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Our social responsibility

We recognise the impact that we have on the communities in which we operate, and are taking action to help ensure a sustainable future.

Active Travel Week 2022: Taking a greener way to work

Staff from the Nedbank Private Wealth’s Isle of Man office got on their bikes and into their trainers this week and clocked up a remarkable 4,003 minutes, or 66.7 hours, in total. As part of a government initiative to get workers and their families to find healthier and greener ways to commute, the week of 28 March to 3 April was designated Workplace Active Travel Week.

Most people chose to get their legs moving and walk, although our dedicated cyclists clocked up 10.5 hours and we even had two runs equalling one hour. The average daily time spent actively travelling this week was 142 minutes – which is only 6 minutes below the recommended weekly guideline.

We asked some of our active commuters to report on their experience:

On your bike

“We’ve seen a lot of our employees take advantage of our cycle-to-work scheme and we know this has made a huge difference to helping them change their exercising habits. I started cycling to work to help fit my exercise routine around my work and it means I start my day feeling refreshed, motivated and significantly less stressed than if I had been stuck in traffic! The environmental impact is also really important to me as I’m aware that when I drive into work, it is only me in the car, which adds up over the course of the year. I think it’s a great initiative to encourage more people to travel actively to work as it’s great for your mental and physical health, as well as our island.”

“I hadn’t really cycled much since I was a kid, so I was as surprised as anyone when I found myself in a bike shop a couple of years ago eyeing up the latest models. We were in the midst of a COVID-19 enforced lockdown at the time and the one saving grace was that we were permitted to go out and exercise every day, so I though a bike would be a good idea. I’d also availed myself of the cycle-to-work scheme, meaning the financing of my new wheels didn’t even need to be hidden from the missus.

 

Despite some initial trepidation (I’m no spring chicken!), I was quickly back up to speed and loving the freedom the bike allowed me. Within a few weeks I was out on the bike 4 or 5 times a week and my enjoyment was increasing at the same rate as my mileage. As some semblance of normality resumed and we started to drift back into office life, I started to cycle to work a few days a week. I only live around six miles or so from the office and I really started to look forward to my ‘commute’ on the bike – it’s a great way to wake up in the morning and a great head-clearer on the way home after a stressful day. We have fantastic facilities in the office, with bike racks in the car park, great showers and lockers to store the essentials, meaning I can arrive at my desk fresh and ready for everything the private bankers are going to throw at us.

 

As the nights drew in from my first summer of cycling, I was again surprised to find myself back in the bike shop buying lights and winter gear, preparing myself for some darker, colder commutes. Cycling to work and back in the dark does bring its challenges, but if you’re properly equipped it can still mean it’s a fun experience, and there’s a greater sense of achievement and mental wellbeing with a winter commute. However, spring is my favourite time and as the days now lengthen and the lights are stored away for a few months, I find myself reaching for the bike more often than the car keys and know that I’ll be in a much better place when I arrive at work as a result.

 

My route takes me around the coast and being on my bike means I can take in the incredible views and enjoy the fresh air. Admittedly, some days are much fresher than others and as the island is known for its wind and rain, it can be a real challenge at times. However, the joy (and smugness) I feel when skimming past the line of stationary traffic waiting at yet another set of ‘temporary’ traffic lights on the promenade far outweighs any of the concerns I might have with getting a wet backside. We all know about the environmental benefits of commuting by bike, but for me it’s more about the physical and mental benefits and I feel fitter and more relaxed when I’ve been on the bike.”

 

Top tips for cycling to work:

 

Get the right gear: invest in some good clothing that will see you through all seasons and all weather.

 

Get organised: get everything ready the night before – bag packed and bike prepped – then you’re more likely to head out of the door in your lycra, not clutching your car keys.

 

Try not to smile too much at the car drivers in the queues as you pass them, nobody likes a smug cyclist…

“I cycle to and from work (from Peel to Douglas) as often as I can, hail, rain or shine. Bad weather doesn’t put me off – I just make sure I’m dressed appropriately (and ride a different bike)!

 

It doesn’t really take much longer than driving to work and, to put it in perspective, in the morning I can leave Peel at the same time as the bus and I can generally arrive at work before, or at the same time, as if I had been on it.

 

Apart from the obvious environmental benefits, I would cycle to work over driving to work any day as the benefits to both my physical and mental wellbeing are huge.”

Walk the walk

“I come in from Ballabeg each day and park my car at the QB car park to walk to work. The reasons? To keep my legs ticking over, to not pay ridiculous car parking charges and the 20 minute walk back to the car of an evening is a great way to unwind from the working day – even in the rain! I’ve even tried to lower my carbon footprint, on occasion, by walking the 10 miles from work to home and vice versa.”

