- Material Pillars
- GRI & Assurance
Material Pillars - Sustainability Governance - Our Sustainability Management Framework
Sanlam Sustainability Report 2011
Our Sustainability Management Framework
Over the past few years Sanlam has invested significant resources in addressing some of the sustainability challenges that impact on our capacity to create value. We have made continuing investments aimed at developing our people, building a broader client base, developing new products and services, managing our products responsibly and reducing our direct environmental impacts.
While our approach in these different areas has yielded some positive results – including prompting a growing appreciation within the organisation of the strategic importance of sustainability – we nevertheless realised in 2010 that we would benefit in having a more structured and co-ordinated approach to sustainability that is more closely aligned to our core business strategy, and that provides for our most material sustainability risks and opportunities across our sphere of influence.
Responding to this need, this year we undertook a comprehensive process to establish a Sustainability Management Framework (SMF) governed by a clear set of roles and responsibilities. The SMF applies to Sanlam Limited and all its clusters other than Santam; all our operations outside the borders of South Africa are also currently excluded. Approved by the Sanlam Board in December 2011, the SMF allows us to monitor and evaluate our performance against a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) designed to manage our most material sustainability issues. A Sustainability Dashboard (to manage the KPIs) and a Risk Log (to continuously identify, analyse and manage sustainability risks) will be developed in 2012 to ensure the effective implementation of the framework.
Process of developing the SMF
The SMF was driven by high-level commitment from the Group Chief Executive and the Group Executive Committee (Group Exco). Strategy champions nominated by Exco members were part of the framework development process. Together with these champions, and facilitated by an external service provider, the Sustainability Management unit developed Sanlam's current approach to sustainability, agreed on the Group's future sustainability journey in relation to the business strategy, identified material issues and developed KPIs to manage these issues.
The first engagement with strategy champions focused on establishing the current corporate mindset and appetite for sustainability as an ongoing driver of the business. Champions discussed the key potential sustainability risks facing their businesses. They agreed on a sustainability journey focused on short, medium and long-term objectives that are clearly linked to the organisation's business plans. The discussions led to the confirmation that Sanlam's current sustainability level was that of a "follower" with a strong compliance focus. It is Sanlam's intention to adopt a more strategic sustainability focus to position itself as a leader in the financial sector in South Africa.
Objectives of the SMF
- Continuously identify and manage material sustainability risks affecting the Group;
- Ensure sustainability of the business strategy;
- Prioritise efforts based on materiality and alignment with the Group strategy;
- Clarify governance and accountability; and
- Contribute to a reporting process that addresses stakeholder concerns and needs.
Our performance in the 2011 Carbon Disclosure Project
Sanlam voluntarily participated in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) for the fifth year, publicly disclosing information on our management of climate change issues, our views on the risks and opportunities that climate change presents to the business, our actions to manage those risks and opportunities and our greenhouse gas emissions accounting. This information, collected from the top 100 companies on the JSE, is requested on behalf of 551 investors with assets of US$71 trillion.
Sanlam's response was assessed in terms of both the quality of the information disclosed and the company's performance. The disclosure score represents an assessment of the quality and completeness of a company's response. The performance score provides an indication of the extent to which companies are addressing the potential opportunities and risks presented by climate change. Sanlam was awarded a "B" for performance in 2011 (consistent with the 2010 response). According to the CDP this indicates that the integration of climate change is recognised as a priority for strategy, but that not all initiatives are fully established. Our disclosure score improved from 86 in 2010 to 88 in 2011, placing the company eighth overall. As one of the top 10% of JSE 100 companies with the highest disclosure scores, Sanlam was included in the JSE 100 Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI) and received a Gold award.
A comparison of Sanlam's 2011 to 2010 response
for each band....(back to text)