Our Firm’s direct environmental impact is mainly due to the operation of our offices and business travel.
We aim to minimise our carbon footprint and use of environmental resources through our sourcing decisions and our carbon off-setting program as well as promoting behavioural changes amongst our employees, suppliers and other stakeholders.
Promoting Behavioural Changes
As part of the induction for new joiners, we communicate the environmental practices we have in place for recycling and provide training on the energy saving decisions individuals can make on a daily basis and on the relevant technology available.
Our offices in London and New York were built with a focus on sustainability. Our London office building has the "Excellent" rating by BREEAM and the interior modelling has the “Gold Ska” rating. Similarly, our New York office is one of the most energy efficient and ecologically friendly buildings in New York, as the first skyscraper with a “Platinum LEED” certification for environmental excellence.
Design and construction elements of our offices make significant contributions to energy and water savings and waste management.
A material proportion of the London office building’s energy is provided by de-centralised combined cooling, heat and power units including one of the UK’s largest installations of fuel cell technology, photovoltaic cells and thermal stores. These units reduce CO2 emissions by 40% and NOx and SOx emissions by 99.9%, and utilise gas to generate electricity and heat at efficiencies which also reduce greenhouse emissions by 60% compared to electricity from the grid.
Our New York office also has a combined heat and power system. Features in both London and New York offices include intelligent lighting and glass which reduces solar heat gain and reduces the need for cooling.
Our London office further minimises our energy use through technologies that include personalised energy feedback systems and heat recovery processes. We work with building managers on an ongoing basis to prioritise energy efficiency and sustainability practices.
For the London office, we used recycled wood wherever possible. Similarly, during the building’s construction, recycled content exceeded 20% by value in a variety of materials including superstructure concrete, roof protection from recycled bottles, carpet underlay from old clothes, and recycled content for blockwork.
Both of our offices have on-site processes for the separation, collection and recycling of different types of waste materials, including food waste.
Our London office has rainwater harvesting tanks to capture rainwater (Silver Water) which is filtered and cleaned for use in office toilets. The building manager estimates that this achieves a reduction in standard water consumption equal to 20 litres per day per full time employee.
Our New York office has a grey-water system that captures and re-uses rainwater, as well as waterless urinals and low-flow fixtures to decrease the use of water.
Other business-related sourcing decisions include local travel and office supplies, where we choose environmentally-friendly suppliers as much as possible.
We also assess key suppliers against a checklist, which includes questions relating to their own ESG practices.
As a Firm, we are committed to off-setting what we see as the unavoidable carbon emissions of our business activities on an annual basis. While we strive to manage our usage and sourcing decisions, we recognise the constraints inherent within the necessary business travel especially air travel.
We base the measurement and off-setting of the Firm’s carbon footprint on our business travel and office use, as well as the carbon emissions created by Generation team members and their families in the course of their personal lives. We chose the highest standard of carbon credit instrument and, more importantly, we ensure that the underlying projects offer sustainable, lower-emission alternatives to existing practices. We consult with third parties to apply widely-accepted emissions factors to measure our travel, energy use and household data.
Whilst we appreciate that carbon credits do not provide a complete solution, they contribute to mitigate our overall environmental impact.
While we regard travel as a necessary part of our business for investment and client service purposes, we encourage our employees to constantly evaluate their travel arrangements and, where possible, develop efficient travel itineraries and/or use alternative forms of communication such as video and teleconference technologies. We continue to work with technology specialists to enhance the quality of our distance meeting systems.
Our offices in London and New York are both centrally located and well served by public transport facilities. Where staff are unable to use public transport, we use taxi services that provide hybrid or electric vehicles.
Diversity is one of our core values, and in the broadest sense, helps drive our success. A welcoming work environment, where individuals can bring the totality of their experience and perspectives, is an invaluable contributor to greater economic success.
We aim to create a productive, safe and healthy work environment. Our offices include open-plan office space, meeting rooms, quiet rooms, and communal eat-in-kitchens with a wide range of complimentary healthy-eating options provided. Our London office has cycle-racks and shower facilities as well.