Sustainability issues and stakeholder engagement by dwr99871

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									Sustainability issues and
stakeholder engagement



Standard Bank’s strategic stakeholder management process is ongoing
and will continuously improve the alignment between the bank and its
key stakeholders.



Identifying our material sustainability issues
Five workshops were held with key internal stakeholders from across all our domestic business units to identify and prioritise
material sustainability issues for Standard Bank. The workshops were designed to determine and quantify what sustainability-
related issues internal stakeholders believe are important for the bank to consider, manage and report on.

The workshops involved:

• Identifying material sustainability issues relevant to Standard Bank.
• Ranking these issues in order of importance.
• Rating each issue identified according to its impact on the bank.
• Rating each issue identified according to the effect that the bank can have on the issue.
All the issues identified were given quantitative values in each of the rating and ranking exercises, and these values were used
to calculate a ‘materiality score’ for each issue.

The findings from each workshop were collated and the issues ranked into primary, secondary and tertiary levels. Nineteen
primary material issues were identified and are listed on page 18.

This engagement process is the first step towards aligning the bank’s most material sustainability issues with the Global
Reporting Initiative’s requirements of ‘materiality’. Standard Bank aims to conduct a similar series of stakeholder engagement
sessions with external stakeholders, to compare and contrast the internal findings and to ensure that our sustainability reporting
continues to be relevant to all our stakeholders.




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Material sustainability issues identified by internal stakeholders
• Leadership (page 105, 117)
• Shareholders (page 67)
• Ethics (page 6, 38)
• Customers (page 75)
• Employees (page 101)
• Transformation (page 42)
• Governance (page 35)
• Products (page 8, 49, 51, 53, 82, 96, 98, 99)
• Technology/information technology (page 88)
• Stakeholder relations (page 18)
• Infrastructure (page 50, 53, 88, 89, 95)
• Regulatory environment (page 121)
• Society (page 137)
• Brand (page 40)
• Macroeconomic environment (page 69)
• Health/HIV/Aids (page 113, 119)
• Education (page 45, 105, 106, 107, 117)
• Crime (page 38, 88, 89)
• Environment – indirect (page157)
Strategic stakeholder management
Stakeholder management at Standard Bank is defined as the optimal utilisation of organisational resources to build and maintain
strategic relationships with stakeholders. This in turn effectively minimises reputational risk and enhances partnerships in the
context of societal expectations and business sustainability.

In early 2008, a new strategic stakeholder management strategy will be developed which is more closely aligned with our
business strategy and operations. This will ensure that internal and external stakeholders are linked by issues and strategic
impacts. To facilitate internal stakeholder management capability, the strategic stakeholder management unit has met with a
number of key internal departments to help them identify and map their stakeholders.

It is important that stakeholder groupings are identified to ensure relevant and targeted engagement. The strategic stakeholder
management unit has identified government, regulatory bodies, organised business, organised labour and non-governmental
organisations as key stakeholder groups with whom to engage.

Standard Bank’s strategic stakeholder management process is ongoing and will continuously improve the alignment between
the bank and its key stakeholders.

Standard Bank’s strategic stakeholder management unit focuses on three priority areas:

• Capability to engage effectively.
• Engagement content.
• Facilitation and establishment of partnerships and alliances.

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Capability to engage effectively
This involves equipping business units with stakeholder engagement opportunities and the practical tools needed to engage
purposefully with stakeholders on matters that are relevant to both the business and society.

As set out in the AA1000 Stakeholder Engagement Standard (AA1000SES) from AccountAbility, an international non-profit
organisation that works with partners in business, the public sector and civil society to develop principles-based standards
for improving sustainability performance, Standard Bank has embraced the following principles for effective stakeholder
engagement:

• Materiality – knowing stakeholders’ and the organisation’s material concerns.
• Completeness –their material issues.
  associated with
                    understanding stakeholder concerns, views, needs, and performance expectations and perceptions


• Responsiveness – coherently responding to stakeholders’ and the organisation’s material concerns.
Engagement content
To remain socially relevant, we are committed to engaging with our stakeholders on material issues. The strategic stakeholder
management unit continuously identifies new areas of dialogue and facilitates the bank’s part in these engagements with our
stakeholders.

