financial services Archives - Simply Sustainable

Simply Sustainable

In 2023, Simply Sustainable supported Saga in the development of its first ESG strategy. At Simply Sustainable we design strategies to guide our clients to achieve a step-change in their ESG and sustainability performance, creating long-term value and delivering positive impacts on people, society and the environment.

Impacts and benefits

  • Robust and ambitious ESG strategy aligned to key frameworks and industry standards appropriate to all, diverse, business units within the organisation.
  • Gathered insights through 23 discussions and over 1400 survey responses to address internal and external stakeholder increasing demands.
  • Double materiality assessment, identifying both the impact of ESG topics on the business, and the business’ impact on ESG topics, resulting in identification of Saga’s material topics to address.
  • Agreed comprehensive KPIs and targets aligned to best practice sustainability frameworks and industry standards.
  • Recommendations to strengthen Saga’s ESG governance to embed the new ESG strategy within business.

Simply Sustainable were an exceptional partner in developing our ESG strategy. The Simply team brought brilliant pragmatism and deep knowledge that were instrumental in shaping our future direction. Owen Balmont Head of ESG, Saga

The story

Simply Sustainable has played a pivotal role in assisting Saga in developing a comprehensive Group ESG strategy that aligns with stakeholder expectations and embraces the diverse scope of its various business areas. Our approach to developing each ESG and sustainability strategy is highly individualised, ensuring a deep understanding of the business’s heritage, culture, core operations, external influences, and overarching aspirations.

At the initial stage, when identifying the foundational ESG topics that serve as the basis for subsequent steps in the ESG strategy development process, we meticulously incorporate a range of ESG frameworks and industry-specific standards. A fundamental element in building a robust ESG strategy is stakeholder engagement, where we integrate their insights and listen to their needs. We conducted surveys and interviews and discovered insights from more than 1,400 stakeholders, encompassing Saga’s key suppliers, customers, and internal stakeholders at various levels within the organisation. This comprehensive approach yielded a well-rounded perspective on opinions, insights, business priorities, and impacts of the business on the environment and society. Using stakeholder feedback in combination with an in-depth business impact assessment, we performed a comprehensive double materiality assessment, identifying Saga’s most critical issues.

The results from the stakeholder insights and double materiality findings, were complemented with a thorough strategic analysis which guided the identification of priority ESG topics and pillars that underpin the strategic ESG framework. Throughout our process, we ensured Saga’s feedback played a central role, leading to a collaborative session with the Simply Sustainable project team and Saga’s key stakeholders to co-create the ESG strategic framework. This collaborative approach combined our sustainability expertise with Saga’s business perspective.

With the strategic framework firmly in place, we proceeded to identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and targets, aligned to best practice standards, and established frameworks. Through interactive workshops involving key stakeholders from Saga, we arrived at a comprehensive set of KPIs and targets that were perfectly aligned with the organisation’s aspirations. This was complemented by focused action plans aimed at seamlessly integrating the strategy across the business. Furthermore, we provided recommendations for enhancing Saga’s ESG governance, ensuring alignment with the existing structure and Saga’s inherent capabilities.

The final strategy represents a robust approach to enhancing Saga’s social and environmental performance across its businesses and its ambition to strengthen its ESG credentials within its industries.

Since completion of the ESG strategy, our support for Saga has been ongoing. This has included supporting the strategy’s launch in their 2022 Annual Report and Accounts (ARA). Additionally, we continue to assist Saga in implementing its strategy and fulfilling the actions outlined in the action plans. This support has extended to aiding in the development of Saga’s first standalone ESG report, in line with the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards.

This highly successful partnership has led Saga to request continued support from Simply Sustainable through a multi-year Climate and Carbon service, encompassing a suite of carbon activities aimed at decarbonising its business. This includes calculating Saga’s first full carbon footprint to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the company’s environmental impact. Additionally, the partnership involves examining Saga’s financial risks and opportunities related to climate change in alignment with the TCFD framework for disclosure and assisting Saga in preparing for the Science-Based Targets initiative commitment, emphasising alignment with global climate goals. The partnership also aims to set ambitious net-zero and carbon reduction targets, guiding Saga’s journey toward decarbonisation. This strategic approach underscores Saga’s dedication to environmental responsibility.

To find out how Simply Sustainable can help you develop your ESG and sustainability strategy, request a call-back from one of our team of experts.

Cembra MoneyBank logo

At Simply Sustainable, we recognise that as companies begin to decarbonise, they must leave no one behind, and ensure that the social impacts and benefits of the transition to a low-carbon economy are considered.

Impacts and benefits

  • Accurate measurement of carbon footprint, including all relevant scope 1, 2 and 3 emission categories, in line with internationally recognised standards.
  • Preparation of the Environmental Stewardship chapter of Cembra’s 2022 Annual Report, including support for obtaining external limited assurance.
  • Engaging employees and upskilling departments within Cembra, increasing their confidence and knowledge about carbon accounting and reporting.

We were very happy with Simply Sustainable’s work, its expert insights and guidance, which has set us off on a good start in our journey towards reducing our emissions. Marcus Händel Head of Investor Relations and Sustainability, Cembra Money Bank AG

The story

Cembra Money Bank AG (Cembra) — a Swiss-registered bank that provides financial solutions and services to around 1.1 million customers — sought support to enhance its approach to identifying and assessing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Simply Sustainable was delighted to support Cembra in this endeavour, with the aim of ensuring its GHG emissions are measured and reported in line with international best practice.

Project overview

The finance sector plays a critical role in decarbonising to help limit global warming to well below 2°C (preferably to 1.5°C) in line with the Paris Agreement. Due to their direct control over what they invest in, which subsequently influences what other businesses and individuals can buy or build, banks and other financial institutions are instrumental in driving emission reductions across supply chains worldwide.

In 2022, Simply Sustainable calculated Cembra’s carbon footprints for their 2021 and 2022 reporting periods. Working closely with key stakeholders, Cembra’s GHG emissions were calculated in line with international best practice, including the GHG Protocol: Corporate Standard (2004:2015), the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF) Financed Emissions (Part A, 2022), and the Science Based Targets initiative’s (SBTi) Financial Institutions (2022).

Following a comprehensive GHG screening and inventory analysis, we ensured that all material scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions from Cembra’s business activities were accounted for in the carbon footprint. With the refinement of the carbon accounting methodology, Cembra’s previous 2021 carbon footprint was recalculated to include all materially relevant emission categories. In response to new guidance issued by the PCAF in December 2022, Cembra calculated the emissions associated with its vehicle investment portfolio for the first time.

The analysis explored all aspects of Cembra’s emissions footprint, including those arising from the value chain (commonly referred to as ‘scope 3 emissions’) and revealed the areas of the business that contributed the largest proportion of emissions (i.e., emission hotspots). Taken together, the findings from the 2021 and 2022 carbon footprints informed the Environmental Stewardship chapter of Cembra’s 2022 Annual Report, which obtained external limited assurance.

To find out how Simply Sustainable can help you on your carbon journey, request a call-back from one of our team of experts.

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