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Santam Scoops Top Honours for 2010 Sustainability Reporting

21 October 2011 Santam
Ray-Ann Sedres, the Head of Sustainability at Santam

Ray-Ann Sedres, the Head of Sustainability at Santam

Santam, South Africa’s leading short-term insurer, was named the overall winner in the financial sector category at the South Africa Awards for Sustainability Reporting for its 2010 Sustainability Report. Spearheaded by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), the announcement was made recently at an award ceremony hosted in Hazeldene Hall in Parktown, Johannesburg.

ACCA commended Santam's report for consistently ranking high across most of the evaluation criteria, well ahead of its sector peers. ACCA lauded the insurance giant for its explanation of risk identification and management processes, stating that it was noticeably better than that of its industry counterparts. Setting the company further apart in its stellar performance, was its marked ability to integrate the risks and issues identified in the Sustainability report into its core business strategies and operations.

Ray-Ann Sedres, Head of Sustainability at Santam, says receiving this award is a huge feat for the Santam team. "Last year we were runners-up in the most improved category. To walk away with the laurels only a year later, is testament to the commitment and dedication of everyone driving Sustainability at Santam.”

The awards were designed to recognise excellence in sustainability reporting, incorporating environmental and social impacts. Companies are judged based on transparency in their reporting and how well they communicate their sustainability performance. Reports must achieve a high level of credibility and provide evidence of the integration of sustainability issues within the business processes and strategy of the organisation.

As a future-focused business, Santam acknowledges that systemic risk such as climate change cannot be ignored and that there are limits to the amount of risk that can be transferred to the insurance industry. “The insurance industry can play an integral role in promoting pragmatic and collaborative risk management in society. Santam has taken an active role in addressing the impact of systemic risks affecting the insurance industry and society as a whole and this award is testament to our concerted efforts in raising awareness on issues of Sustainability,” explains Sedres.

Sedres moves on to explain that the days of viewing Sustainability reporting as a means of showing good corporate citizenship are long gone: “As a business, we recognise that reducing our environmental footprint is a commercial necessity and should be etched in every part of our business. We are very proud of the award and it will definitely inspire us to continue delivering sustainable projects and initiatives that are good and proper,” concludes Sedres.

The Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA) presents the Sustainability Reporting Awards in more than 20 countries globally. ACCA’s Sustainability Reporting Awards seek to encourage better reporting on sustainability by shining the spotlight on economic, environmental and social performance by corporations across South Africa. The awards also seek to reward best practice and provide guidance to other entities that are publishing or intend publishing sustainability, environmental and/or social reports; and to increase accountability for impacts on, and responsiveness to stakeholders.

Entry into the awards was open to Sustainability Reports submitted for the 2010 reporting period.

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The second draft amendments to Regulation 28 will allow retirement funds to allocate up to 45% of their assets to SA infrastructure, with a further 10% for rest of Africa; but the equity & offshore caps remain unchanged. What are your thoughts on the proposal?

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Infrastructure cap is way too high
Offshore limit still needs to be raised
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