The impact we have on society and the environment is at the centre of our approach to corporate responsibility. We focus on driving progress and improving futures by acting in the most responsible way possible towards the environment and society. Whether it’s by creating a lasting positive impact in our society; or embracing our own people through our commitment to diversity, inclusion and well-being.
Since 2020, Schroders has been a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative. The UN Global Compact asks companies to align their operations and strategies to ten universally accepted principles. These principles represent the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were set up to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and protect our planet.
It’s important to us that we have as minimal an impact on the environment as possible. We are constantly looking for ways in which to do this better and more effectively, and are committed to achieving environmental excellence.
We have established an effective environmental framework to help us excel in this key area.
In 2015, global leaders in Paris agreed to an international target to limit global warming to below 2°C. Our Climate Progress Dashboard currently shows that in fact, we’re on track for temperatures to rise by closer to 4°C. This lack of progress highlights the urgent need for real action.
Change starts at home and we are changing our behaviours to make sure that we have a better impact on the environment. For more information on our Group Environment Statement, click here.
We now have over 60% of our employees working from buildings demonstrating excellence in sustainability.
The move to our state-of-the-art London headquarters, 1 London Wall Place (1LWP), in 2018 provided us with the opportunity to introduce a number of new environmental initiatives including:
In Hong Kong, we relocated to Two Pacific Place (‘PP2’) in Admiralty in 2006. Our recent refurbishment lends itself to our new agile workplace arrangement including sustainability-focused initiatives such as the installation of lighting sensors, timers and air purifiers to improve air quality. After the refurbishment, there was a 40% drop in electricity use.
We have also taken an important step towards achieving our goal of using 100% renewable energy through the purchase of renewable energy certificates (RECs) from the Hongkong Electric Company, Limited (HK Electric). Since 2018, we have purchased 400,000 kWh of electricity generated by local renewable energy sources each year, making us the current top 10 renewable energy certificate purchaser from HK Electric in Hong Kong.
In 2015, we set renewable energy targets. By the end of 2019 we had achieved a total of 68% of electricity from renewable sources, and are working to increase this to 100% by 2025.
To do this, we’ve joined RE100, a collaborative, global initiative uniting influential businesses committed to 100% renewable electricity. The campaign centres on working to increase corporate demand for, and the delivery of, renewable energy.
Schroders joined 29 other global asset managers representing more than USD 9 trillion of assets in launching the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative.
We use the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate standard: Electricity and gas consumption, as well as business travel (air and ground transportation)
It involves reducing emissions across all activities and offsetting the carbon emissions we’re unable to remove. We will only work with the most reputable standards and we plan to invest in afforestation and forest protection projects in the UK and internationally.
Estimates put the amount of plastic waste that finds its way into oceans every year at eight million tonnes. That’s a lot of plastic ruining our oceans and the lives they support. We recognise the role we all have to play in changing our behaviours and raise awareness about plastic pollution through various projects.
At Schroders, we work hard to improve the futures of those around us and support programmes and initiatives that have lasting impact on our society.
Schroders launched ‘Schroders Giving’ in 2019 to showcase the positive impact the business is having on the communities in which we operate through strategic partnerships. Schroders Giving represents the company’s central charitable giving and develops strategic community partnerships with organisations across the globe, helping us achieve our goals by enabling greater investment into social capital and maximising the impact we can have on beneficiaries.
We work with our local communities through a number of charity partnerships around the world and in Hong Kong we support the Music Children Foundation and Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong.
Supporting our people in their own charitable efforts matters to us and is part of our strategy to be an employer of choice. We offer a number of generous matching programmes to empower our people to give back, either through fundraising or donating their time. We have partnerships and issue grants to communities around the world.
We are proud that our giving is recognised and have been awarded the Caring Company Logo by the Hong Kong Council of Social Service.
Driving progress and improving futures is at the heart of what we want to achieve through Schroders Giving. With the aim of helping people most affected by the pandemic, our charitable response to Covid-19 raised more than £4.3 million for almost 100 charities in four months, through our #CollectiveAction campaign.
I feel incredibly proud of what has been achieved in just four months. We will continue to provide support for our communities going forwards.
In Hong Kong, we raised more than £25,000 for 5 charities supporting the low-income communities.
Read our full Impact Report for our Schroders Giving #CollectiveAction charitable response.
We have been partnering with Music Children Foundation (MCF) since 2019. MCF provides free music education to children from grass-roots families in Hong Kong. MCF’s mission is to help these children establish self-confidence, build characters, and develop the ability to express through music by providing music education and performance opportunities.
In the summer of 2021, MCF’s annual concert was held virtually. We provided volunteers to help with the logistics on the rehersal and performance recording day. We were glad to have the opportunity to offer our time for this good cause.
In May 2021, Roger Lau, Institutional Business Director spoke at a virtual talk held by MCF and taught a group of 10-18 years old about money and personal behavioural finance. Roger used daily life examples to explain the difficult concepts to the children.
