Chairman Social, Ethics, Transformation and Sustainability Committee
The Social, Ethics, Transformation and Sustainability (SETS) Committee presents its report for the financial year ended September 2023. This committee is a statutory committee with a majority of independent non-executive members, whose duties are delegated to them by the board of directors. The committee conducted its affairs in compliance with a board-approved terms of reference and discharged all its responsibilities contained therein.
Multi-functional Regional Sustainability Councils (RSCs) provide strategic and operational support to a Group Sustainability Council which in turn provides support to the SETS Committee in dealing with key sustainability issues.
During the financial year the committee formally met three times at which meetings it deliberated on all aspects relating to its terms. A 100% attendance record was achieved by board committee members Mr Valli Moosa, Dr Boni Mehlomakulu, Mr Brian Beamish, Mr Jim Lopez and Mr Steve Binnie, for 2023.
The world has endured much in recent years – rapidly increasing global temperatures leading to extreme weather events, rising income inequality, deepening geopolitical tensions, a global pandemic and unprecedented inflation driving economies into recession. These events severely disrupted our status quo; they affected our health, environment, society and economies. We recognise that the private sector has a key role to play in addressing the challenges the world is facing today and the SETS Committee assesses our social posture, ensuring that the company is a responsible corporate citizen. We enhance our long-term stakeholder value by focusing our actions to deliver more sustainable shared value outcomes, both minimising the impacts of our activities on society and the environment.
The role of the SETS Committee is to assist the board with the oversight of the company and to provide guidance to management's work in respect of its duties in the fields of social, ethics, transformation and sustainability. The committee relies on international best practice as well as the laws and regulations under which Sappi's businesses operate to ensure that the group not only complies with, but also fully implements all requirements. The committee addresses issues relating to corporate social investment, ethical conduct, diversity, transformation and empowerment initiatives and targets and ongoing sustainability practices to ensure that our business, our environment and our people can prosper on an ongoing basis. The responsibilities include monitoring the company's activities, having regard to any relevant legislation, other legal requirements and prevailing codes of best practice. The committee meets a minimum of three times each year.
Membership of the committee
The members of the SETS Committee during FY2023 were:
(Chairman from 01 March 2016)
Four members of the committee were Independent Non-executive Directors and one the Chief Executive Officer. In addition, the Chairman of the board attends committee meetings ex officio. The regional Chief Executive Officers, the Group Head Strategy and Legal, the Group Head Technology, the Group Head Human Resources, the Group Head Corporate Affairs, the Executive Vice President Pulp and the Group Head Investor Relations and Sustainability attend meetings by invitation.
Committee activities reviewed and actioned during the year
At each committee meeting a topic is selected for an in-depth review. Typically, the subject of these reviews are matters which the committee believes represent key risks or opportunities for the business. In 2023 the review topics were:
The committee confirms that the group gives its social, ethics, transformation and sustainability responsibilities the necessary attention. Appropriate policies and programmes are in place to contribute to social and economic development, ethical behaviour of staff towards colleagues and other stakeholders, fair labour practices, environmental responsibility and good customer relations. In fulfilling their mandate, the committee has sought to ensure the needs of a wide set of stakeholders, including employees, local communities, customers and shareholders are considered and that key sustainability risks are identified and managed.
There were no substantive areas of non-compliance with legislation and regulation, nor non-adherence with codes of best practice applicable to the areas within the committee’s mandate that were brought to the committee’s attention. The committee has no reason to believe that any such non-compliance or non-adherence has occurred.
Social, Ethics, Transformation and Sustainability Committee