Integrated Report 2020

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Performance review

Environmental, social and governance

We understand that to become a purpose-driven organisation that creates sustainable, long-term value for all stakeholders we must prioritise people, planet and profit. We are increasing our investment in sustainable integrated ESG practices across our operations as a strategic pillar and an underpin to our industry, market and country legitimacy and reputation as a trusted partner.







Stakeholders increasingly expect organisations to participate in a circular economy that limits environmental impact, contains the waste of resources and uses resources efficiently. Successfully delivering on our new strategy will enable us to meet these stakeholder expectations.


Imperial's strategy, sustainability and social responsibility unquestionably impact human lives. In addition to our critical role in the supply of essential services and products, our extensive experience in safety practices and quality control measures, enables us to quickly adapt our practices to safeguard our employees, stakeholders and business.

Beyond our day-to-day operations, the initiatives in which we invest and actively participate are chosen based on their ability to tangibly impact access to healthcare and better education, and to drive equality and community development, producing sustainable benefits for those in our regions of operation.


Governance structures, including the board, group SES committee, executive management and the ESG/CSI subcommittee of the SES, are tasked with ensuring that ESG is given the right level of attention and that responsible ESG practices extend across the organisation and into strategic and daily operational decision making and business practice.

Read more about our environmental stewardship and in the ESG report.
Read more about how we support relevant social imperatives and in the ESG report.
Read more about our governance of environmental and social practices and in the ESG report.

Governance of environmental and social practices

Through our ESG governance structures we aim to ensure that capital allocation decisions are considerate of national priorities and are socially relevant and environmentally responsible.

Group-wide ESG policies and guidelines, including CSI and climate change, have been developed and approved by the group executive and SES board committees – a first for the group. These policies and guidelines are being implemented across all operations.

Performance rankings

Transportation and Logistics

Silver status

scoring 48 out of 100 points
Logistics International

Gold status

scoring 62 out of 100 points

Gold status

scoring 66 out of 100 points
London Stock Exchange FTSE4GOOD Index Series
A global sustainable investment index series
3,8 overall score out of five

(F2019: 3,7)

3,2 environmental score

(F2019: 3,1)

3,4 social score

(F2019: 3,2)

5,0 governance score

(F2019: 5,0)

CDP (group)

B+ rating

This is higher than the global average (C) and the Africa regional average (B-). Our next submission is due in August 2020.

UN Global Compact

Became a signatory to the UN Global Compact

Imres has been a signatory since 2016.

The group's code of conduct and the SES committee's annual work plan have been informed by the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact for over 10 years.

Looking forward

An immediate priority for Imperial is to initiate processes to help us understand the direct and indirect impacts of our business, ESG and community activities on our industry, society and stakeholders. A socioeconomic impact assessment study is scheduled for the second half of the 2020 calendar year. The initial study will encompass South Africa and Nigeria (two of our major markets). In addition, we will demonstrate our commitment to ESG practices by advancing our scores in global ESG indices and ratings.

Support relevant social imperatives

Covid-19 has highlighted that Imperial's strategy, sustainability and social responsibility unquestionably impact human lives. In addition to our critical role in the supply of essential services and products, our extensive experience in safety practices and quality control measures, enabled us to quickly adapt our practices to safeguard our employees, stakeholders and business during this unprecedented time. Up to the end of July 2020, 385 employees had tested positive for the virus, with the majority making a full recovery. Sadly, 11 of our colleagues succumbed to the virus and we extend our heartfelt condolences to their families and colleagues.

In addition, we reported one employee fatality in an accident caused by a third-party vehicle towards the end of the financial year. We deeply regret the death of our colleague Mr TJ Thupaemang, and again offer our deepest sympathies to his family and friends. All fatal accidents are thoroughly investigated, including by an external independent accident investigator, or an authority in the case of Logistics International, to provide an unbiased view.

Healthcare is one of Africa's critical development challenges and needs. Over the past 20 years, mainly through our Market Access and Logistics Africa businesses, we have developed a wide distribution network, efficient service delivery and strong governance and compliance practices, enabling us to access better pricing and ensure a reliable supply of quality medicine into Africa. We assist governments to grow local pharmaceutical logistics and supply chain capacity as well as healthcare service networks. We also work to find ways to use cheaper infrastructure and enterprise development models to extend the reach of healthcare services to smaller and hard to serve markets, including rural areas.

