Social, ethics and transformation report
The social, ethics and transformation committee (the committee) is pleased to present its report for the financial year ended 30 September 2015
The committee operates according to written terms of reference approved by the board and reviewed by the board annually. During the course of the 2015 financial year the committee met formally five times to discharge its duties and responsibilities. The committee has a clearly defined framework, aligned to the Companies Act, King III and other relevant legislation and standards, to determine the most effective processes and reporting formats to deal with matters under the committee’s mandate. The framework complements existing monitoring and reporting initiatives.
The committee recognises the fact that some of its statutory functions overlap with the functions or mandates or terms of reference of other committees of the board. Where appropriate, these functions have been aligned to the mandate of the committee. In other areas of overlap, such as safety, health and environmental matters, the committee, without derogating from its duties and responsibilities, worked closely with and relied upon the work of other committees of the board.
The attendance of the committee is disclosed in the corporate governance report.
The committee consists of a mix of independent nonexecutive directors and executive directors. The committee is constituted as follows:
- SS Mkhabela (chairman – independent non-executive)
- PJ Blackbeard (executive)
- NP Dongwana (independent non-executive)
- DB Ntsebeza (independent non-executive and chairman of the company)
- OI Shongwe (non-independent non-executive)
- CB Thomson (CE)
Purpose of the committee
The role of the committee is to assist the board of Barloworld Limited in discharging its statutory duties of ensuring that:
- Diversity and inclusion is promoted throughout its operations
- Non-discrimination is advanced through the elimination of any existing unfair discriminatory conditions, whether purposeful or inadvertent
- Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment and transformation initiatives are pursued
- Social and economic development is promoted in communities in which the company operates
- The environment is protected
- Public health and safety is promoted
- Ethics is effectively managed in the group and is supported and governed by our values, in accordance with the Barloworld Worldwide Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics.
Further, the committee strives to apply relevant codes of best practice including but not limited to the United Nations Global Compact Principles, The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) guidelines regarding corruption, International Labour Organisation Decent Work Agenda, and the principles of good corporate citizenship as espoused in the King Report on Corporate Governance in South Africa.
The committee has access to any director or prescribed officers or employees of the company. Where appropriate, they have provided information or explanation necessary for the performance of the committee’s functions.
Focus areas for the year under review
The committee carried out the following duties:
- Approved the diversity and inclusion strategy applicable to company operations across the group
- Received progress reports from each division on their respective diversity and inclusions programmes and plans to 2020 by headcount, gender, race (South Africa only) and localisation
- Approved the revised public sector engagement strategy pilot for the South Africa operations
- Reviewed and considered the corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes, policy and strategy, which were driven by Barloworld values and commitment to responsible corporate citizenship
- Reviewed and considered the adequacy of the company’s programme and policies for the effective management of ethics
- Received reports on the company’s activities relating to the environment, health and public safety
- Received reports on labour relations climate across the group with focus on operations where restructuring was under way
Diversity and inclusion
In view of the company’s commitment to its values, the continued focus on monitoring the progress of the group’s diversity and inclusions strategy was a priority. The strategy involves identifying and eliminating any employment barriers, perceived or real, and to promote demographic representation in the workplace that more closely resembles that of the communities in which we operate. Through its diversity and inclusion strategy, the company will strive to ensure that the group’s competitiveness, credibility and legitimacy in the eyes of stakeholders by leading in diversity and inclusion across all of its businesses is enhanced.
Evaluation of the committee
The performance of the committee is formally assessed annually. The evaluation report confirmed that the committee was performing its overall responsibilities effectively and satisfactorily.
Areas of focus for 2016
In a continued effort to meet the responsibilities under its mandate, the committee will focus on the following areas in the 2016 financial year:
- Consumer protection: our terms and conditions of sale in respect of the impact they have on consumers
- Stakeholder engagement: expand the roll out of the public sector engagement strategy in southern Africa
- Diversity and inclusion: interrogate programmes and measure success or otherwise of initiatives and programmes
- Human rights: increase awareness of importance of human rights in the company’s supply chain.
Chairman of the committee
4 December 2015