Our progress on the Climate Principles includes:
|Principle 1.0: We have a robust low-carbon strategy or position and are managing our operational carbon emissions.||Over the past three years, our GEMS buildings (buildings of 20,000 sq ft or more) have shown a continual increase in energy efficiency. In 2010, through energy reduction initiatives, we recorded a 6 per cent energy saving with a decrease in carbon emissions per FTE from 2.53 to 2.37 tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-eq).
We have acted to reduce and offset the impact of air travel. Our ‘Green your Flights’ initiative – whereby USD70 is charged to our Group Technology and Operations team for each flight booked – has a two-fold advantage. It discourages non-essential business travel, and the proceeds from the levy are used to develop staff engagement programmes on carbon reduction. Read more about this initiative here
|Principle 2.1.1: We will incorporate climate and carbon issues into our research activities and, where relevant, will utilise the findings to develop products and services that benefit our customers and clients.||We have developed an equity research team dedicated to renewable energy and environmental finance. In addition to producing reports on sector trends and specific companies, we provide our clients and investors with research to expand their knowledge and expertise. For example, in November 2010 we hosted a Clean Technology and Utilities Corporate Day in Hong Kong, in which 18 companies and 70 individual investors took part.|
|Principle 2.5.3: We will engage our clients to understand the carbon and climate risks and opportunities associated with their business. This might include encouraging them to develop a strategy to manage these risks; to measure and disclose their carbon footprint; and to set meaningful targets to reduce carbon emissions.||Traditionally, farmers have struggled to obtain finance due to lack of collateral – typically farmland – for production loans. As a result, farmers are unable to obtain the input materials required for optimal crop cultivation, which leads to diminishing yields. We have developed an innovative ‘input financing’ solution that uses a farmer’s crop (for example, soya or wheat), rather than fixed assets, as collateral. We provide hands-on precision farming expertise to help farmers increase the quality and quantity of their crops. Conversion to no-tillage farming has the benefit of exponentially decreasing diesel usage (and related carbon emissions) for land preparation. The provision of multi-peril insurance reduces the farmer’s exposure to devastating climate and disease risks, ensuring his livelihood in times of drought or floods. Our regional agricultural financing portfolio in Africa is now valued at over USD2 billion and we have partnered with the German Development Bank (DEG) to deliver USD130 million of financial support to Africa’s agriculture sector over the next three years.|
|Principle 2.5.4: We will develop financing solutions to facilitate investment in low-carbon technologies and GHG reduction projects.|
The full Climate Principles Progress Review 2010 can be found here