To achieve our purpose, we have to understand the societies in which we conduct our business and to respond in a relevant and appropriate way. A range of diverse organisations support our efforts to do this by providing us with useful insights and analysis. Our partnerships and interactions with these stakeholders build social capital and intellectual capital. SBSA provides financial support to a number of organisations, such as the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection and the Centre for Development and Enterprise. We are also corporate members of the National Business Initiative, the Institute of Directors of South Africa, and the Ethics Institute of South Africa. Standard Bank is also a leading member of relevant trade associations and business organisations including BASA, Business Leadership South Africa, and the International Institute of Finance.
Support for black professional organisations
Standard Bank is partnering with several organisations representing black professionals in South Africa, including the Association for the Advancement of Black Accountants of Southern Africa (ABASA), Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals (ABSIP) and Black Management Forum (BMF). This is in line with our commitment to develop black professional talent in South Africa and advance transformation.
Supplier development and preferential procurement
Preferential procurement aims to ensure that black businesses in South Africa have access to markets. Finding ways to increase our procurement spend with black-owned and black women-owned businesses, particularly small and medium enterprises (SMEs), is a strategic focus area. We undertake monthly portfolio reviews to measure our progress against plans and targets to diversify our portfolios. In addition, the group vendor management and procurement unit encourages our business units to use the services of black SMEs.
In every country of operation, we seek to procure goods and services locally where possible. Our procurement policy and guidelines clearly set out the products and services that can be sourced locally. Country-specific procurement policies have been implemented throughout our operations.
South Africa’s Financial Sector Charter Council (FSCC)
We are members of the FSCC and, through our representation on BASA, have actively engaged in the process to align the FS BBBEE Codes with the amended dti codes. It implements a regulatory framework for BBBEE that is appropriate to the specific characteristics of the banking industry, and the role of finance at the heart of the economy.
Engagement with government
In South Africa, SBG executives are involved in dialogue with government aimed at bolstering investor confidence and re-energising the economy. This includes participating in South African delegations to WEF meetings.
National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac)
Nedlac is South Africa’s statutory forum for social dialogue between business, trade unions, community organisations and government. Standard Bank participates in Nedlac’s Public Finance and Monetary Policy Chamber, and in 2015, helped drive the Nedlac discussions on Twin Peaks. Chief executive Sim Tshabalala invested substantial energy in the discussions on a national minimum wage under the auspices of Nedlac.
Solar-powered ATMs (in Ghana and Zambia)
Stanbic Bank Ghana has introduced eight solar-powered ATMs, offering a reliable, cost‑effective alternative for running ATMs during power outages. There are plans to install 20 more solar ATMs in high-traffic areas, and areas that experience frequent outages. These ATMs will ensure customers have access to their money whenever they want it.
Power to each of the solar ATMs is provided by up to 16 panels, feeding a system that includes a battery-bank, air conditioners and CCTV cameras. The ATMs are expected to save the bank abut GH$36 000 in energy costs annually.
The installation of the solar-powered ATMs is in line with Stanbic Bank Ghana’s commitment to promoting positive environmental practices. Over the years, the bank has undertaken other green initiatives, such as the donation of solar-powered lanterns worth over GH$420 000 to students in deprived communities of the Brong Ahafo, Northern, Upper-West, Upper-East and Western regions.
Group real estate services programmes and initiatives
In 2015 we reduced our energy consumption across our South African operations by 9.1%, influenced significantly by means of a R12 million investment into energy efficiency improvements (a 10% increase on 2014), resulting in a saving of 28 GWh. According to Eskom, an average household uses 335,1 kWh a month, which means our energy efficiency improvements reduce the strain on energy requirements on the grid to an equivalent of 83 557 homes. These microscale efforts tie into our efforts on macroscale of funding renewable energy projects through our Equator Principles and REIPPP projects.
Business continuity management and managing load shedding
The bank is cognisant of the negative impact which load shedding has on its operations and services to customers, and on national economies. In South Africa, SBG has over the past year led initiatives and worked collaboratively with BASA, PASA, the JSE and the SARB to ensure the appropriate level of resilience across the financial services industry and key market infrastructure. The Power Readiness initiative takes into account the critical role players involved in the value chain of delivering banking services to clients. In line with the industry strategy, SBG also has a plan in place to mitigate impact on clients and markets in the event of prolonged power outages.
The ‘Do Your Bit’ campaign encouraged employees to make small, manageable changes to their habits and behaviours and thereby positively impact on the environment. The cornerstone of the campaign was pledges by employees to ‘do their bit’ and save energy. The aim was to create awareness around energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies for households and provide employees with the opportunity to purchase some of these technologies for their homes. It was launched with energy expos at our main office locations in South Africa, reaching around 20 000 employees. We achieved over 800 pledges and 19 office sites participated in Earth Hour in Africa in 2015. Employees also submitted ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org regarding energy efficiencies in SBSA buildings.