the value in our diversity. We recognise the challenges that climate change presents to the global economy and we will consider supporting any meaningful activity that either reduces the negative impact on, or prolongs the life of, our planet.

Investec as a responsible corporate

At Investec we recognise that while our shareholders remain at the forefront, our purpose ultimately is not only about driving profits. We strive to be a distinctive specialist bank and asset manager, demonstrating cast-iron integrity, moral strength and behaviour which promote trust. Our core values include unselfishly contributing to society, valuing diversity and respecting others. Outstanding and empowered talent, entrepreneurial spirit and regard for the planet are other qualities that align with the culture of our organisation and our approach to responsible business.

Our culture and values demonstrate our belief that as an organisation we can and must have a positive impact on the success and well-being of communities local to our offices, the environment, and on overall macro-economic stability.

Our philosophy seeks to align the interests of shareholders and stakeholders over time, and provides the individual business units and regions with a basis from which to determine their own approach. The group’s philosophy is not intended to be mutually exclusive or exhaustive, but allows us to concentrate, for now, on key focus areas. Deliberately not driven on a top-down basis, the executive maintains responsibility for oversight, direction, coordination and integration of our sustainability efforts while the individual business units provide the key drivers behind our activities, in a manner that best makes sense to each.

Please refer to the website for Investec’s full Corporate Citizenship statement.

Sustainability at Investec

Investec’s sustainability focus encompasses endurance and the interdependence of the three key areas of profit, people and planet:

Sustainability at Investec


Sustainability at Investec is about:

Our approach to sustainability is documented throughout this integrated annual report with further detail in a more extensive sustainability report on our website.

Sustainability initiatives

Sustainability initiativesInvestec participates and has maintained its inclusions in the following international initiatives:


The social and ethics committee is responsible for monitoring the non-profit elements of sustainability (see here).

The mandate of this committee places a strong emphasis on the responsibility of the group towards the communities in which we operate, on social transformation in the workplace, and on preserving the well-being and dignity of our employees.

We also have sustainability representatives in each of the major geographies in which we operate who drive our sustainability objectives as well as various forums discussing sustainability considerations. Feedback on relevant sustainability issues is provided to board members at each board meeting.


Our approach to sustainability is documented throughout this integrated annual report with further detail available in a more extensive sustainability report on our website.

Our approach to reporting has followed guidance from the King Code of Governance Principles for South Africa (King III), the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) G3.1 sustainability reporting guidelines. An index of these indicators together with our response to each of them can be found in our separate sustainability report. We have self-assessed our reporting to be application level B.


Investec Internal Audit performed a limited review of the quantitative and qualitative sustainability information disclosed here on this report. This included the review of corporate social spend, learning and development spend, employee headcount and carbon footprint.

Grant Thornton has provided limited assurance over selected environmental, human resources and corporate social spend key performance indicators, as set out in the corporate responsibility review of this integrated annual report, which have been extracted from the 2015 sustainability report. For a better understanding of the scope of Grant Thornton’s assurance process, the extracted environmental, human resources and corporate social key performance indicators in this report should be read in conjunction with the full 2015 sustainability report containing their assurance statement.


In identifying material issues for the group, consideration is given to those issues we believe have the potential to significantly influence our ability to have a positive impact on the success and well-being of communities local to our offices, the environment and on overall macro-economic stability. In identifying these issues, we consider Investec’s values and philosophies and input obtained from our stakeholders in the context of our three key focus areas of profit, people and planet.

Material issue Why it is important to us How we managed in 2015 
Balanced and resilient business model The financial strength and resilience of Investec depends on a balanced business model that supports our long-term growth vision through varying economic cycles. We aim to maintain an appropriate balance between revenue earned from operational risk activities and revenue earned from financial risk activities.

Our capital light activities contributed 56% to group income and capital-intensive activities contributed 44% to group income.

