Nedbank Group
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Sustainability is about ensuring financial prosperity and stability for our investors and staff, integrating social and environmental responsibility for our local communities and the countries in which we operate, and remaining relevant and accessible to our clients
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Nedbank Group believes that ongoing discussion and interaction with all its stakeholders are key to strengthening its operations and dealing with environmental and social issues in a transparent manner. Currently, stakeholder engagement occurs daily on a formal and informal basis throughout the organisation.

The group’s key stakeholders and the rationale behind our interactions are highlighted below. Each stakeholder group has a unique set of interests and objectives in its relationship with Nedbank Group and a variety of methods are in place to communicate effectively with these stakeholders on an ongoing basis.

This report, as well as information contained on the Nedbank and Nedbank Group websites, is part of our ongoing efforts to communicate with all our stakeholders.

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  Stakeholder     Methods of interaction     Reasons for, and benefits of, interaction  
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  Shareholders and analysts     Investor relations;regular roadshows with investors and analysts, both locally and internationally; ongoing communication with shareholders and analysts; annualgeneral meetings and other meetings; website and analyst briefings. Also feedback via broker reports.     Provide relevant and timeous information to current and future providers of capital to retain and increase investment in Nedbank Group shares. Position Nedbank as a sound investment choice.  
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  Government     Government and public affairs business; support and advisory services; support of government socialinitiatives; and input into legislative developments.     Build and strengthen good relationships with government, both as a partner in the development of the country as well as a current or potential client. Provide input into the legislative development process that will affect the activities of the bank.  
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  Regulatory bodies     Ongoing meetings and interaction withregulators, including prudential visits, and statutory reporting.     Maintain good relationships with regulators and ensure compliance with their requirements, thereby retaining Nedbank’s licence to operate.  
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  Local communities/ non-government organisations(NGOs)     Nedbank Foundation – ongoing support of projects and interaction with a wide variety of non-profit/government organisations. Sustainability reporting. Staf fvolunteerism programmes.     Create partnerships that will best facilitate Nedbank Group’s corporate social investment activities. Obtain input from communities and representative NGOs regarding key focus areas. Create awareness of Nedbank Group in communities.  
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  Suppliers     Ongoing interaction with suppliers and contractors, and supplier education workshops.     Maintain an ideal and timeous supply of goods and services for Nedbank Group’s operations. Assist suppliers in ensuring their own viability through education, early-payment terms and other support.  
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  Business partners     Membership of industry associations and bodies and strategic partnerships.     Continue learning through interaction with industry and cross-sectoral organisations. Establish and build strategic partnerships. Use business associations as a forum to promote Nedbank Group’s viewpoint on key issues.  
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  The environment/ environmental NGOs     Environmental/Sustainability partnerships with WWFSA, WESSA, UNEP FI and the National Business Initiative, among others, ensuring that clients undertake environmental impact assessments (EIAs) as part of their development processes.     Obtain input to ensure that Nedbank’s operations are taking place in the most environmentally responsible manner possible and complying with legislation in all jurisdictions.  
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  Clients     Business interaction via Nedbank outlets. Client education workshops, client satisfaction surveys (performed both internally and by using external service providers), client complaint lines and call centres, and marketing and advertising activities.     Understand and resolve client concerns or complaints and utilise these to improve service. Make current and potential clients aware of Nedbank Group products and services.  
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  Media     Communication and marketing (external marketing of the Nedbank Group brand, values and product offerings to clients and other stakeholders, which is also done through sponsorships of key sporting, cultural and social events), and interaction with the media on an ongoing basis.     Respond to questions or concerns raised in the media. Utilise the media as a communication method to reach all stakeholders and position Nedbank as a bank of choice.  
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  Staff     Staff cultural surveys; staff roadshows; ongoing communication via email, intranet, datacasting and staff magazines; and human resource management activities.     Ensure that Nedbank Group is an employer of choice by providing a safe and positive working environment. Understand and respond to staff concerns and questions. Provide all staff with information regarding the activities and strategic focus areas of the group.  
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  Unions     Human Resources Division manages labour relations with the unions on an ongoing basis and consults on any changes in working conditions as well as on remuneration issues.     Maintain good relationships with the unions and obtain approval for any decisions/projects that require changes in working conditions.  
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STAKEHOLDER FEEDBACK

To date Nedbank has approached this issue through open forums, where stakeholders are invited to comment on the information held in the group’s annual Sustainability Report. However, two problems began to materialise – firstly, only a few stakeholders would attend the meetings, thereby negating the effort to canvass a wide perspective among a variety of stakeholder groupings and, secondly, the forums tended to be dominated by individuals or organisations.