Facilitation and establishment of partnerships and alliances
We will continue to facilitate and establish partnerships and alliances based on trust, helping to bridge the ‘credibility gap’ that
can exist between business and society, and mitigate the reputational risk of not being actively involved in addressing issues
material to socioeconomic development. These partnerships serve as platforms for the bank to work with its stakeholders on
mutually beneficial projects or programmes. Reputational risks emerging from existing partnerships are also monitored and
managed.

Strategic stakeholder management




                                                                                   1.
                                                                          Stakeholder mapping
                                       6.
                            Consistently supporting
                             engagement between
                              business units and                                       2.
                             external stakeholders                            Stakeholder listening

                                         5.
                              Establishing a strategic                            3.
                              stakeholder interfacing                    Stakeholder profiling
                                    framework
                                                              4.
                                                         Facilitating
                                                   stakeholder engagement




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Stakeholder engagement
Stakeholder groups with whom we engage                • Government (national, provincial and local).
                                                      • Multilateral organisations.
                                                      • Diplomatic corps and donor agencies.
                                                      • Civic society groups.
                                                      • Trade unions.
                                                      • Think tanks.
                                                      • Business community.
                                                      • Political organisations.
Identifying and selecting stakeholder                 Standard Bank has introduced a stakeholder management capability in
groups with whom to engage                            consultation with teams in the business units. This provides the bank with the
                                                      ability to identify current socioeconomic issues that are material to the bank’s
                                                      business.
Methods used to engage with
stakeholder groups
                                                      • Stakeholder meetings.
                                                      • Consultations.
Frequency of engagement                               • On a regular basis.
                                                      • Iissues raised. of socioeconomic sensitivity, engagement is dictated by the
                                                          n the areas


Stakeholder group feedback                            Some of the key topics raised during engagement include:

                                                      • Financial Sector Charter.
                                                      • Competition Commission.
                                                      • Africa business development.
                                                      • Role of business in society.
                                                      • Corporate governance and sustainability.
                                                      • Education and skills development.
                                                      • Affordable housing.
                                                      • Service delivery.
                                                      • Government capacity building.
                                                      • Brand South Africa.




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Corporate memberships
Membership of key organisations and institutions provides important opportunities and formal structures to interact with many
different stakeholders. Standard Bank is a member of the following organisations:

• Business Against Crime.
• Business Leadership South Africa.
• Business Trust.
• Business Women’s Association.
• Chambers of Commerce and Industry South Africa.
• Global Business Coalition.
• Institute of Directors.
• Millennium Labour Council.
• National Business Initiative.
• Pan-Africanist Business Coalition.
• Private Investors for Africa.
• South African Business Coalition Against HIV and Aids.
• The Institute of Bankers.
• World Economic Forum.
Strategic projects
Investment Climate Facility for Africa
There is growing consensus that a favourable investment climate is important for economic development. Investment is
essential for economic growth, leading to new employment opportunities, better services and greater prosperity.

The Investment Climate Facility (ICF) is a new vehicle for improving investment conditions in Africa. Endorsed by key African
institutions including the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), major donor agencies and private sector interests,
it is a practical opportunity for the private sector, G8 countries and donor agencies to reduce barriers to investment in Africa.

The ICF is managed according to sound business principles, and supports appropriate, targeted interventions to remove
identified constraints to investment on the continent. The key objectives of the ICF are to build an environment conducive to
investment climate reform, sustain the correct investment climate and encourage the private sector to respond accordingly.

Nine projects are currently being implemented, with seven more projects approaching approval stages. The aggregate value of
projects approved or under development currently stands at USD29 million, and the ICF intends to double this by the end of
2008. Standard Bank has committed USD2,5 million (R18,25 million) over a period of five years to the ICF.

Operation HOPE
Founded in the United States of America in 1992, Operation HOPE is a global partnership between the government, community
and the private sector. Standard Bank and Operation HOPE South Africa have entered into a partnership to empower the youth
with financial literacy and life skills. The partnership aims to provide about 50 000 young people with skills that enable
economic self-sufficiency and allow them to take charge of building a better future for themselves.




