For Nedbank Group to operate and succeed as a financial institution it is imperative that the decisions and actions we take are informed by a clear understanding of their impact – positive or negative – on each of our stakeholders. Understanding and embracing this interconnectivity is at the core of our sustainability-centred business strategy; and is key to our ability to create and deliver resilient value.' Mike Brown Chief Executive: Nedbank Group
The past two centuries have seen rapid population growth but even faster economic growth, with average per capita income increasing by a factor of more than 10.
Higher living standards have also directly resulted in the improvement of life expectancy for billions of people. This progress has come at a significant environmental cost and there is mounting evidence that current patterns of human consumption are exceeding the planet’s supply limits and are therefore unsustainable.
Furthermore, high levels of poverty and inequality remain in many regions, including sub-Saharan Africa. Millions of citizens lack access to formal employment opportunities, sufficient food, clean water and sanitation, safe and affordable transportation, suitable housing, modern healthcare, education and financial services.
As mankind gained a better understanding of the fact that human society and economic systems are wholly dependent on the natural world and do not exist without it, we have come to realise that we have to move from doing what is easy to what is required. Our approach to sustainability has to evolve with this principle at its core.
To be a sustainable business we need to operate within the confines of environmental limits while meeting social needs. This means the recognition and adoption of absolute rather than relative targets. While this implies that there are things we need to do less of, it presents an incredible opportunity to develop new solutions that can benefit the broader environment, our clients and the bank.
While this paradigm shift towards strong sustainability has been evolving within our group for some time, the establishment, in 2013, of our Long-term Goals for SA and our accompanying Fair Share 2030 strategy, represents our concerted and committed response to doing what needs to be done.
In essence the Long-term Goals encompass: affordable energy services while containing carbon emissions; sustainable clean water and sanitation; employment rates comparable to other prosperous nations; savings and investments that support national development objectives; and good, cost-effective health and educational outcomes. These goals address socioeconomic and environmental issues, and their interplay. Achieving them will also enable other desirable outcomes, including improved food security, greater resource efficiency and less divided communities.
As our strategic response, Fair Share 2030 harnesses the full suite of our business and investment capabilities to help meet the societal needs of SA going forward.While Fair Share 2030 is not intended to replace any aspect of our existing commitment to sustainability or our vision as a business, it is a deliberate effort to enable sustainability through our products and services. In this way Fair Share 2030 is our blueprint for remaining a truly successful bank and an effective corporate citizen in every respect.
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