SANLAM COMMITS TO AFRICAN BIODIVERSITY PROTECTION Adopts global task force recommendations

The Sanlam Group has announced that it will adopt the Task Force on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) recommendations. This long-term commitment to preserving the planet for future generations demonstrates Sanlam’s dedication to protecting biodiversity assets in all areas in which it operates. The group believes that Africa’s biodiversity assets are an integral part of delivering financial prosperity for future generations. The target for full reporting implementation is 2025.

The TNFD is a new set of disclosure recommendations and guidance for organisations to report and act on evolving nature-related dependencies, impacts, risks and opportunities. At the core of TNFD lies the understanding that economies are intricately intertwined with nature, rather than being separate entities. Nature-related risk encompasses biodiversity loss and environmental degradation. The recommendations and guidance will enable business and finance to integrate nature into their decision-making, and ultimately support a shift in global financial flows away from nature-negative outcomes and toward nature-positive outcomes.

Sanlam’s adoption of TNFD in the African context signifies a positive step towards nurturing a nature-positive economy and sustainable livelihoods, a pursuit that will benefit all stakeholders.

Karl Socikwa, Group Executive: Market Development and Sustainability at Sanlam, emphasises the alignment between the preservation of natural capital and the advocacy for sustainable finance with Sanlam’s overarching purpose and promise. “We are very proud to be championing the TNFD principles in Africa. We have always maintained that Africa’s contribution to climate mitigation is the preservation of biodiversity assets given that our continent is the lowest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions. We believe more climate funding should be allocated to this preservation drive.  Our aspiration is to inspire our counterparts across the continent to join us in this transformative journey. We are at a critical juncture in human history – inaction and indifference are no longer tenable. Our response must be swift and united.

“The urgency to mitigate nature-related risks and preserve our biodiversity in Africa cannot be overstated. Sanlam’s promise is to empower all Africans to live with financial confidence, security and prosperity. The TNFD offers the recommendations and guidance we require to take immediate and meaningful steps towards securing our collective future.”

The TNFD initiative builds upon the existing Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), resting on the pillars of governance, strategy, risk and impact management, with the addition of metrics and targets.

The TNFD furnishes financial institutions and corporations with robust guidance to identify, quantify, and manage nature-related risks, impacts, dependencies and opportunities. The recommendations are designed to provide decision-useful information to capital providers and other stakeholders.

Sanlam, together with five leading financial institutions across the African continent, played a pivotal role in Africa’s TNFD pilot programme last year, actively contributing to shaping the TNFD framework by providing insights and testing its applicability in the African context. Its objectives were to provide feedback on the TNFD pilot methodology and build nature-related risks and opportunities knowledge and capability.

Teboho Makhabane, Head of ESG and Impact at Sanlam Investments, says, “Following the dissemination of our case study, which demonstrated the efficacy of the Locate, Evaluate, Assess and Prepare (LEAP) methodology in applying TNFD principles, we became active participants in the global discourse. We attended the official TNFD Recommendations launch during Climate Week NYC on 18 September, reaffirming our steadfast commitment to protecting our natural capital and biodiversity of ecosystems. We are excited that we have now been able to formalise our commitment to adopting and reporting on TNFD principles by 2025.”

Dorothy Maseke, Head of African Natural Capital Alliance Secretariat says, “We are proud of the role that Sanlam has played in the TNFD African pilot program that was run by the African Natural Capital Alliance. As the first African insurer to participate, Sanlam has demonstrated its commitment to driving progress in addressing issues relating to the nature agenda. The group’s active involvement in the pilot programme has positioned it to provide valuable feedback directly to the TNFD, contributing to the development of a robust framework for assessing nature-related financial risks.”

Makhabane says, “Our adoption of the TNFD recommendations underscores our belief in the importance of nature capital, particularly in light of South Africa’s water challenges. We are determined to be part of the solution. Our journey is one of transformation and unwavering dedication to preserving the natural world for generations to come.”

Makhabane concludes, “South Africa is blessed with an abundance of natural treasures and ranks as the most biodiverse country in the world, home to over 100 000 known species according to South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), which we are morally obligated to protect. As stewards of our planet, this responsibility is not a choice; it is an ethical imperative. Consider the transformative power of consciously directing capital towards the preservation of our planet. We may not be able to move mountains, but together, we can ensure they remain intact.”