While fund management is the core of our business, Polar Capital’s culture is such that we do consider how we can make positive change to the world around us. This filters through to recruitment, the environment and our impact on society as a whole.
As a firm, we are conscious of our environmental impact, and we help to manage this through a wide range of measures. Our Recycling at Work programme engages and encourages our staff to minimise waste. We are constantly considering how to further reduce our reliance on single-use plastics and have issued reusable keep-cups to all staff. We no longer use plastic covers for our business presentations and have implemented recycling initiatives for food packaging at our London office.
We support the Paris Agreement and the transition to a net zero economy. Over the past year, we have focused efforts on evolving our understanding of our carbon impact. We have worked with a specialist climate consultant to determine our Scope 1 and 2 footprint and undertaken a Scope 3 emissions gap analysis and modelling exercise, the results of which are published in our annual report. We acknowledge that our largest greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions come from indirect activities, and therefore we voluntarily disclose Scope 3 emissions for relevant categories where data is available.
We plan to expand our Scope 3 reporting boundary, with the intention to disclose further emissions from across our wider value chain. We expect that by expanding our Scope 3 understanding, particularly with regards to our portfolio carbon footprint, we will be in a strong position to enhance fund capability to assess climate-related risks and opportunities within their portfolios and align climate activities to report in line with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations.
We have a responsibility to create a lasting positive impact in the communities in which we live and work.
We contribute a percentage of our profits towards charitable causes and encourage staff to nominate charities for us to support. In the financial year ended 31 March 2022, the Group made financial contributions to 15 charities.
We have supported a number of charities that are close to the hearts of our staff or matters that are of fundamental importance to Polar Capital. These include mental health, community support, homelessness, child welfare, healthcare and education, and the environment. We generally support smaller charities where we know the contribution will make a significant impact.
In the financial year 2023, the Group has committed up to 1% of core operating profit annually to environmental and social causes.
In 2021, we partnered with Heal Rewilding, a charity established to respond to the biodiversity emergency. It is raising awareness of the need to rewild sub-economic farmland in the UK and return it to its original wild condition. This partnership continued through into the 2022 financial year and the support will continue into 2023.
In addition to financial donations, we offer an employee volunteering scheme, under which members of staff can take up to two days leave per annum to support charitable causes.
We have partnered with a local academy, with the objective of forging a long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationship
The key objective is to fund two university undergraduates each year with full tuition fees and an annual living allowance. Each candidate will be allocated a Polar Capital mentor, will spend time in the office during each university holiday and will automatically have a place on the two-week Polar Capital Summer Internship Programme.
Many of these students went through incredibly tough times when schools closed during lockdown, with limited access to learning material and a lack of technology to facilitate remote learning. As a starting point to building this relationship, we have made a financial contribution to ensure the children have access to laptops and the internet and are able to continue their education in this challenging environment.