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Responsible Investment & Impact Report 2021

Solar Farm
| Sustainable Investing

People, purpose and planet: Our journey

by Jason Liddle, head of Distribution at Sanlam Investments

Executive summary

At Sanlam Investments, the heart of our purpose is rooted in our journey towards long-term sustainability. As agents of change, everything we do is anchored in this greater purpose and we measure our success by the positive impact we have on people, communities and the planet.

Looking back, we know that the 2006 edition of the World Economic Forum Global Risk Report alerted the world to the impact that global pandemics could have on countries, along with other health related risks. The report warned that “a lethal flu, its spread facilitated by global travel patterns and uncontained by insufficient warning mechanisms, would present an acute threat.” With the advent of 2020, the risk of a global pandemic became our reality.

Looking forward, the findings of this year’s 16th edition of the same report could be highly instructive and helpful as we seek to orientate ourselves in a world that has become increasingly complex and interconnected. Prime amongst all themes are the risks from societal fractures, and the consequences of widening global wealth and income inequality. There are instances where the outcomes – when it comes to health, technology and employment opportunities – are directly attributed to the pandemic. In other instances, outcomes have worsened from their already stressed positions before the pandemic, placing further strain on weak safety nets and economies. This resonates strongly with all of us as South Africans. For us to build  a more inclusive and accessible future, it is important that we appreciate how our decisions and actions now are vital to our future, especially as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sanlam Investments, as part of the greater Sanlam Group, contributes to a sustainability-friendly, compliant and conscious operational organisation. Our staff are incredibly important stakeholders and we have worked hard to promote their ongoing emotional, physical and mental well-being during this difficult time. We also continue to invest in their skills development and education. Our risk and governance frameworks remain strong and we are proud that our sustainability practices have earned us inclusion into the JSE sustainability index basket.

This year also marks Sanlam Investments’ first year as a black-owned asset manager. It represents an important marker in our journey towards our greater purpose and highlights our intent to contribute significantly to transformation of the asset management industry. The advancement of broad-based black economic empowerment in our country is a vital component of what we believe makes up a complete sustainable investing framework. It speaks directly to the need for addressing societal fractures, and widening wealth and income inequalities. It is an important step for our corporate profile to be underpinned by an ownership base that is more reflective of the South African country that we live in.

The world faces a complex web of environmental, social and governance risks. It is clear that in navigating this new world of change to create positive outcomes and mitigate or eliminate negative ones, asset managers need to be more proactive and practical as we mobilise capital toward a greater purpose.

We are committed to playing a strategic role in securing a sustainable future for South Africa and all those who live in it, as well as those beyond our borders. We believe that safeguarding economic, environmental and social assets is the foundation for a healthy economy that generates sustainable returns for the future. Accordingly, we promote the incorporation of environmental, social and governance factors into investment frameworks in order to make better, more informed decisions about our investments. And our ultimate aim is to be more than just an asset manager; we want to be agents of change. We want to help bring financial independence to all South Africans by boosting financial literacy, investing in job creation, reducing our carbon footprint and helping clients retire with dignity. We are looking out for the next generation in a way that goes beyond wealth creation. We are leading the way towards sustainable investing.

I am therefore extremely proud to present Sanlam Investments’ Sustainable Investment & Impact Report for 2021. This report highlights the meaningful strides that we have made toward our sustainable investing objectives and the positive impacts they’ve had over the course of 2021.

Please download the full Sustainable Investment & Impact Report for 2021 where we outline all the activities and the collective efforts undertaken over the course of the past year on the dual fronts of sustainability and impact investing.

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