Our ‘Walking the Talk’ focus ensures that we demonstrate our commitment to Responsible Investment through our own operations and actions. We view this as so important that it is the third pillar of our Responsible Investment approach. Whether ensuring diversity in our colleague appointments, meeting cyber security standards, or integrating climate risk throughout our operations, we monitor ourselves closely to ensure we are practising what we preach.

Carbon Footprint

Brunel has committed to be Net Zero in its operational (scope 1 and 2) emissions and has made considerable progress in measuring and reducing its Scope 3 emissions by 2030.

For the first time Brunel commissioned a full carbon footprint report to set a baseline for our operational emissions going forward. The report was prepared, and footprint calculated by Carbon Managers using the data supplied by Brunel over the 12-month period to 30 September 2022.

The footprint covers direct emissions from burning fuel and refrigerants (Scope 1), indirect emissions from electricity use (Scope 2) and supply and value chain emissions (Scope 3) from activities where a company has less control. This includes emissions from business travel, employee commuting, water use, waste disposal, resource use, and other indirect emissions associated with fuel/gas and energy production and supply. As an investment business we have excluded financed emissions from this section as they are covered above in our portfolio reporting.

The footprint will be used as a baseline from which to act and improve data collection and accuracy.

Initial actions Brunel will take to improve our organizational footprint in the next reporting year will be:

  • Improve the quality of the data by appointing an executive level sustainability champion and a cross company working group
  • Developing a process for regular data collection, perhaps monthly or quarterly
  • Collecting timely and accurate data for the 2022-23 footprint
  • Reviewing our internal policies and procedures to support the reduction of our carbon footprint, such as our travel and expenses policy
  • Reviewing our benefits package and how this can further support our move to net zero
  • Explore the possibility and impact of credible carbon offsetting in the short term, as we move towards carbon reduction

Gender Pay Gap Reporting

Brunel has fewer than 250 employees and is not required to disclose its gender pay gap. However, Brunel is committed to be an attractive and transparent employer and therefore voluntarily discloses its gender pay gap data.

Brunel aims to create an inclusive and diverse workplace and the gender pay review helps us to monitor fair remuneration within our workforce. We have where possible, adopted hiring practices that address the gender pay gap through looking for a gender-balanced cohort of candidates and seeking balance across a much broader range of diversity and inclusion metrics.

Gender Pay Gap reporting is included within the Annual Report and Financial Accounts each year.

Brunel acknowledges its own gender pay gap. Primarily, that reflects the fact that, over the reporting year, the lower quartile still largely comprised female members of staff (81%), up from 69%. This reflected the creation of new administrative roles, and the preponderance of female applicants. As the graphics demonstrate, our other quartile changes show mixed results, and the median hourly rate difference between male and female staff has increased.

Conflicts of Interest

Our Conflict-of-Interest policy, reviewed bi-annually, describes the circumstances that could give rise to a conflict of interest and the principles to be followed in order to identify, avoid, manage or (in the event the other routes are not possible) to disclose a potential conflict of interest clearly to our clients.

The effective management of potential conflicts of interest is a key component of our due diligence on all asset managers and service providers, as well as our ongoing contract management. Conflict of interest clauses are included in investment management and service agreements. For example, where our voting provider perceives a potential conflict when executing votes on our behalf, they alert us to give an opportunity to further review the recommendations before they are instructed.

Catalyst Education Programme

We are sponsoring the Catalyst Education Programme . Established in 2020-21 it provides economically disadvantaged pupils with the aspiration, belief, and tools to develop a career in the asset management industry. The Catalyst Education Programme sits within the #Talkboutblack workstream of the Diversity Project, a cross-company initiative championing a truly diverse, equitable and inclusive UK investment and savings industry. It began in London and is now being rolled out in our location.

Modern Human Slavery

Our position on Modern Slavery is detailed on the subsequent page.

We have established that Brunel and its direct suppliers are meeting real living wage standards. our next step is to seek formal certification.

Cyber

As we seek to promote cyber security and best practice, it is important that Brunel is Cyber Essentials Certified.

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