To counter this trend Nedbank embarked on a new approach, whereby specific stakeholder groups were targeted in one-on-one meetings to ascertain their viewpoints on the last Sustainability Report (2005) and to feed relevant information into the development of the 2006 report. Nedbank commissioned an independent sustainability consultant to undertake the work and, together, suitable representatives were identified who would be able to share well-considered opinions. Nedbank staffmembers and clientele were consulted through a different and independent process.

Each stakeholder was contacted and issued with background information and guiding questions in preparation to the meetings and to assist in directing appropriate discussion. Discussions centred on key issues affecting sustainability reporting, sustainability in the South African financial services sector and issues emanating directly from the Nedbank 2005 Sustainability Report.

These externally facilitated feedback sessions were held with 19 key stakeholders across the various groups. The chosen stakeholders comprised:

  • Two academic institutions
  • One labour union
  • Two financial journalists
  • One industry association
  • Two peers in the banking sector
  • Two local investment houses
  • One international fund management house
  • One business coalition
  • One stock exchange
  • One transformation-focused consultancy
  • Two environment-focused NGOs (WWF-SA not included)
  • Three government agencies

Nedbank also participated in an NGO session regarding engagement and corporate accountability at the SA Human Rights Commission as part of its NGO engagement.

Examples of some of the issues raised, and questions asked, are provided below, as well as responses to these questions.

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  Issue     Response  
  The charter is not stringent enough, has a narrow financial services approach and is an inadequate expression of true corporate responsibility.     All Nedbank targets are a minimum of 10% more stringent than those of the charter, and also now take into account the DTI Codes of Good Practice. The charter is only one portion of Nedbank’s broader cultural transformation programme aimed at long-term sustainability.  
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  Nedbank should include more rigorous reporting on the application of the Equator Principles.     Our previous report was completed only months after Nedbank had adopted the Equator Principles.We hope that this report provides more information, including comparatives.  
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  More detailed feedback on staff perception surveys should be provided.     Nedbank has reported on five different surveys that took place during 2006, detailing areas of strength and areas where improvement is required, as well as providing comparative information, where available.  
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Would like to see a detailed policy on climate change that includes:

  • Projects funded that reduce carbon emissions
  • Research that has been funded by Nedbank around climate change
  • Reporting on Nedbank’s own carbon footprint
    Nedbank is working on a climate change policy as part of a broader Old Mutual Group project. This includes signing the Energy Efficiency Accord with the Department of Minerals and Energy, being a signatory to the Carbon Disclosure Project, completing energy and carbon audits of our facilities to establish our carbon footprint and working with our clients to take advantage of carbon finance opportunities.  
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  Will the consumer boom continue? If risk management systems are not in place, then what will be the potential impact?     Nedbank has strict credit standards and processes in place, and has also signed a code of conduct governing lending and the extension of credit, as part of an industry initiative and in conjunction with The Banking Association South Africa.  
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Results of our internal staff survey showed strong support for Nedbank Group’s sustainability activities. A sustainability highlights report was also included in the internal magazine, 3sixty, which goes to all staff.

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Nedbank Group continues to strive to be economically viable, socially responsible and environmentally sound. In doing so we not only manage a sound business, but also demonstrate our commitment to being a driver of sustainable development on a far broader scale than merely within our own organisation.

We are committed to listening to our stakeholders’ suggestions and will strive to improve our levels of disclosure and communication to ensure that sustainability considerations continue to be integrated in every aspect of our business.