Barloworld is 113 years old which underscores our belief that a sustainable organisation is created through integrated and coordinated activities addressing economic, environmental and social aspects.

This approach is evidenced in the group’s vision as well as its strategic intent and framework. The end of this financial year marked the end of our five year strategic planning period from October 2010 to September 2015, and the evolution of these plans into our medium-term planning period from October 2015 through September 2020. Sustainability has been central to the group’s approach to value creation. Initially this was formally reflected in the group’s Value Based Management approach and has been incorporated into the group’s strategic intent and frameworks.

The group vision and strategic intent for 2020 is founded on creating shared value that makes a positive difference for all our stakeholders. This continues to entrench long-term value creation, highlights the interdependent nature of stakeholder interests and requires integrated management and reporting. Engaging with stakeholders enables us to identify their needs, interests and what constitutes value for them. This distils, in part, the material issues for the group and directs group focus. Barloworld actively engages its stakeholders across the group and has assigned responsibility for coordinating and reporting stakeholder activities to a senior executive. A group stakeholder policy codifies the group's approach.

Underscoring our commitment to long term value creation, the group added a fifth value of ‘Sustainability’ to its core values during the year, which recognises that it is central to our value creation approach and emphasises the individual responsibility of all in Barloworld for this aspect.

Barloworld is a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and continues to support its 10 Principles which align with our perspective of responsible corporate citizenship.

Robust strategic planning and risk-identification processes are key elements of our strategic planning. They highlight areas for attention which are incorporated into management activities. These also identify strategic opportunities which are pursued. Although the group’s six Strategic Focus Areas (SFAs) to 2020 essentially remain consistent, two have evolved to reflect a revised strategic intent. Our SFAs are as follows: Innovative customer solutions; People; Diversity and inclusion; Sustainable development; Financial returns; and Profitable growth. We have focussed on all these aspects in the year and they will guide our efforts and direct attention to 2020.

The health and safety of others and ourselves is our foremost consideration. We put safety first in our work environment and promote safe practices throughout our value chain. Zero work-related fatalities during our 2015 financial year underscore this commitment.

Climate change and environmental considerations remain central components of the group's ethos of responsible corporate citizenship. Mindful of the environmental consequences of our activities, the group is committed to conducting its operations in an environmentally responsible manner and offering innovative customer solutions that enable our customers to achieve their own objectives including minimising environmental impacts.

The group continues to focus on reducing its consumption of natural resources and environmental impact, particularly its use of energy generated from fossil fuels and water, and reducing its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). This includes a focus on improving non-renewable energy and GHG emissions (scope 1 and 2) efficiency, and setting an aspirational group target in this regard.

The achievement of the interim aspirational 2015 group target of a 2% efficiency improvement in non-renewable energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions (scope 1 and 2) set for the end of this financial year was reliant on efficiencies being achieved at an operational level. While some of our operations have reduced their non-renewable energy intensity against prior year, the group did not achieve its aspirational targets due to growing operations with relatively high intensity levels, as well as base consumption patterns of businesses with decreased activity levels. Nonetheless, these targets played a major role in focussing our efforts on energy efficiency with significant benefits for the organisation.

During the period we continued with our water recycling and harvesting initiatives which are designed to minimise consumption, save costs and enhance operational resilience. Waste management also remained a focus which is underscored by our investment into SmartMatta, an environmental solutions company.

Going forward, we will monitor progress and report against our group aspirational targets set for 2020 in respect of our strategic focus areas. These will be reviewed from time to time to ensure they remain relevant over the target period balancing the intents of our six strategic focus areas over the five year period.

We are mindful of our responsibilities in our value chain and a number of initiatives have been implemented to assess and limit any potential risks emanating through our supply chain. We have assessed our principals that account for the majority (some 70%) of our procurement spend, for environmental, labour, human rights, bribery and corruption, and corporate citizenship risks. Third party service providers and suppliers (TPSP&S) in all business divisions have been subjected to a risk assessment and due-diligence process in relation to bribery and corruption. This due diligence process involves the integration of a more rigorous screening of TPSP&S into the existing procurement processes and setting clearly defined minimum requirements. This process is now applied to new TPSP&S and is ongoing for existing TPSP&S, in accordance with the Barloworld Due Diligence policy.

Organisational sustainability remains central to our 2020 strategy which is underscored by our commitment to:

  • Supporting our customers' success by providing the innovative and environmentally sound solutions they require to remain competitive and meet their own sustainability objectives
  • Mutually beneficial relationships with our principals, and representing them in a way that enhances their success and reflects their sustainable development objectives
  • Treating suppliers fairly and expecting them to commit to our ethical principles
  • Providing a safe and healthy workplace for employees where all have equal opportunity, are inspired to fulfil their ambitions and be proud ambassadors of Barloworld
  • Conducting our operations in an environmentally responsible manner
  • Delivering targeted returns to our shareholders through responsible business practices
  • Identifying profitable growth opportunities and executing our strategic plans efficiently
  • Respecting human rights and the dignity of all people
  • Engaging our stakeholders and being a respected corporate citizen for all of them, including the communities in which we operate, and contributing to their social and economic development.
  • I believe the enduring competitiveness of Barloworld and its ability to create shared and sustained value for all stakeholders is founded in these commitments. We will manage the group accordingly.

    Clive Thomson
    Chief Executive

    26 November 2015