Beyond our day-to-day operations, the initiatives in which we invest and actively participate are chosen based on their ability to tangibly impact access to healthcare and better education, drive diversity as well as community and sports development and raise road safety awareness, producing sustainable benefits for those in our regions of operation.

A key focus for the group is leveraging our memberships in organisations such as Business Leadership South Africa, Business for South Africa (B4SA), the National Business Initiative and Business Engage to build strong relationships with government. Going forward, we will actively support South Africa's development and growth plan
post-Covid-19 through various stakeholder engagements, including membership in the World Economic Forum and Africa Economic Forum.

Driving gender diversity

The Global Women's Forum (GWF) aims to create an enabling culture for the women of Imperial and provides a platform for networking across the group.

The GWF was officially constituted on 3 October 2019 with group chairman, Phumzile Langeni, as a guest speaker at the inaugural meeting. The forum promotes development and advancement opportunities for women, focusing on mentoring and training, graduate programmes, ensuring gender parity when promoting and appointing external candidates, and setting targets for women in senior leadership roles. The GWF reports on key issues to the group executive committee and SES committee.

Most group companies have approved budgets ring-fenced to develop and mentor women. Focus is also being placed on dedicated facilities for women, including rooms to express breastmilk for new mothers and separate dedicated changing rooms and bathrooms for female drivers. Another critical focus is ensuring a safe work environment for women, particularly those working night shifts.

The GWF celebrated International Women's Day by participating in a number of initiatives, including preparing 600 care packages for child rape victims in South Africa, the collection of clothing, shoes, cosmetics and hygiene products for homeless women and victims of domestic abuse in Germany and raised gender awareness in our African businesses.

Key performance indicators

Product safety

No material incidents of non-compliance with laws and regulations concerning the health and safety impacts of products and services

(F2019: none)

Market Access


road accidents per million kilometres

(F2019: 0)


road injuries per million kilometres

(F2019: 0)


road fatalities per million kilometres

(F2019: 0)


Logistics Africa


road accidents per million kilometres

(F2019: 0,210)


road injuries per million kilometres

(F2019: 0,047)


road fatalities per million kilometres

(F2019: 0,006)


Logistics International


road accidents per million kilometres

(F2019: 0,423)


road injuries per million kilometres

(F2019: 0,172)


road fatalities per million kilometres

(F2019: 0)

Expected BBBEE ratings1
(South Africa)

Covid-19 and related budget constraints will mean we are unable to maintain the current level 22 BBBEE rating measured against the more stringent amended dti Codes. We expect our verified score for 2020 to drop to a level 4 rating. However, we do expect to retain our level 2 rating measured against the Road Freight Sector Codes.

Developing black employees
(South Africa)

85% (R84 million)
of training spend was used to develop black employees
(F2019: 92%)

Learnerships (South Africa)

174 unemployed learners

participating in a learnership, apprenticeship or internship, gaining work experience and receiving a stipend while they learn.

Enterprise development spend
(South Africa)

R29 million
(F2019: R27 million)

Total CSI spend (group)

R21,1 million
(F2019: R22,2 million)

