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What Sustainability Means to Us

As one of the biggest internationally-active insurance groups in the world, we play an important role helping people realise their financial goals over their lifetime and achieve financial prosperity.

We also contribute to financial resilience by building the capacity of systems, organisations, environments and the economy to absorb the potential negative financial consequences of internal or external shocks.

We contribute to financial resilience and prosperity by delivering client-centric financial solutions through our five business clusters, which are supported by the Group Office. Find out more about our business and clusters.

Our clusters create financial resilience and prosperity

Our clusters focus on the things they have identified as critical to enable them to contribute to the financial resilience and prosperity of their stakeholders.


We subscribe to industry bodies and frameworks

This is guided by our sustainability management framework, which outlines our business approach to creating sustainable value.


Our long-term success is built on trust

Clients entrust us with their money and believe we will honour the financial outcomes promised by our solutions. This trust is founded on a culture of offering sound advice, fair treatment and a range of financial solutions that meet clients’ needs and expectations.


We manage funds for the long term

We are an integral part of society through our role as an accumulator and allocator of client and shareholder funds. We have a responsibility to allocate and invest these funds in a way that optimises long-term returns for our clients and shareholders, while benefiting our wider stakeholder groups.


We contribute to resilience and prosperity through our programmes and initiatives

Our contribution to society is shaped by high-value and transformative initiatives that support entrepreneurship, education, economic growth and environmental–related risk management.


Our governance structures create and protect long-term value

The collective experience and expertise of our Board members enable us to consider and balance the needs of all our stakeholders. We believe this creates sustainable value and trust.


It’s taken 100 years of hard work and perseverance over many generations to get us this far. Our company has evolved but we've stayed committed to creating lasting value and enabling people to live their best lives possible. To celebrate our centenary, we launched the 'Built to Last' campaign, which describes the difference we want to make in the world and why we want to help build financial futures and lasting legacies. Now, and for generations to come.

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Why ESG is Part of Our Agenda

Speaking at the SCOR Annual Conference 2018, Ian Kirk, our Group Chief Executive, explained why it is important to embed environmental, social and governance-related considerations into business, inspired by the United Nations Principles for Sustainable Insurance.

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Our Network of Stakeholders

Our business strategy sets out the elements that guide our long-term direction and thinking. It gives life to our purpose and provides clarity when we determine priorities and consider trade-offs. Our strategic intent is to create sustainable value for all stakeholders.

As one of the biggest insurance groups in the world, the challenges we face are diverse and interconnected. We therefore value and consider the interests of the individuals or groups we interact with during the course of our business activities, including how they are affected by or respond to our material issues. Many of our stakeholders rely on our sustainability for a secure future. This means we have to continually create new responses to changing economic, social and political environments in ways that balance different interests responsibly and transparently. The intended outcome of our stakeholder value creation is financial resilience and prosperity.

Our clients consume our financial solutions to achieve their wealth creation, management and protection goals in support of financial resilience and prosperity

Key touchpoints:

Client engagement occurs at various touchpoints during the course of the client transaction process and all stages of the product life cycle. Client satisfaction is measured regularly.

Our employees provide skills and expertise that support the activities underlying our business model

Key touchpoints:

Employment engagement is ongoing and supported by the connectivity pillar of our Employee Value Proposition (EVP). We conduct employee engagement surveys in our largest operations. The results of these surveys inform Group-wide programmes that aim to enhance employee inter-connectivity and engagement. Find out more about our EVP.

Our business partners provide products and services that enable us to conduct our business activities and co-invest in businesses where appropriate

Key touchpoints:

Our business model, especially in Sanlam Emerging Markets, relies on partnerships and collaboration. We rely on the local knowledge and infrastructure of our partners in the markets in which we operate and invest. Therefore, engagement with these stakeholders is supportive and not intrusive. Engagement is formalised through service level agreements, governance structures, reporting requirements and personal engagement. Business partners are essential in achieving our vision of becoming a leading Pan-African diversified financial services player.

Our shareholders provide financial capital at a Sanlam Group level

Key touchpoints:

Shareholders can access information on our performance via our Annual Reporting Suite, investor website and SENS announcements. Information sharing with shareholders and investors is also facilitated through biannual results presentations, operational updates, the Sanlam investor conference, the annual general meeting, and through ad hoc meetings.

The communities, organisations and institutions from which demand for our financial solutions is generated, and from which people are employed

Key touchpoints:

The Sanlam Foundation is our primary corporate social investment (CSI) vehicle and is focused on shared-value initiatives that fulfil the needs of society and business.

Various CSI initiatives aligned with the Group’s CSI priorities are conducted in-country by Sanlam Emerging Markets. In support of our purpose, all business clusters pursue a set of outcomes that build financial resilience and prosperity for society. These outcomes include, among others, development of entrepreneurship, consumer financial education and skills development.

We partner with government to deliver various socio-economic development outcomes.

Key touchpoints:

We engage with government through industry associations and various business chambers

Regulators provide financial stability and a sustainable environment for financial services through prudential and market conduct regulation

Key touchpoints:

The Group Office and cluster businesses engage on a regular basis with industry regulators to assist in creating a trusted financial services environment. Find out more about our regulatory environment.

Overseeing Our Engagement with Stakeholders

The Sanlam Board and executive management all take care that Sanlam is managed in a sustainable and stakeholder-inclusive way. We consider the risk and unintended consequences of our stakeholder relationships and try to balance stakeholders’ needs where these might conflict with the outcomes we pursue.

Managing and Monitoring Our Stakeholder Relationships

Our stakeholder strategy gives us guidance when meeting or interacting with stakeholders to ensure we are consistent and balanced. We have a stakeholder communication policy in place that prioritises the needs of our various stakeholders and business clusters. Each business cluster manages stakeholder engagement according to the specific focus in their operations. The clusters report to the Sanlam stakeholder hub on a quarterly basis on all stakeholder engagement activities and concerns raised.

A Partnership for Empowerment

On 12 December 2018, our shareholders approved a package of empowerment transactions that will change our credentials and refocus our future opportunities as a leading empowered group in South Africa.

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