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Santam is joint winner at Climate Change Awards

31 March 2011 Santam

Santam was declared joint winner in the Financial Services sector for having identified and positioned the company to manage the risks and threats associated with climate change by the Climate Change Leadership Award (CCLA).

The Climate Change Leadership Awards (CCLA) are the first awards in South Africa to recognise, reward, motivate and celebrate South African businesses, communities, individuals, youth and schools that are taking the lead through positive voluntary action by implementing a range of activities to combat global warming.

As the leading short-term insurer, Santam adopted the proactive risk management philosophy as part of the company's strategy. This means that we want to help clients, business partners and key stakeholders in understanding and managing the risks they are exposed to. Climate change has provided us with an opportunity to:

  1. Understand the role of insurers as risk managers and engage with government to inform public policy making and enhance risk management in society. We have engagement with disaster management as well as our involvement at SAIA, ClimateWise, and UNEP FI Principle for Sustainable Insurance Initiative making the issue of managing systemic an industry-wide issue.
  2. Raise climate awareness amongst our clients and other stakeholders.
  3. Develop new products and risk-transfer solutions to cater for special insurance needs (For example, the Santam solar geyser replacement initiative provides clients with an option of a solar geyser in an event of a burst geyser claim).
  4. Report and be accountable which translates to reputation benefits.
  5. Lead in risk analysis and position Santam as a risk management expert. We collaborate with the CSIR and UCT on understanding systemic risk in South Africa, taking into account the Environment, Society and Governance factors)
  6. Manage our own carbon footprint and generate qualitative and quantitative benefits. For example our revised travel policy is helping Santam in achieving its emission targets while saving on cost.

This is only Santam’s second entry into the CCLA and is a combined effort between strategy and sustainability. Vanessa Otto-Mentz, Santam’s head of strategy, says that this award endorses and gives credence to Santam’s efforts to promote climate risk adaptation through collaboration. She believes that this approach has differentiated Santam’s entry into the CCLA from other financial service providers.

“Achieving environmental sustainability within all aspects of our business is an ongoing process. It requires incremental improvements implemented consistently and persistently over time and this award proves that Santam is making progress in this regard,” adds Ray-ann Sedres, Santam’s head of integrated sustainability and CSI.

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