Please refer to the operational and strategic report for more information.
Responsible banking practices We strive to demonstrate cast-iron integrity by displaying moral strength, risk consciousness and holding ourselves to the highest ethical standards. Our robust risk management processes and governance systems provide a strong foundation for responsible banking practices.

The Compliance function ensures that Investec continuously complies with existing and emerging regulation impacting on its operations.

Organisation Development (OD) acts to strengthen the culture of the business, ensure its values are lived, build capability and contribute to the long-term sustainability of the organisation.

Please refer here on volume two for more detail on the Compliance function.
Engaging, developing and retaining our employees The sustainability of our business depends largely on our people and positioning Investec as an attractive employer in the financial services industry. We focus on building a strong, diverse and capable workforce by providing a workplace that stimulates and rewards distinctive performance.

In 2015, we invested £14.1 million in the learning and development of our employees, compared to £11.8 million in 2014.

Investec has been voted one of the most attractive employers in the 2015 Universum Most Attractive Employer awards. Investec was voted Best Bank by both professionals and graduates.

Please refer to our remuneration report.
Making an unselfish contribution to society Our approach to CSI focuses on education, entrepreneurship and the environment. We believe that to focus on education and entrepreneurship is an effective way to create opportunities for employment, wealth creation and to stimulate socio-economic growth.

We invested £5.4 million in corporate social investment, (2014: £5.1 million).

Promaths received Mail & Guardian’s 2014 Investing in the Future Award.

Investec won the 2015 Business Charity Award for community impact in the UK for our partnership with Bromley by Bow Beyond Business incubator. During our period of involvement, the programme has launched 55 new social enterprise businesses, creating 325 new jobs.
Sustainable finance and investment As a niched, specialist financial services organisation with a small physical presence, the direct environmental and social impacts of Investec’s daily operations are limited. The area in which Investec can make the most meaningful contribution to the environment is through responsible financing and investing and supporting businesses involved in renewable energy and green developments.

We committed £1.1 billion to renewable energy. Investec, in partnership with Vuselesa Energy, launched a first of its kind co-generation power plant in South Africa, Eternity Power.

Our Asset Management business designed an ESG tool that enables databases of ESG information to be built, and will ultimately monitor the ESG performance of investments.
Reducing our operational impacts
While the direct environmental impacts of Investec’s daily operations are limited, we seek to reduce our resource consumption and waste generation and thereby limit our environmental impact.

Scope 1 emissions decreased by 21% and scope 2 emissions by 5% as a result of a number of greening initiatives across our offices. Scope 3 emissions increased due to improved data collection processes which resulted in the coverage of our smaller offices.

Investec Gresham Street was a runner-up in the 2014 Clean City Awards Scheme.

Our people

Investec employees remain critical to continued business success and to overall sustainability efforts. The expertise and dedication of staff are fundamental in meeting our clients’ needs and delivering distinctive results. It is therefore vital that we engage, develop and retain a high-value workforce. One of the group’s values is to ensure open and honest communication and hence we encourage active and open dialogue between staff and senior management. As a responsible employer, Investec aims to offer staff a stimulating and progressive working environment in which they can flourish and realise their true potential.

In assuming responsibility for our people we seek to promote sustainability through:

In assuming responsibility for our people we seek to promote sustainability through

Our internal people activities involve dedicated divisions such as Human Resources (HR) and Organisational Development (OD), which serve to supplement the ongoing people focus of our individual business units. The Investec Careers and HR teams are mandated to enable the attraction, development and retention of talent who can perform in a manner consistent with our culture and values. OD acts to strengthen the culture of the business, ensure its values are lived, build capability and contribute to the long-term sustainability of the organisation.

The HR division participates in local and international forums to ensure alignment of HR strategy with business strategy. As our operating jurisdictions have different legal and regulatory requirements, our various HR functions operate in a differentiated but integrated way adhering to the group philosophical approach. Senior responsibility for reporting employee-related issues falls under Marc Kahn who heads our Human Resources and Organisational Development.

Our approach to sustainability is documented throughout this integrated annual report with further detail in a more extensive sustainability report on our website.

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