 “Now is the perfect time to make a change to my travel patterns: the weather is a little milder, nights are getting lighter, summer is just around the corner and I’ve just gotten too sedentary over the winter. Time to shake things up and get moving – haven’t been able to say this for a while but I have a holiday to slim for!”

 “I love being active and as my job can be quite sedentary, walking the 5km round trip to and from work means I get some fresh air and movement before work. It helps me feel more focused and awake for the day, plus it’s a great opportunity to listen to an audiobook whilst I’m walking! It’s improved my fitness too, which means I have more energy to enjoy my other active hobbies outside of work.” 

It was a great effort from everyone who took part and we hope it will inspire more people to take a greener route to work on a regular basis.

Environment

We support projects that help reduce the impact we have on our local and global environment.

By working closely with local charities, we help improve the communities in which we operate. Our staff participate in beach cleans and works to improve nature reserves as well as being an active corporate member of the Manx Wildlife trust.

In 2020 we signed up to a partnership with Ecologi, a social enterprise which plants trees and invests in environmental initiatives around the world to help combat climate change.  In doing so it gives jobs to thousands of people.

Our partnership with Ecologi

By investing into Ecologi, it has enabled us to make all our staff carbon positive, which means that we are offsetting more than our collective carbon footprint puts back into the environment. This includes emissions from our homes, personal travel, holidays, food, hobbies and more.
Below is some information about our involvement:

14 months

climate positive workforce

2,871.29t

of carbon reduction

53,490

trees planted

Climate positive workforce

We are committed to funding climate solutions that remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Importantly, we are supporting projects in areas of the world that need it most.

Projects we support

Protecting old-growth rainforest in Peru

The region has historically been subject to numerous conservation challenges. The Brazil nut concessions project supports the community to produce reliable income through passive harvesting. This incentivises the protection of the forest and its carbon sinking capabilities.

Protecting old-growth rainforest in Madre de Dios, Peru

  • 90.36T CO2 avoided

Restoring peatland in Indonesia

Despite covering just 3% of the Earth’s surface, peatlands store more carbon than all other vegetation types in the world combined. Indonesia contains some 36% of the world’s tropical peatlands.

Peatland restoration and conservation in Indonesia

  • 25.3T CO2 avoided

For a full list of supported projects, please visit our Ecologi page.

If you would like to find out more about our partnership with Ecologi, please visit the Nedbank Private Wealth page for further information.

Ecologi Logo

Sustainable investing

Sustainability is a key ingredient to successful long-term investing. As a multi-asset manager, we cherry-pick the best specialist investment managers, and carefully assess the importance of sustainability in their investment process. At a minimum, all the managers selected to run money on our clients’ behalf are signed up to the Principles for Responsible Investing, and each have in place strict policies towards socially responsible, as well as impact, investing.

In addition to our responsible investing range of strategies we offer a sustainable investing strategy for clients who wish to align their money more closely with their values, while not compromising on growth. What this means in practice is providing investment strategies that limit investment portfolio exposure to companies that are associated with things such as fossil fuels, weapons, alcohol, tobacco and instead aligning to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Our sustainable investing strategies will, at all times, be required to have a net positive alignment to the SDGs. By aligning with the SDGs we can offer investment opportunities with a foundation for improving equality, reducing poverty and protecting the environment while not impacting projected returns on investment.

Governance as an investor

We take our role as responsible investors seriously and regularly vote on governance matters. We believe strong governance ensures that the investments we make on our clients’ behalf will withstand the long-term timelines typically involved, and deliver the best outcomes for our clients.

Transparency is also key to good governance. We aim to make all fees and charges clear, prominent, and provide complete disclosures. It’s why we always report our performance net of all fees.

Charitable giving

Nedbank Private Wealth matches donations given to or raised by our employees.

We also support charities through our annual client survey. For example, in 2019 and 2020, we made donations to the Cape Town Red Cross’s Children’s Hospital and London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital, both world-class centres of excellence for the care of and research into children’s health.

Also on an annual basis, Nedbank Private Wealth supports the Nedbank South Africa Charity Golf Day, which takes place in Q3 in Surrey and is the largest charity golf tournament in Europe. To find out more, please visit the event’s website: https://www.sagolfday.com/

Our charity committee also meets regularly to organise activities to raise funds across our offices. These funds, together with the corporate matched funding, are distributed to support staff-nominated local charities and worthy causes.

Company news

Restoring the earth one tree at a time

To mark Earth Day, we look at an environmental programme we have recently introduced at Nedbank Private Wealth.

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