Over the past two years we have been focusing on reviewing and significantly enhancing our sustainability approach. Our Chairman, Ben Keswick, has emphasised the importance of effective Group-wide approach to sustainability as a key enabler of the Group’s strategy.
We have engaged with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders, including each of our businesses, to gather their input and inform our approach. In July 2019 we established our Sustainability Leadership Council (‘SLC’) to leverage the extensive existing sustainability activities of our individual businesses and implement a new Group-wide approach to managing our sustainability agenda.
Sustainability Leadership Council
The SLC has senior-level membership from across the Group’s businesses and its aim is to provide a forum for our businesses to share knowledge, develop joined-up sustainability strategies and mobilise activities to achieve them. It was also created to provide a sound structure for supporting and coordinating sustainability efforts across the Group.
The membership of the SLC consists of the chief executives or other members of the leadership teams of all of our principal businesses, together with executive directors of Jardine Matheson and heads of Group functions. We also have representation from our Non-executive Directors. The SLC is supported by an external adviser.
The SLC has met every six months since its establishment and its discussions have demonstrated that there is a high level of enthusiasm and energy in all our businesses for developing a more coordinated sustainability approach on a Group-wide basis and for increasing the collaboration between our businesses. It has also become clear that each of our businesses believes that sustainability should be a fundamental part of how they do business and should be closely linked to their purpose and strategy.
Our Group Sustainability Strategy
The framework of our sustainability strategy was informed by a materiality assessment of key Group-wide issues, which were identified and prioritised with feedback gathered from each of our Group businesses.
From the start we have engaged colleagues and involved them in the development and execution of our sustainability agenda. An important first step in doing this was an employee ‘pulse check’ survey carried out in January 2020, which gathered feedback from colleagues from across our businesses on what they saw as the most important sustainability priorities for the Group. Over 5,000 colleagues responded and more than 1,000 of them also said that they would like to get more involved in the development and implementation of our sustainability agenda.
The framework evolved into a detailed sustainability strategy, which was approved by the SLC in January 2020. The aim of the strategy is to identify, prioritise and effectively manage material sustainability issues across our businesses and to enable our businesses to take advantage of new sustainable opportunities. We believe that this proactive approach to sustainability will mitigate risks and strengthen the competitiveness of our businesses by engaging our people, deepening relations with key stakeholders, and inspiring innovation. There is clearly greater value to be had in our businesses driving a sustainability agenda forward together, than in each of them working on a standalone basis. This strategy is also a key part of future-proofing our business.
The strategy, which we have called ‘Building Towards 2030’, has three core pillars: Leading Climate Action, Driving Responsible Consumption and Shaping Social Inclusion. There are a number of focus areas under each of the three pillars. We have aligned the strategy with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (‘UN SDGs’), which are an internationally-recognised framework for sustainability efforts by corporates and governments. The diagram below summarises the strategy: