Our approach to sustainability
At Liberty, we aim to play a meaningful role in society while operating a responsible and ethical business. We care about how our business impacts society, the economy and the environment, and we aspire toward the wellbeing of future generations. Liberty’s purpose is to improve people’s lives by making their financial freedom possible. We do this by ensuring we nurture our relationships and skilfully navigate risks. As a results, we deliver products aligned to our purpose, remaining committed to financial- and other education, wellness and confronting climate change.
Our sustainability policy
We strive to maximise our positive social, economic and environmental (SEE) impacts while mitigating and managing potential negative impacts. We aspire to deliver value by focusing on issues that matter to our employees, financial advisers, clients, stakeholders and the broader community, among others.
Our responsible investment policy
We aim to create societal value and preserve the natural capital our business depends on. We understand that our success is linked to the prosperity and wellbeing of our societies and we believe in doing our part to contribute to a better future for all. Liberty finds value in incorporating relevant and material ESG issues that can meaningfully affect investment performance in our research, decision-making, reporting and ongoing monitoring processes, and we believe this enables us to better identify investments that will provide sustainable and superior risk-adjusted returns. As an active asset owner, we can influence corporates and entities to incorporate ESG factors, thereby promoting sustainable businesses.
Chairman Liberty Group
Increasingly, investors and broader stakeholder groups have come to recognise that the entirety of a company cannot be understood through its ﬁnancial performance alone. At Liberty, we have long realised that sustainability and business resilience go hand in hand.
Group Chief Executive Officer
Everyone at Liberty has shown up – for each other, our advisers, our clients and for the communities we serve. No matter who we are or what we do in Liberty, it is our humanity that unites us and fuels our purpose.
Liberty aims to create value for society by living our purpose of improving people’s lives by enabling their financial freedom. Through our brand promise, “In it with you”, we want stakeholders to experience how we live their journey with them while preserving the natural capital our business depends on and working towards a prosperous and thriving society.
Our SEE strategy leverages our resources to create solutions that benefit society. We foster innovation – developing products that understand our clients and help them on their life journeys, and we concentrate on nurturing our relationships with all stakeholder groups. We are invested in our SEE strategy and believe SEE issues create growth, innovation and differentiation opportunities.
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs)
The UN SDGs outline a vision for a more prosperous and peaceful future for people and the planet by 2030 – which is rapidly approaching. This vision guides our SEE strategy. Strategies to improve health, wellbeing and education – and spur economic growth and reduce inequalities – are imperative to ending poverty. The UN SDGs aim to create a global partnership with developed and developing countries to end poverty, reduce inequality, improve education and health, and preserve our environment. These goals also provide a roadmap for a shared global vision for the private sector and civil society that can be incorporated into national development plans and strategies.
Guided by our SEE impact material matters, Liberty focuses on the SDGs that we consider to be most impactful on the communities in which we operate. Prioritising these SDGs allows us to contribute to transformation and equality meaningfully, and enables us to contribute to financial freedom for all our stakeholders.
Good health and wellbeing
At Liberty, we actively develop programmes that promote the wellbeing of our employees, be it career, physical, emotional, social or financial. We aim to build resilient individuals and communities by embracing a holistic view, ensuring our occupational health and safety practices, employee wellness programme and social commitments, through our corporate social investment (CSI) programme, create tangible value for our employees and communities, as well as broader society.
Liberty promotes good health and wellbeing through its wellness (mental, physical and financial) programmes and employee volunteerism initiatives, enabling employees to contribute to causes that are meaningful to them and take control of their financial lives and personal health.
Our #DriveHope initiative makes a difference by providing hope and comfort to South Africans in need.
Click here for more information on Liberty's contribution to good health and wellbeing.
Empowering and upskilling our people and communities is at the forefront of enabling financial freedom, and we are committed to investing in a lifetime of growth and development. By creating opportunities for learning and advancement, we help our employees reach their personal financial goals while securing Liberty’s sustainability.
We invest in education for our communities as a cornerstone of economic development, delivering value and unlocking opportunities for youth employment. We focus our CSI initiatives on Maths, Science, English and financial literacy, from the foundation phase to matric.
Through education, we empower our youth to improve their lives, families and communities. The Liberty Community Trust aims to improve learning outcomes for youth by enabling sustainable economic inclusion, and our actuarial development programme contributes to developing actuaries and offers actuarial science bursaries to full-time students from their second year of study. We create leadership programmes that provide a foundation for each Liberty employee to challenge and shift their mindsets.
Click here for more information on Liberty’s contribution to quality education.
Decent work and economic growth
The focus of this goal is on promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth, along with gainful employment. Liberty’s purpose of improving people’s lives by making financial freedom possible aligns strongly with these objectives.
We aim to ensure our employees are motivated, empowered and equipped with the necessary skills and expertise to help us reach our strategic goals. At the same time, we are committed to meaningful transformation through various programmes relating to employment equity, financial literacy and enterprise and supplier development (ESD). For Liberty, employees must immerse themselves in our culture of humanity to ensure we meet the needs of our stakeholders and communities.
