Our sustainability and CSR strategy supports our purpose of connecting people with their assets – safely, securely and responsibly.
In FY2021 we made significant progress implementing our strategic priorities including updating our sustainability and human rights policies, the delivery of our first, combined Modern Slavery Statement for the UK and Australia (for the reporting period FY2020) and the successful launch of our CSR strategy, LinkTogether For Good (LTFG).
Our Sustainability Commitment
We strive to act responsibly, support our clients, contribute to employee wellbeing, diversity and inclusion and deliver mutual business and social benefits in the communities we operate in.
Our current focus for LTFG is to support education for the vulnerable and disadvantaged in the communities we operate in. We are proud that in FY2021, we were able to announce six new community partners across our key regions in the UK, Ireland, India and Australia, who align to this important theme of education, together with a new community target to more than double our giving by FY2025.
As part of progressing our sustainability strategy, we are aligned to the Paris Agreement, in addition to four of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), being goal 4. Quality Education, 5. Gender Equality, 8. Decent work and economic growth and 13. Climate Action.
Further, we have committed to a target of achieving net zero carbon emissions by FY2030 and set short, medium and long‑term targets to continue to reduce our scope 2 absolute GHG emissions.
To further demonstrate our commitment, Link Group is proud to have joined Australian Sustainable Finance Institute (ASFI) as one of its founding members.
ASFI is a collaborative entity formed of Australia’s financial sector leaders and peak bodies focused on shaping an Australian economy that prioritises human wellbeing, social equity and environmental protection with financial system resilience and stability in mind.
OUR SUSTAINABILITY & CSR STRATEGY
Link Group’s sustainability and CSR strategy supports our purpose of connecting people with their assets – safely, securely and responsibly. The strategy is based on three core pillars:
A Responsible Business
Aligning and Building our Capability, and
These pillars incorporate ESG focus areas considered to be material to our business.
Our strategy is aligned to the Paris Agreement and includes short, medium and long-term targets with a focus on reducing GHG emissions to help us achieve net zero carbon emissions by FY2030. It also includes a community target to focus on increasing our uptake of volunteering and giving via our CSR strategy LinkTogether For Good.
About this section
This section covers the sustainability and CSR activities of Link Group across all our controlled entities during the period 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021. Where appropriate, we include references to events that have occurred since the end of the financial reporting period, but prior to publication.
This report covers more than 40 offices in the 18 jurisdictions in which we operated during the year unless otherwise stated. Please refer to the Annual Report for all major changes that occurred during the year.
Link Group’s FY2021 sustainability and CSR disclosures have been prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards: Core option. We have selected our disclosures related to those that are the most material to our business and/or of the greatest importance and relevance to our stakeholders. For a full list of disclosures referenced in this report, please refer to the GRI Content Index available at https://www.linkgroup.com/sustainability.html.
Link Group has an internal sustainability data verification process to verify the integrity of any periodic disclosures of this section. The information is validated by the business and our CSR and Sustainability Manager. No external assurance was sought for our sustainability disclosures within this report.
As part of the Link Group sustainability and CSR strategy, a continued focus area is to increase governance in data collection and data integrity across all major locations. To help achieve this, we have implemented a data management system (DMS) and reporting platform to house all sustainability and CSR related data required for reporting purposes. This allows for a consistent approach globally for recording, monitoring and reporting all sustainability related data.
In FY2021, we continued to be guided by the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard 1 to improve consistency to manage our GHG risks and our emissions disclosures through the use of standardised approaches and principles.
Materiality and stakeholder engagement
Link Group’s approach continues to be structured around focus areas considered to be material to our business. In particular, we place a strong focus on risk management and sustainable business practices. This means that we aim to make integrity, information and data security, privacy and compliance part of everything we do.
In FY2021, we further considered materiality in the context of emerging global trends and the SDGs. We also continued to review our material topics including current and emerging risks, particularly during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Our review demonstrates how our sustainability strategy continues to reflect Link Group’s significant or material economic, environmental and social impacts, and those that are most likely to influence the assessments and decisions of stakeholders including investors.
Our stakeholders benefit from Link Group building a responsible future of sustainable growth and success through our sustainability and CSR strategy. Link Group engages with a broad range of stakeholders and works collaboratively to manage business risks and opportunities.
Link Group’s stakeholder groups include shareholders, clients and their customers, our people, suppliers, community partners, regulators and various governments. We are committed to engaging openly, honestly and at regular intervals with our stakeholders to understand their expectations and concerns. We aim to be transparent, responsive and accountable to our stakeholder groups.
Material Topics 2
- market transformation
- digital disruption
- data safety and cyber security
- energy consumption
- responsible supply chain management
- our people’s health and safety
- employee development and wellbeing
- inclusion and gender equity
- human rights
- conduct and ethics
- community relations
Method of stakeholder engagement
We utilise a blend of indirect and direct engagement for our internal and external stakeholders.
We engage with our people through surveys, regular email and video updates, town hall updates and round tables (in person and virtually) to understand how we can become a better place to work and to assist us in attracting and retaining talent. Monitored email boxes and anonymous communication channels are also available for our people to provide feedback on any number of topics, at any time.
We engage with our external stakeholders in a number of ways, including and not limited to:
- Client satisfaction surveys which incorporate ESG related questions;
- interactions with key regulatory, government and industry bodies in all our jurisdictions;
- regular participation in key industry meetings, conferences and forums;
- regular client meetings to review our performance and identify issues and future needs; and
- direct communication with clients, fund members, shareholders and investors.
Read the full Sustainability Report within this year’s Annual Report.
2 The internal boundary for all material topics is Link Group, which includes all our controlled entities. The external boundary for all material topics includes our external impacts particularly the needs of our external stakeholders.