In June 2021, we participated in a toys making event with Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong (YMCA). Our volunteers taught a group of children from the low-income families to make kaleidoscope and to twist balloons. In welcoming the summer holidays, we distributed book vouchers and toys to each child.
In February 2021, we partnered with YMCA for a Chinese New Year gift giving program which delivered gift packs to over 700 low-income families and sub-divided flat residents. Through this event, we wish to support the society by addressing “No poverty” and “Zero hunger” amongst the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
In 2020, we supported YMCA in the purchase and distribution of personal health protection gears to disadvantaged individuals and families. As a responsible corporate citizen, and in line with our goal of helping people achieve their long-term goals, we wanted to help those who may not have access to certain essentials during this period to stay safe and healthy so they could fulfil their future ambitions.
In 2019, we rolled out our improving futures community strategy across the globe with the objective of engaging our people to make a positive impact. We decided to launch a competition, asking our global colleagues to tell us about the charities that they thought were driving progress and improving futures in their communities.
Our judges comprised Peter Harrison, Group Chief Executive; Leonie Schroder, non-executive Director; and Sir Damon Buffini, independent non-executive Director. They chose these three winners and we are proud to support these causes, which align to our corporate focus on climate change, social impact and social mobility.
1st Cool Earth, global
Cool Earth works alongside rainforest communities to halt deforestation and climate change. This charity shares and promotes the most effective conservation methods around the world and invests in those methods with the potential for best outcomes for people and the rainforest.
2nd SEWA, India
SEWA has been making women in India self sufficient since the 1970s. It is made up of a network of self-employed women on low incomes, whose financial wellbeing is therefore unprotected. The charity transforms women’s lives by empowering them with leadership skills, entrepreneurship and skills training to gain full-time employment.
3rd Beyond Social Services, Singapore
Beyond Social Services is dedicated to helping children and youths from less privileged backgrounds break away from the poverty cycle in Singapore. The charity provides guidance, care and resources that enable families and communities to keep their young people in school and out of trouble.
In 2020, during Inclusion month we ran a series of accessible challenges to help colleagues around the world embrace and share inclusion. Our engagement opportunities ranged from digital workout training sessions, panel discussions with external leaders, to podcasts with senior colleagues and Q&A sessions.
Almost 600 of our colleagues joined one or more of our learning sessions and over 580 completed the inclusion digital workout, aimed to help us learn how to be more inclusive of different people. The month was celebrated around the world from World Mental Health Day in Hong Kong, to self-care and connection in Singapore, to taking a stand for racial justice in the US. Our two internal podcasts were hosted by our Group Chief Executive and Group Chief Investment Officer on our key initiatives and our Head of Talent & Inclusion and Chair of the Schroders Black Professional Network, on exploring the role of race and representation when it comes to inclusive leadership.
The results from our 2020 Inclusion survey found:
We believe that society has been bound by preconceived ideas about what people can and can’t do for far too long. Factors such as gender, social backgrounds, ethnicity and ‘who you know’ have had a greater impact on the professional world than most are ready to admit.
We are going a step beyond saying that the gender pay gap is important. Find out more about our approach and reach our full Gender Pay Gap report.
As part of our Inclusion and Diversity strategy, Schroders has made a pledge with the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) on The Racial Diversity & Inclusion Charter For Employers.
In Hong Kong, ethnic minority youths are an important part of our future workforce. To support and enable a fair access to career and education opportunities, we participated in the EMbRACE - EMerging Talent Internship Project, organized by The Zubin Foundation in partnership with the EOC, to offer career exposure for tertiary ethnic minority students.
Schroders is one of the 49 member companies in the Hong Kong Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT+) Interbank Forum. The forum was founded in 2006 as an informal group to bring together LGBT members of the financial industry in Hong Kong and their allies. Its aim was to coordinate activities, share best practices and leverage resources on common interests.
As we continue advocating for a more inclusive workplace and local community, the more of us together on the journey the merrier. An ally is not a super hero but gives support to embrace differences, encourage people to speak for themselves and engage people to speak up for others. Embrace differences. Anyone can be atypical.
Amy Cho, CEO, Hong Kong and Head of Distribution, Asia Pacific is a founding sponsor of the Bloomberg Women’s Buy-side Network (BWBN). The Hong Kong chapter of BWBN convenes a community of senior and middle level female buyside professionals, and serves as a platform for industry players to discuss future investment trends and inspire the next generation of buyside professionals through student outreach and engagement. One of BWBN’s initiatives for 2021 was a global conference held together with non-governmental organisation Girls are Investors and women’s mentoring and leadership group TARA aimed at female university students to build a pipeline of female buy-side professionals.
As one of the many female senior leaders at Schroders and in the industry, Amy hopes that by sharing her experiences through BWBN, she could inspire a new generation of women leaders to continue making positive, sustainable impact in our industry.