Environmental, social and governance

Environmental, social and governance

ESG Information

Browse by section

Santam’s ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) approach

The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Principles for Sustainable Insurance states that the insurance industry’s core business is to understand, manage and carry risk. Through risk prevention and risk reduction and by sharing risks over many shoulders, the insurance industry helps protect society, fosters innovation and underpins economic development. These are key contributions to a well-functioning and sustainable society. Sustainable insurance aims to reduce risk, develop innovative solutions, improve business performance, and contribute to environmental, social and economic sustainability.

Santam is a founding signatory of the UN Environment Programme’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance and we share the view that sustainable insurance is a strategic approach where all activities in the insurance value chain, including interactions with stakeholders, are done in a responsible and forward-looking way by identifying, assessing, managing and monitoring risks and opportunities associated with sustainability or environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. 

We also align our strategic thinking with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the ClimateWise principles and the South African Insurance Association (SAIA) Code of Conduct. These all recognise the interdependence between finance and environmental, social and governance (ESG) challenges, and the role financial institutions play for a more sustainable economy and world. 

Santam acknowledges that business operates in conditions of environmental and social thresholds. Since our group operates within this nested ESG system, we take ESG issues and sustainability seriously. This is illustrated through the integration of material matters into our annual strategy process. Our sustainability efforts are structured according to the Focus Areas below, and are reported on in our annual integrated report. 

Reaching the insured and uninsured markets
Santam develops and implements its emerging market strategy through appropriate channels in the business to support growth and diversification. This includes the development of products to reach the emerging market in alignment with the Financial Services Charter (FSC) targets and criteria. 

Resilience through shared value partnerships 
Santam works with local municipalities and focuses on disaster risk management and reduction. Santam also aligns its Corporate Social Investment (CSI) contributions to its work at municipal level. Our flagship initiative is Partnerships for Risk and Resilience (P4RR). 

Develop sustainable business efficiencies (internal and external) 
We manage the quality and impact of our own risk pool through addressing pressures on human, social and environmental capital by continuously increasing efficiency and delivering on our brand promise, Insurance good and proper. 

Responsible investment and solvency
Santam influences responsible systemic risk responses through vehicles such as the Resilient Investment Fund, the South African Small & Medium Enterprise (SME) Fund, enterprise and supplier development, and CSI initiatives. Santam takes solvency management seriously and Santam’s investment charter recognises the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).

Policies and position statements

Santam operates in accordance to several company policies and position statements, and where appropriate, abides by those of its majority shareholder, the Sanlam Group.

Corporate governance

Santam’s board of directors provides ethical and effective leadership through high standards of ethical values and business integrity, while recognising the company’s responsibility to conduct its affairs with responsibility and fairness, safeguarding the interests of all stakeholders. The board views corporate governance as being concerned with structure and process, and also with ethical consciousness and conduct. The board is accountable to stakeholders and is ultimately responsible for the implementation of sound corporate governance practices throughout the group. Santam regularly reviews its governance structures and processes to reflect best practice and to facilitate effective leadership, corporate citizenship and sustainability, thereby supporting the group’s business strategy.