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Skip Navigation Linkswhat-sustainability-means-at-sanlam What Sustainability Means for Us

Our Commitment to Resilience

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

We recognise the need for Sanlam to contribute to financial resilience and prosperity in all the markets where we are present. Resilience generally describes the capacity of a system, be it an individual, an organisation, the environment or an economy, to absorb internal and external shocks, and deal with change while continuing to flourish.

At Sanlam, resilience is about protecting our stakeholders against the potential negative financial consequences of unexpected events. We create financial prosperity through enhancing people’s ability to maintain financial independence beyond their income-generating capability.

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. Read more about the clusters’ resilience focus areas and initiatives in the Sanlam Group and Cluster 2019 Resilience Reports. Each cluster identified those matters that are most material for them to ensure resilience. These are reviewed annually, adjusted according to changes in their operating environments and measured through key performance indicators.

We Have a Sustainability Management Framework in Place

Our sustainability management framework is based on the core concepts of resilience, sustainable development, sustainable finance and stakeholder inclusiveness and aims to:

  • provide strategic direction and inform decision-making, particularly where stakeholder trade-offs are evident;
  • clarify governance and management structures to ensure sound oversight of material sustainability matters;
  • structure the reporting focus areas per cluster and define the ways to measure progress;
  • facilitate the flow of information to enable effective monitoring and reporting; and
  • guide the allocation of resources.

The sustainability management framework aligns with our strategic framework and ensures we follow our intent. Continuous transformation underpins all strategic pillars. Our approach to sustainability is also shaped by regulatory and voluntary frameworks, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and ratings criteria used by selected sustainability indices. These include:

  • The Companies Act, 71 of 2008 (as amended), which regulates how companies must operate and the legal limits within which companies must conduct their business
  • The King IV Report on Corporate Governance™ for South Africa, 2016, which is respected as one of the leading and most mature codes of corporate governance in the world
  • The South African Prudential Standards and Framework for Governance and Operational Standards for insurers
  • The International Integrated Reporting Council’s Integrated Reporting Framework, which provides principles-based guidance for companies and other organisations preparing an integrated report
  • Dow Jones Sustainability Index, which provides a benchmark for investors who recognise that sustainable business practices are critical to generating long-term value and who wish to reflect this belief in their investment portfolios
  • FTSE/JSE Responsible Investment Index, which advances corporate sustainability practices and offers an objective way of assessing how corporates integrate environment, social and governance-related considerations into strategy

We further adhere to the requirements and membership conditions for the following bodies:

  • We are an investor member of the CDP
  • We are a signatory of the Principles for Responsible Investments
  • We are a signatory of the Principles for Sustainable Insurance
  • We are a member of ClimateWise
  • We are in partnership with the WWF-SA

We continue following and monitoring developments in terms of the GRI Standards and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board as we regard these as globally leading and relevant. We also support the Global Reporting Dialogue’s efforts through the Better Alignment Project to identify practical means by which the many international sustainability frameworks, standards and related requirements can be aligned and rationalised.

Creating a World Worth Living In

Sanlam has spent more than 100 years creating a world worth living in by building resilient financial futures and lasting financial prosperity. We are helping to build a world for generations to come – so they can live their best possible lives within empowered communities and a protected and supportive environment.

We do this by consistently putting the client first – and continually doing what is right for the client. We develop trusted partnerships across networks, industries and countries. We evolve our client base to provide more people with access to financial services and innovative offerings for different markets, segments and channels. This contributes to transformation and empowered individuals, businesses and communities. Read more

Creating Sustainable Value for All Stakeholders

Sanlam’s strategic intent is to create sustainable value for all stakeholders. In this way we are able to strengthen their financial resilience and prosperity.

We engage with stakeholders to achieve three outcomes:

  • To secure and protect the Sanlam Group’s reputation
  • To create and maintain healthy stakeholder relationships based on the appropriate level of trust, satisfaction and long-term commitment
  • To earn legitimacy in the countries where we operate

While we operate in an extended universe of stakeholders, we identify and select material stakeholders based on their impact on Sanlam’s business and the successful execution of our strategy. Sanlam’s ability to create mutually beneficial financial resilience and prosperity is reflected in Return on Group Equity Value, our primary performance target for measuring shareholder value creation.

Read more about our new stakeholder policy and material stakeholder groups.

The Sanlam Group Business Philosophy

The Board’s approach to ethical and effective leadership is directed by the Sanlam Group Business Philosophy. It explains in detail how the Group acts and conducts its business as a single entity and positions the Group as a “one-firm firm”. It includes a summary of Sanlam’s culture, its values and responsibilities, thereby encapsulating the way in which it does business and allocates resources. The Group Business Philosophy is underpinned by the Group’s Code of Ethical Conduct, which in turn underpins Sanlam’s core values.

The Sanlam Group Business Philosophy Summary