The Seventy Ninth Group attends UN Global Compact Network UK’s Annual General Meeting

Our CEO Natalie Bellis discusses how being a part of the UN Global Compact is helping to further The Seventy Ninth Group’s key aim of being a socially and environmentally conscious company and how it ties into our wider ESG policy.

Last Thursday, I was lucky enough to attend the UN Global Compact Network’s UK Annual General Meeting.

It’s been a key aim of Seventy Ninth Group to be able to formalise our ambitions to even further improve our green credentials by joining the UN Global Compact, and we’re immensely proud that we’ve now started our journey with them.

Our membership will provide us with the opportunity to learn how we can make changes that will really positively impact our business and the communities we work in and ensure that, as a company, we’re always acting responsibly and conducting the best sustainable business practices with the honesty and integrity which Seventy Ninth Group are synonymous for.

Why we joined the UN Global Compact

The UN Global Compact is the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative helping companies like The Seventy Ninth Group to operate responsibly, innovate and create long-term value for their stakeholders and the wider society. Launched in July 2000, by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, its aim is to mobilise companies around the world in aligning their strategies and operations around the ten universal principles covering areas of human rights, labour, the environment, and anti-corruption.

The underlying concept behind the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact is that corporate sustainability starts with a principles-based approach to doing business, it comes down to how a business operates in society.

We made the decision to join the UN Global Compact as we felt it aligns with our own company values. We want to promote and follow the guidelines outlined as a responsible employer, that is committed to making a positive difference. We’re unlike other asset management companies, because when we enter a project, we always do so with a vision of how we are going to give back to the local community.

The Seventy Ninth Group are proud to be a part of the UN Global Compact, and remains committed to upholding the Ten Principles for responsible and sustainable business practices. We embed these Ten Principles across our operations, adopting the mission statement, “we invest in the communities in which we operate.”

Our ESG policies

Environmental, Social and Governance is at the heart of everything we do. This is something I’m incredibly passionate about, and as CEO of the Seventy Ninth Group, I have worked hard to implement a strong ESG policy for the company, that benefits the communities in which we operate.

Becoming a member of the UN Global Compact is part of this policy, and highlights our commitment to conducting fair, responsible and sustainable business practices. Alongside this, we are also accredited by several internationally recognised standards, including Green Mark and the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO).

We have strong values here at The Seventy Ninth Group. We operate on a clear and simple ethical code backed by trust, honesty, and integrity. Investing in the communities in which we operate is a hugely important part of our ethos as an asset management company. This is why we never purchase a property development or natural resource concession without giving something back to the local community. Whilst our team draws up plans for the purchase of an asset, we also develop a plan detailing how we will give back and help the local community.

I’m so enthusiastic about our maintaining these values that, as a company, we make sure that they even extend to the companies we work and do business with. Prior to working with a company, we conduct thorough due diligence to assess whether their ethos aligns with our own to mitigate any risks for our company and our stakeholders.

Our ESG policy is especially key for the Group’s work in West Africa through Seventy Ninth  Resources. Using a range of internal policies – including a dedicated climate change and biodiversity strategy – we conduct strict due diligence to assess for any potential risks. We have also committed to regenerating an entire village to provide essential facilities and services including healthcare and education. Furthermore, we are honoured to be sponsors of the National Football League Academy in the Republic of Guinea, where most of our natural resource operations are located.

Closer to home, we have also conducted several fundraisers and donated to local charities, clubs, and foodbanks as part of our charity initiatives.

We understand how to meet the needs of the present without compromising the needs of the future. Our commitments are both achievable and sustainable as they consider global impacts such as environmental footprint, culture, and economics. And our membership in the United Nations Global Compact encourages transparency in reporting on our commitments.

The UN Global Compact is a forum for discussion and a network for communication. I’m delighted to be able to attend their regular events and meetings to learn more about the work they are doing and ways in which we can continue to implement and improve our ESG policies.

We recently reviewed our ESG policies internally as a result of 12 months of extensive growth, as it was important to look back at what we’d achieved but, even more crucially, to look forward to where we need to be

It’s important to us that we now to start to keep the promises we have been making – but we want to do it right.

We need to find out what our partners and the communities we work with actually need, not what we think they need. As a result, we’ve launched an internal task force between senior management, operations and marketing to drive forward these projects and identify new ones, and we’re optimistic about the initial foundation work that has been done. I’m really looking forward to sharing these great ideas but more importantly putting them into practice, so I’d ask everyone to stay tuned and we’ll be providing updates very soon.

To find out more about our ESG and compliance policies, visit our compliance page.