With 2023 marking five years since JTC became a FTSE listed company, we are publishing a series of articles reflecting on how, as a global service provider, we have reached this pivotal moment and how we plan to maintain momentum…
Mapping the road for a sustainable future
Enacting positive environmental change is an ambition all businesses should aspire to – but how best to do this is a question with many answers. Those answers are at the crux of why JTC last year appointed Chief Operating Officer Wendy Holley as its dedicated Chief Sustainability Officer to ensure JTC’s sustainability strategy and framework are fit for purpose today but are also primed to meet the needs of tomorrow.
Already marking two years of being carbon neutral, JTC is on track to fulfil its commitment to achieving net zero ahead of its 2030 target and last year saw an annual reduction in CO2 emissions by 9.7% per employee.
Wendy said: “We want to embed sustainability into the JTC mindset so that all our employees are motivated and empowered to make a difference. It is an immense source of pride that we have such incredible enthusiasm from our teams across the globe who make a difference.”
Fostering an environment of collective responsibility was at the heart of the recent canvassing of views on potential carbon offsetting ventures and sustainability ideas, with an overwhelming number of employees opting to get behind reforestation and deforestation reduction projects specifically. Earlier in 2023, those views led to the support of three global reforestation schemes in South America, Africa and Asia organised by carbon offset specialist organisation, Carbon Footprint.
“We have worked collaboratively with Carbon Footprint for the past two years as part of our ongoing commitment to becoming a Carbon Neutral+ business. Having such strong support from our employees to focus on reforestation was great to see and reinforced that the collective culture we’ve nurtured at JTC has embraced this importance,” added Wendy.
Alongside Wendy, spearheading sustainable progress is the newly created Sustainability forum, operating within the executive arm of the business and reporting on progress directly to the Risk and Governance Committee, which is tasked with managing and delivering an internal sustainability roadmap and overseeing target setting and disclosures.
Such scrutiny is particularly pertinent to JTC which in 2022 made the move to voluntarily report under the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and reported to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), both for the first time.
Wendy said: “This isn’t about merely being seen to do the right thing. We are absolutely focussed on making meaningful changes and being accountable for our decisions. It is why we also became a signatory of the UN Principles of Responsible Investment to embed Sustainability factors into our decision-making across the group.”
Sustainable, impact and Sustainability related funds have been steadily increasing in scale and popularity for the past decade. Meanwhile, wealthy families and individuals are placing greater emphasis on building back better in the wake of the global pandemic with sustainability, in particular, rising to the fore.
Of course, while laudable, such endeavours do not come without complexities; the rapid evolution of standards is creating sizeable challenges from an administrative perspective for companies – funds specifically – and those not wishing to be accused of greenwashing will need expert advice to guide their hand.
Sophisticated technology-enabled advisory and administration services will undoubtedly play a key role in supporting clients with their sustainable ambitions as will having the depth of expertise capable of advising on the multitude of complex Sustainability regulatory and reporting frameworks. JTC’s reputation in this respect, combined with its culture of shared ownership and a strong corporate purpose, however, create an ideal alignment both practically and ideologically.
If one thing is certain, it is that sustainability – whether it be from an operational or service line perspective – is a rapidly developing sector from which no business is immune. JTC’s Sustainability strategy and framework is well-primed to keep pace, however, and 2023 will see a number of new initiatives introduced across the group from a regular environmentally focused educational programme, providing employees with guidance on how to reduce individual carbon footprint at home and work, to sponsoring the Freedom Flight Prize, an innovation-driven initiative aimed at helping to develop zero-carbon aviation.
Wendy summarised: “We understand that as a global business we can and should continue to do more to bring about positive change. It is going to take collective effort to truly make an impact and as pulling together is at the heart of JTC’s ethos we are fully committed to supporting the health of our environment.”