We have a positive impact on the communities in which we operate
Material focus areas
Key matters raised by stakeholders
- Solutions to societal challenges, such as education, employment opportunities and economic growth
- Access to relevant, affordable and convenient financial products and services
- Our environmental footprint and how we manage it
- Funding to support community development initiatives
Measuring our progress
|1||In line with our Shared Growth strategy, we have refined our definition in terms of our community investment spend to focus on ‘Shared growth disbursements towards education and skills development’ and as a result, the 2016 value is not directly comparable to prior years where the metric included community investment related spend outside this focus area.|
|2||Reporting period is 1 October to 30 September. Rest of Africa is only included in diesel, electricity and flights data. These numbers reflect the total Scope 1, 2 and 3 CO2 emissions as defined in the Greenhouse Gas Protocol: operational control boundary. 2015 has been restated.|
|3||Total number of project finance transactions reviewed for environmental and social risks in terms of the Equator Principles.|
|LA||This indicator is covered by the scope of a limited assurance engagement undertaken by EY and PwC. The basis of measurement thereof and the assurance statement can be found here.|
Our business is driven by a philosophy of Shared Growth which, in Citizenship, is focused is on three areas: education and skills development, enterprise development and financial inclusion. To support and enable our Shared Growth commitments, we established an independent advisory council comprising of diverse, distinguished experts and thought leaders. The advisory council will provide insights and strategic guidance, as well as support the evaluation and review efforts on the overall progress, approach and direction of our Shared Growth efforts.
Supporting education and skills development
We are committed to education, and contribute to it mainly by empowering youth with skill-building programmes, mentoring them to enhance their employability prospects, and giving them financial assistance to better access education.
We committed R1.4bn to support education and skills development, targeting youth across our presence countries. Through public-private partnership, we are implementing various initiatives in basic and tertiary education.
ReadytoWork (our free interactive e-learning platform) provides four skills modules – work, money, people and entrepreneurship – to improve employment or self-employment prospects. We expanded its reach by engaging 20 implementation partners to deliver face-to-face training. We augmented our employability initiatives, applying a blended learning approach to our ReadytoWork programme, reaching a total of 205 306 learners across the continent (below our target of 250 000). We have also added several new features to the platform, including career guidance resources and CV templates, and created a mentorship database. We will continue enriching the education journey by enabling placements and work exposure opportunities for programme graduates.
We invested over R10m in a new programme which provides training in financial management and governance for school governing body members in South Africa. We reached 2 725 schools, trained 10 521 governing body members and 1 146 Department of Basic Education employees. This programme will continue in 2017.
In support of the South African government’s Adopt-a-TVET initiative, we partnered with 16 technical and vocational education training colleges (TVETs) to provide workplace exposure and job-shadowing for 480 students. We will include more TVETs in 2017, and engage more employees to share their experience and expertise through guest lecturing and mentorship opportunities. We also invested R26m in strategic university initiatives to support the research and development of critical and scare skills faculties in 10 South African tertiary institutions.
We enhanced our scholarship programme, providing R80m in scholarships for 2 000 university students, thus helping to alleviate the South African student funding crisis.
Employee volunteering complements our Group-led activities. 10 582 employees gave 55 291 hours of their time, of which 66% were skills-based interventions aligned to our strategic focus areas.
Going forward, we will use innovative and business-relevant approaches to enable skills development; support education financing for qualifying students; collaborate with public sector partners in the development of artisan trades through workplace exposure programmes; and enable technological innovation through skill-building programmes in partnership with our digital experts.
Investing in enterprise development
We recognise our responsibility to support the development of a healthy SME sector and by doing so, contribute to economic growth.
Our enterprise development strategy is to enable access to development finance and complement it with business development support and enhanced market access via preferential procurement. Our structured value chain financing approach blends more affordable funds and/or guarantees from third parties with our commercial funding to provide more affordable financing rates to emerging businesses. We raised R1.38bn in financing to support SMEs and to assist our corporate clients to optimise their supply chains. We will accelerate the disbursement of these funds using a new technology platform customised for this initiative. R37.7m (2015: R27.4m) was invested in emerging SMEs and our seven (2015: seven) enterprise development hubs provide training and access to computers and boardrooms.
We are cognisant that an end-to-end solution that supports the holistic needs of the small business sector requires more than just finance; it requires capacity building, business development support, and market access to enable SMEs to grow and be sustainable. We continue co-investing with corporate clients and civil society partners across our markets in a number of free capacity building programmes and advisory services for SMEs. Our Enterprise Development Centres are one example of the non-financial support and advisory services we provide to SMEs. This year we incubated 345 SMEs, and reached an additional 41 200 SMEs (2015: 25 966) with business development support. Our South African insurance business provided R58m in small claims fulfilment opportunities to 50 SMEs
We remain committed to facilitating market access for small business through our procurement portal, which enables the matching of corporate buyers with SME service providers. We currently have 59 200 SMEs (2015: 37 200) and 7 000 (2015: 5 700) corporate buyers registered on the portal. Over R2.5bn of corporate procurement opportunities are made available each month.
