OUR MATERIAL SUSTAINABILITY ISSUES
To become a truly sustainable business, we began by defining what sustainability means in the context of our business. Some three years ago, we developed a very clear sustainability management framework to articulate our sustainability risks and opportunities and to define how we respond. The process of developing the framework drew from leading practice among international insurers, GRI recommendations, and other recognised codes and standards. Importantly, it also involved consultation with senior managers to ensure that the issues included were relevant to our business and consistent with our existing systems. Engaging management in this process helped us to devolve the ownership of each sustainability issue to those responsible for day-to-day operations. Our sustainability management framework covers 10 main sustainability components, which are divided into four clear themes to make them tangible for the business. The four themes are:
- Inspire our people,
- Grow the business,
- Protect the environment, and
- Transform the business.
The 10 sustainability components are subdivided into some 40 unique sustainability elements that we consider crucial to our business. Each component has its own points of managerial responsibility and systems across the organisation to support the implementation of the framework. The components are:
A sustained client base – A crucial driver of our client centricity strategy, incorporating the following elements: alignment of products, processes and initiatives to client needs and expectations; client satisfaction, retention and growth; and client privacy/confidentiality.
A sustained broker/intermediary base – Incorporating the following elements: maintaining equitable relationships with intermediaries; growing the black broker intermediary base; the impact of HIV/Aids on our intermediary base; and intermediary compliance with industry standards (such as Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services, or FAIS).
A sustained supplier base – Incorporating preferential procurement; and environment, health and safety in the supply chain.
Maintaining an ethical culture and managing fraud – Incorporating management of fraud; management of ethical behaviour related to advertising; and application of ethical behaviour through the values process aimed at staff.
Solutions aligned to social and environmental needs – Focusing specifically on growing our product and service offerings for the emerging market.
Human capital – Incorporating the attraction, retention and development of employees with the emphasis on equity; the impact of HIV/Aids on our workforce; and the occupational health and safety of staff while at work.
Extending influence for the benefit of society – Incorporating CSI initiatives that are aligned with social, business, economic and environmental needs; and our broader socio-economic influence on society.
Transformation – Covering all elements of broad-based BEE in line with the dti codes of good practice.
Responsible investments – Covering direct investment to address social, economic and environmental needs.
Managing impacts on the environment – Incorporating products and solutions adapted for environmental change; and internal facilities management to support Santam’s environmental positioning.