Environmental, social and governance

Environmental, social and governance

ESG Information

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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. As a results our group level ESG strategic focus areas are integrated into Santam’s strategic cycle, Building FutureFit Santam. Our ESG efforts are structured according to the two key Focus Areas below, and are reported on in our annual integrated report. 

Run a responsible business – Insurance good and proper

Stakeholders increasingly want confirmation that Santam is a responsible corporate citizen, with sound governance practices and a measured, positive impact on society. We do this through the following;

  • Practicing good and proper governance.
  • Understand and managing the group’s socio-economic, climate and environmental risk exposure.
  • Ensure that sensitive risks in underwriting are appropriately dealt with in line with global industry norms.
  • Enhance our responsible investment impact by working with our primary asset manager, Sanlam Investment Management.
  • Ensuring our stakeholders experience safety, fairness and inclusion.

Help build resilient societies 

We support societies to be resilient and to be able to deal with unforeseen events. We do this through the following;

  • Redistributing risk. This is our core business. The more clients we insure, the more financially resilient societies become in a turbulent and risky world. In addition, we develop new markets, including new and innovative business solutions to address the risk protection gap.
  • Helping to mitigate risk. We partner for resilience where we can materially impact improve risk management
    • In South Africa, we work with local municipalities through Partnership for Risk and Resilience (P4RR) and focus on disaster risk management, prevention and mitigation
    • Partner and participate in selected industry activities (all across the business as appropriate)
  • Through Santam’s transformation strategy, we help build a sustainable and transformed South African economy.
  • Have a clear public position on issues that matter for long-term resilience in society.

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.