Barloworld strives to be responsive to the needs of the communities in which it does business. Corporate Social Investment (CSI) is viewed as an investment in the future, in the group’s people around the world and their various communities, and in the environmental sustainability of the planet.
We are committed to allocating a minimum of 1% of our net profits after tax to CSI, a long-term group approach which we believe represents international best practice on the part of companies which manage their businesses and their externalities, such as their impacts on the environment, in an ethical and responsible manner.
Over the past five years, the group has contributed R85 million to CSI/SED across all its operations. Of this amount R33 million was verified SED spend in direct support of broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) in South Africa.
Investments made are proportionate to the scale of Barloworld operations in a particular region. Since Barloworld has a significant presence in South and southern Africa, the extent of its CSI in this region is greater than in other parts of the world. Group spend on CSI in 2014 was R17 million, R15 million of which was in South Africa. In South and southern Africa, socio-economic development (SED) is incorporated into the group’s CSI programmes.
There are two approaches to CSI/SED in the group:
A Barloworld Trust programme represents group operations across diverse industries and geographic locations, and attempts to address the foremost problems in society in a structural manner, one of its approaches being to support innovation in social service delivery which has the potential to be taken to scale by the public sector. The group also strives to align with local or regional development objectives, and impact positively on public policies and systems through public participation, sharing its leadership expertise and business knowledge.
At operations level in the organisation, donations or CSI aimed at addressing social causes take place, support being offered to a wide range of initiatives, NGO’s and charities, often with local community, industry, product or workplace linkages. Both streams of CSI/SED in South Africa are managed against the SED objectives incorporated into the DTI’s Codes of Good Practice on BBBEE.
Through volunteerism, employees are also encouraged to become involved in their communities through workplace team forums or individually.
Efforts focus on inspiring and encouraging strong, responsible leadership; improving the quality of teaching and learning in the education sector and improving access; practising responsible environmental custodianship; and support of the vulnerable in society.
Barloworld believes in the need for bold, large-scale interventions with broad-based commitment and support which have the potential to begin to turn the education system in South Africa around, based on the approaches to education system reform and upgrading advocated in the National Development Plan.