Impax aims to act with the highest standards across all its operations. We recognise our responsibilities to our clients and shareholders but also to our staff, suppliers, our investee companies, the environment and the community in which we work. We are committed to integrating responsible business practices throughout our operations.
We record our corporate responsibility activities under the categories of Environment, Community, Workplace and Marketplace.
While our direct environmental impact is relatively limited, we strive to minimise this across our working practices through a culture of energy and resource efficiency and to demonstrate our leadership in this field. We have a comprehensive Environmental Policy which is rigorously enforced and communicated to all staff. We acknowledge and measure our impacts, recognise our responsibilities and take action to improve wherever possible.
As an office-based business, the main impact of our operations is in energy consumption, water use, travel and materials use. We are currently implementing an Energy Management System for our UK operations and are working towards ISO14001 standard. Impax has made substantial investments in the energy efficiency of its London office but we continue to seek additional improvements. Our Environment Committee, which reports to the Board, has responsibility for coordinating environmental activities and ensuring that our activities are carried out in line with our Environmental Policy. Impax has reported its carbon dioxide emissions to the Carbon Disclosure Project since 2009.
Charities we support Impax aims to support organisations that are aligned with our values. In the UK Impax promotes tax efficient payroll giving for staff through the Charities Aid Foundation Give as You Earn scheme. In 2016 we maintained our gold status with more than 10 per cent staff participating in the scheme, donating to seven charities on a regular basis. Impax matches staff donations.
This year we continued our support of Ashden and ClientEarth. We are now in our fifth year of partnership with Ashden and are proud supporters of the Impax Ashden Award for Energy Innovation. Ashden champions practical, local energy solutions that cut greenhouse gas emissions, protect the environment, reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. Several of our staff are involved in the evaluation and judging of the award submissions, as well as on-going mentoring and support work with previous award winners. The winner of our award in 2016 was Open Energi, a rapidly growing innovative UK company that works with large energy users to decrease their consumption within agreed parameters. ClientEarth is a legal firm which is “committed to ensuring a healthy planet”. ClientEarth’s lawyers are pushing the UK to implement strong environmental laws at home and push forward action on the globe stage.
We encourage staff to play an active role in the community for the benefit of both our business and society. We give all staff the opportunity to participate in an environment related volunteering activity organised by the Company. This year a staff team was involved with the Paradise Co-Operative, an urban farming cooperative based in Wandsworth, while another team returned to the Brayards Estate in Peckham to assist with environmental and social projects.
Our people are key to our success. They create and manage our products and ensure that they are innovative and the most successful that they can be. They also strive to deliver excellent client service. Impax takes great pride in recruiting the best people, providing a working environment in which they can prosper and providing training and opportunities for them to develop. Impax is committed to best governance, HR practices and employee communications and to a process of continual review and improvement.
Impax aspires to best practice across all aspects of the management of its listed and private equity investments.
Environmental Social and Governance ("ESG") considerations are embedded within our rigorous ten step investment process for listed equities. Failure by a company to reach the required ESG score will prevent our investment.
Impax engages with investee companies and undertakes long term engagement to improve practice and disclosure across their governance and sustainability activities. In 2017, Impax undertook 66 proactive ESG engagement initiatives. We view proxy voting as a key activity in the ongoing dialogue with companies in which we invest. We are committed to ensuring the consistent exercise of voting rights associated with shares held in investment mandates where proxy voting has been delegated to us. Impax supports the UK Stewardship Code and complies with its guidelines regarding proxy voting and engagement. We publically disclose a summary of our proxy voting activity on a quarterly basis.
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