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Our Sustainability Offering

Transcend offers transformation and B-BBEE solutions to its clients. These offerings complement current thinking and practice in the sustainability arena and increasing best practice is to use the capacity of your team driving transformation to drive sustainability as well. The focus on sustainability is not diminishing; the King III report on corporate governance states that “[s]ustainability is the primary moral and economic imperative of the 21st century. It is one of the most important sources of both opportunities and risks for businesses.” The embedding of sustainability in the corporate conscience implies that companies will need to demonstrate how they manage their non-financial risks, limit their deleterious environmental and societal impacts and practise business responsibly.

As a result Transcend has enhanced the solutions it provides by adding a number of sustainability services. These can delivered as part of Transcend’s transformation solutions or independently.

Reporting on non-financial performance

Most companies disclose aspects of their approach to non-financial issues, the management thereof and related performance. The non-financial elements of a business include human resources, the environment, economic value added and broader societal impacts the business has.

Transcend simplifies the non-financial reporting process by:

• Advising a company on what it should be reporting on
• Creating a process for reporting which starts at a basic level
• Advising as to what data is required for the process
• Creating a framework for data collection which simplifies the reporting process
• Writing the content for the report

Non-financial due diligence

Non-financial risks can have serious financial implications if ignored or poorly managed. At the very least, they have the potential for reputation damage and undesirable media coverage. Thus determining the extent to which a company manages the non-financial elements of its business makes sense and also provides a good indication of the overall quality of management.

What does non-financial due diligence entail? The process which Transcend uses is as follows:

• Examining company policies and procedures - do they exist, and if they exist, are are they adequate and clear?
• Examining company management systems: what do these manage, who is responsible for them, and what are the
• Establishing whether the company under consideration has transgressed the law and what is did to rectify the
• Examining the media for negative coverage of the company
• Consulting with the company’s key stakeholders to gain an understanding of the range of opinions and perspective on
  the company from a diverse range of individuals and organisations.

The final output of this process is a comprehensive report on the company’s non-financial risk profile. The process does not result in any formal verification.

Sustainability strategy and management systems

To properly engage with the non-financial dimension a company needs the right people and processes. These need to employed if the company sees the need; establishing whether there is a need could be based on the following reasons (risks), for example:
• Legal compliance
• Peer pressure
• Negative media coverage
• Customer demand
• Morals / ethics
• Employee / shareholder demands.

Once the reason(s) is determined, the company needs to follow this approach:

• Outline the commitment in a policy
• Develop and plan a management programme
• Implement the programme
• Monitor and evaluate performance
• Report.

What is required to develop and implement the programme? Aside from the understanding that the intervention is necessary, based on the reasons mentioned earlier, the company will need people to development and implement the programme. The development stage may require different skills to implementation; those tasked with implementing the programme should be properly skilled and have the necessary authority to implement.

Where companies are managing the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment element of their businesses, the people and processes employed can be used as a platform.

Where does Transcend fit into this process? Transcend can facilitate a process to aid companies determining reasons for, and approaches, to the management of the non-financial. Further Transcend is able to develop the strategies and management systems necessary to reduce the risk, and to monitor this reduction. Where possible, Transcend will identify what existing skills and systems can be deployed to counter the risks posed by non-financial elements of the business. Training plays an important role in this process; Transcend is an experienced trainer and facilitator and brings this knowledge to the process.

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