Through our people philosophy, we empower and motivate our employees and create a culture of empathy, execution and sympathy. Our employee experience vision and framework align with our philosophy and enable us to develop a culture of success for our employees while creating a flexible environment to improve work-life balance.
We create life-long learning opportunities and promote a growth mindset while keeping client and adviser experience front of mind to enable our advisers to meet our clients’ needs and offer responsible and objective advice tailored to their situations.
Click here for more information on Liberty’s contribution to decent work and economic growth.
Industry, innovation and infrastructure
Rapidly increasing digitisation, connectivity and ways of working create great opportunities to disrupt industries and markets. Given our ever-changing operating environment, we believe investing significantly in innovation, infrastructure and technology is imperative. In doing so, we assess emerging trends and anticipate the needs of our clients to develop creative and sustainable solutions and products.
Our centre for innovation and cross-collaboration supports this objective, and we position our “innovation catalysts” (actuaries, accountants, legal advisers and technology experts) strategically across our business units, transferring skills and collaborating to facilitate innovation.
We emphasise innovation skills development, such as design thinking, visual thinking and creative problem solving. In this way, we build a culture of continuous learning and critical thinking that enables us to capture appropriate opportunities in a rapidly transforming digital world.
Our culture of innovation fosters collaboration and co-creation, enabling us to deliver exceptional and intuitive human experiences by developing innovative products and services that meet customers’ needs at various life stages.
Our innovative offerings gained recognition at the Digital CX 2021 awards held in Singapore, with revolutionary products such as our STASH tax-free investment savings account App, enabling clients to invest tax-free for themselves and their children. Our innovation centre helps create scalable and impactful products and services.
Through responsible investing practices, we serve to reduce financial risks and ensure that our investments have a meaningful social and environmental impact.
Click here for more information on Liberty’s contribution to industry, innovation and infrastructure.
At Liberty, we encourage employees to bring their differences to the table – we believe there is strength in diversity and creating a cohesive community where everyone is heard. There is a clear link between diversity and enhancing innovation, and we want to harness those values to craft a competitive edge while creating a sense of belonging at Liberty.
We focus our transformation efforts on gender equality, diversity and education in the workplace, emphasising African women and persons with disabilities. We comply with regulatory requirements, such as the Employment Equity Act, 55 of 1998, and the amended Financial Sector Code (FSC). In alignment with the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we aim to protect, promote and preserve the sanctity of all human rights and ensure these principles guide all stakeholder engagement.
We are committed to inclusivity and transformation, uniting our people across all functions, levels and backgrounds to build a cohesive organisation where all employees feel included and valued. Diversity enhances multifaceted problem solving and enables the organisation to be representative of the population that we operate in.
Through our Blue Skies ESD programme, we target enterprise and supplier development, aiming to eliminate barriers to growth for participating small and medium enterprises and financial advisers. In this way, we support thriving, self-sufficient businesses that enable job creation and economic growth.
Our Mind My Money programme provides individuals with the tools to enable their financial freedom.
Click here for more information on Liberty’s contribution to reducing inequalities.
Responsible consumption and production, and climate action
Our net-zero water, carbon and waste framework supports our SEE value drivers while driving our contributions to SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation) and SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy).
Our property portfolio, including offices, retail malls and conference centres, has a significant environmental impact which we mitigate by efficiently and effectively monitoring and managing electricity supply, water usage and waste generation, as well as analysing local and global trends.
Through our net-zero water, waste and carbon framework, we implemented measurement and tracking tools to ensure that we can manage our carbon footprint efficiently, as well as water conservation systems in several buildings, including rainwater harvesting, reusing grey water and storing potable water for business resilience. In addition, we separate waste for recycling and compost our organic waste to reduce our waste to landfill. To improve our renewable energy mix we installed solar photovoltaic power.
We are committed to greening our property portfolio and creating safe green spaces, and we have removed single-use plastic cutlery, containers and polystyrene cups from our offices.
Our Mind My Money programme provides individuals with the tools to enable their financial freedom.
Click here for more information on Liberty’s contribution to responsible consumption and production, and climate action.
At Liberty, we strive to manage our impact on climate change and the risks to our business. One of the ways we do this is through public disclosure of our annual climate-related financial disclosures report. This report is compiled in accordance with the best practice international standard, the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) guidelines. The TCFD ensures that disclosure of climate-related financial information is consistent, comparable, clear and reliable and helps identify information needed by investors, lenders and insurance underwriters to accurately and appropriately assess and price climate- related risks and opportunities. The disclosures strengthen investment, credit and insurance underwriting decisions and are structured around four core elements:
Our SEE strategy focuses strongly on climate action and meaningfully contributes to preserving our natural capital through climate-related initiatives. In line with our commitment to the Paris Agreement, Liberty Two Degrees (L2D) intends to reach net zero by 2030 – 20 years earlier than South Africa’s commitment at a country level.
Find our TCFD report as part of the module in our report to society and learn more about Liberty’s progress against the 11 TCFD recommendations.