Further information relating to our enterprise development support in South Africa can be found in our BBBEE fact sheet.
Improving access to financial services
We continue focusing on supporting initiatives that provide relevant financial literacy to empower consumers, and on providing products and services that meet their needs.
Our interventions centre on enabling digital and non-digital channels to promote wider, more convenient access to financial services among underserved or unbanked consumers. We reached 339 037 new customers through our financial inclusion programmes and partnerships. Our partnership with PEP Stores South Africa provided banking access to 200 981 new customers, and our youth banking reached 50 115 youths through the MegaU free transactional account in South Africa. Atlas, our micro-lending pilot in Ghana, is used by over 30 000 customers.
Our financial inclusion hackathon brought together 70 diverse stakeholders to generate solutions to key challenges, including affordable savings solutions; financial literacy and access; microcredit and responsible lending; and micro insurance. The hackathon provided a platform for cross-sector collaboration to leverage next-generation technologies and human-centred thinking as a methodology for future developments in the financial inclusion space. Our consumer financial education interventions empower individuals to make informed choices and improve their lives through responsible personal financial management. We invested R29m (2015: R28m) in consumer education initiatives in South Africa, reaching 6 453 703 consumers through mobile telephone awareness campaigns and 45 930 in face-to-face interventions (2015: 169 000). Due to contractual timing constraints, implementation of our face-to-face education programmes was delayed and will continue into 2017 in addition to planned 2017 activities.
While operating in a low-impact industry, we are aware of our responsibility in terms of environmental stewardship. Our most significant environmental impacts are (i) indirectly via our lending, investing and procurement practices and (ii) in managing our direct environmental footprint.
As an Equator Principles Financial Institution, we only provide project financing to project sponsors undertaking environmentally and socially responsible developments. In 2016, we screened twoLA (2015: sevenLA) project finance transactions that reached financial close, and provided advisory services for a power project. We provided further guidance on 151 general transactions (outside the Equator Principles definitions or scope) across various sectors, with the majority in mining and metals, followed by infrastructure and power generation (including renewable energy). Both of the reported Equator projects have been independently reviewed, and are located in South Africa, a non-designated country.
In Africa, energy security is key to economic growth, and we continue playing a role in funding both renewable energy and fossil fuel projects. South Africa is currently the continent’s largest renewable energy market. 64 projects, with a total capacity of 3 916MW, have been approved by the Department of Energy. We have been involved in financing 20 projects, with a combined capital value of R52bn, making up a total of 1 598MW, including 456MW for solar photovoltaic, 892MW for wind and 250MW for concentrated solar technologies. This represents about 41% of all renewable energy projects (by MW) awarded so far. An additional 13 projects (1 318MW valued at R34bn) were expected to reach financial close in 2016; however, relevant approvals for 12 of these are still outstanding. We were lead arranger on the Kathu Concentrated Solar Project, a 100MW renewable energy plant to be constructed in the Northern Cape.
We continued our journey to reduce our use of natural resources and prevent pollution by using alternative energies such as gas and solar power. This also reduces energy costs and dependence on conventional electricity supply. Our South African sites experienced more reliance on grid power in 2016 compared to 2015, when we relied on more expensive alternative energies, due to electricity supply constraints. Supply has since stabilised, and we continued to balance the most cost-efficient and environmentally-efficient energy sources. This resulted in an overall increase in our grid electricity consumption while we reduced gas and diesel consumption (cleaner yet less efficient), which, in turn, resulted in an increased attributed carbon emission factor. Because of this changed mix of energy sources, our total carbon footprint increased to 263 742 tonnes CO2LA (2015: 230 264 tonnes CO2LA) while our total energy use reduced to 354 684 328 kWhLA (2015: 397 920 885 kWhLA). Our carbon emissions increased by 14.5% (reduction target: 10.0% by 2018), and energy consumption reduced by 10.8% (reduction target: 10.2% by 2018).
We reduced our corporate real estate by a further 39 989m2 and embedded Green Star rating requirements in six new and refurbished buildings. We decreased our demand from national energy suppliers by over 23 million kWh (equivalent to powering 23 293 households) by relying on our Johannesburg Campus energy centre, and reduced our carbon footprint by 7 070 tonnes by using cleaner gas power supply. Our 1MW solar panel plant in Pretoria saved 1 548 tonnes of carbon emissions (equivalent to over 40 000 trees grown for 10 years). We saved 12.4m litres of water through leak management and grey water systems in five buildings. Our Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) score stayed steady at B (‘taking coordinated action on climate change issues’) rating which is above the C (‘knowledge of impacts on, and of, climate change issues’) industry average.