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The programme reaches young people through schools and non-governmental organisations in deprived areas. The programme
curriculum is fully accredited by both the South African Qualification Authority (SAQA) and the Department of Education, and
covers the following modules:

• History of money and banking.
• Transactional and savings accounts.
• Budgeting.
• Credit.
• Investments.
• Dignity and entrepreneurship.
The programme will initially focus on the Gauteng province and then be rolled out to the Western Cape and other targeted
provinces. Standard Bank employees were invited to become volunteers and play an active part in building sustainable
communities. These volunteers are trained by Operation HOPE and given the tools to teach a classroom of 15 to 30 students.
A total of 28 Standard Bank volunteers received this training in 2007.

Democracy Development Programme
The Democracy Development Programme is a non-governmental organisation based at the University of KwaZulu-Natal that
focuses on building capacity for local government and traditional leaders. In 2007, Standard Bank supported a conference to
facilitate dialogue between traditional leaders and local government.

Sustaining Africa’s Democracy Conference
The Sustaining Africa’s Democracy Conference, the second of its kind to be held in South Africa, was hosted by the Independent
Electoral Commission of South Africa. Some 52 African countries as well as countries from Latin America, the Middle East and
Europe were represented. The conference, to which Standard Bank provided financial support, focused on ways to develop
sustainable solutions for the implementation of genuine democracy in Africa, and sharing experiences on methods for
deepening democracy.

India Brazil South Africa Business Summit
The India Brazil South Africa Summit is a trilateral developmental initiative between the three countries, with the objective of
promoting cooperation and exchange. The summit, of which Standard Bank was the main sponsor, looked at ways of improving
trilateral trade from the current level of between USD6 billion and USD7 billion to USD10 billion within the next few years. The
Heads of State and business leaders from the three countries met to discuss ways of improving economic ties between the three
countries and to address trade constraints. Standard Bank, with its strong focus on emerging markets, continues to work with
governments and the business community to help build investor confidence in emerging markets.

The Premier’s Service Excellence Awards
Since 1999, Standard Bank has been involved in the Premier’s Awards which recognised public servants who went beyond the
call of duty in service delivery. A number of the initial agreements with some provincial governments have now come to an end.
In recognition of public-private partnerships, Standard Bank is currently engaging with internal and external stakeholders to
identify programmes to support efficient service delivery at local government level.

Institute of People Management
The Institute of People Management contributes to finding solutions to the national skills shortage in South Africa. Standard
Bank supported a conference that targeted business leaders and focused on:

• The global and local significance of sustainable business leadership.
• Providing a common platform for human resource professionals and business leaders from the private and public sectors.
• Exploring topical issues.


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International Corporate Governance Network
Standard Bank was a sponsor of the 2007 International Corporate Governance Network Conference, which is held annually and
aims to increase awareness of shareholder activism and the benefits of transparency and accountability for corporations. This
year marked the first time that the conference was held in Africa since its inception in 1995. The International Corporate
Governance Network has over 500 members from 38 different countries, that are estimated to hold, and to a large extent
control, assets exceeding USD10 trillion.

Some of the topics discussed at this year’s conference included:

• Whether or not international financial reporting protects investors’ interests.
• Investor activism and cross border alliances.
• Corruption.
• The effectiveness of minority rights in closely-held companies.
• Social change through governance intervention.
• Board performance.
Parliament and Provincial Legislature strategic engagements
At a national level, to ensure that provinces and the bank stay abreast of legislative developments, Standard Bank monitored
parliamentary discussions and portfolio committee debates that relate directly or indirectly to the business of the bank.
Provincially, Standard Bank supported events such as the State of Province Addresses, Provincial Budgets and the Economic
Outlook per province.

Strategic issues management
The strategic issues management unit identifies, predicts, analyses and advises the business on significant sociopolitical issues.
It identifies gaps between what stakeholders expect and what the bank is doing in the social and political environment. It then
researches prioritised issues including the potential impact on the bank, the likely outcome of the issues and best practices in
addressing the issues.

Strategic issues management utilises tracking and research to identify various options for the bank to address the issue at hand.
This is followed by discussions with internal stakeholders to alert them to the issues raised and to align the bank’s position on
relevant issues.

The Strategic Issues Forum, established in 2005, provides high-level guidance and decision-making on managing stakeholder
relations. This forum is made up of senior executives, including the group chief executive, chairman and the director, Corporate
Affairs. It meets regularly throughout the year to debate stakeholder issues and develop strategic mechanisms to manage them.




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