1 The BBBEE scorecard will be published online at the end of September 2020.
2 Revised from the reported level 3 rating in the 2019 integrated report following the final verification after publication.
Performance overview
Health and safety
  • Maintained effective and ongoing communication with our stakeholders during the pandemic, sharing our business continuity plans, insights and lessons learnt with clients, principals and customers, delivering Covid-19-related training to our employees and engaging with our transportation subcontractors on delivering products and services responsibly and in a preventative manner.
  • Shared best SHEQ operating practices and standards across similar group companies in Imperial and improved the collaboration between all three of the group's divisions on safety matters. We have also expanded our safety metrics to include injuries and fatalities per million hours worked, including non-road-related injuries and fatalities, days lost to injury, the injury severity rate and injury incident rate per 100 employees. These measures are reported in the ESG report online and will be audited in F2021.
  • Fewer kilometres were travelled due to smaller fleets, the impact of Covid-19 on business activity and border restrictions. In Logistics Africa, the number of road accidents remained the same as F2019 at 67 and road injuries increased by three; however, the fewer kilometres travelled resulted in higher frequency rates for accidents and injuries. 92% of the fatal road incidents involving our vehicles in Logistics Africa were beyond the control of our drivers - mainly involving third-party vehicle overtaking and reckless cycling and pedestrian behaviours.
  • Customised 'human factor training' used in the aviation industry for road transportation. The eLearning programme is being tested with truck drivers in South Africa and focuses on improving attitudes to life's challenges, heightening emotional intelligence and encouraging conscientious, compliant and team behaviour.
  • Contributed to the development of new standards for the Transport Education Training Authority in South Africa, which enhance transport-related training for truck drivers, supervisors and managers.
  • Issued all drivers in Poland with a tablet enabled with the SPEDION app - a modern telematic system that enhances driver safety, efficiency and environmental conservation.
  • Contributed to the development of a new driver health and wellness programme in South Africa, which assesses driver fitness and addresses driver fatigue and the psychological stressors arising from Covid-19.
  • Delivered health and wellness programmes, training and health days across the group.
Access to healthcare in Africa

Unjani Clinics (South Africa)
Funded four new Imperial Unjani Clinics. The network of 75 primary healthcare clinics serves more than 39 900 patients a month. More than 265 permanent jobs have been created. In 2020, the network celebrated its millionth patient engagement.

Tulsi Chanrai Foundation (Nigeria)
Invested USD1 million (to 2021) in the world-class eye hospital in Abuja, which has served over 16 120 underserved patients and performed over 3 220 subsidised eye surgeries since opening in January 2019.

  • The women professional nurses operating Unjani Clinics received Covid-19 training, a Covid-19 screening app, PPE and sanitiser, enabling the network to act as an additional screening measure to support government efforts. At June 2020, some 75 000 screenings had been facilitated.
  • World Wide Commercial Ventures Limited (WWCVL), as part of the Chemotherapy Access Partnership*, worked to reduce the price of oncology medicines in Nigeria by up to 50%, enabling cancer patients to access to lower-priced, high-quality treatments at hospital pharmacies.
  • 792 pharmaceutically compliant In-a-Box™ solutions (fully outfitted prefabricated facilities) are providing quality healthcare infrastructure in 15 African countries, including South Africa. Some of these units are located in rural areas. In 2020, we refurbished multiple regional pharmaceutical warehouses in Ethiopia, completed a project to deploy 239 medicine stores in Malawi, constructed four regional pharmaceutical warehouses in Mali and refurbished multiple warehouses in Mozambique damaged by tropical cyclone, Idai.
  • Partnered with the IFC to co-develop In-a-Box™ mobile infrastructure solutions for Covid-19 screening, triage and treatment. Pilot solutions are being developed in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.
* Partnership between the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Health, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, Inc, the American Cancer Society, Pfizer, Inc, Worldwide Healthcare and EMGE Resources, Limited.
Transformation in South Africa

Sinawe Fund
R20 million invested in the Sinawe Fund (June 2017 to June 2022). Our investment supports the sustainability and growth of three SMMEs who employ 134 people between them. While difficulties have been experienced, the beneficiaries have been able to sustain their activities during the Covid-19 pandemic. One SMME will exit the fund agreement in the coming year.

  • Made a number of key black and female management appointments; however, the organisational restructuring needed to respond to current economic circumstances has negatively impacted these gains.
  • Procurement spend with 50% black-owned businesses was R3 056 million (17% lower than 2019). Spend with 30% black women-owned businesses was R1 176 million (2% lower than 2019). Spend with qualifying small enterprises (QSEs) and exempt micro-enterprises (EMEs) totalled R2 689 million.
  • 10 professional nurses graduated from the five-year Unjani Clinics enterprise development programme, taking title ownership of their clinics. Seven of the graduates chose to remain in the network.
Community support and development
Covid-19 support (South Africa)

Donated R5 million to the Solidarity Fund, R5 million to the Giving for Hope Foundation in support of SMMEs and R500 000 to Gift of the Givers humanitarian organisation to support Covid-19-related initiatives in South Africa. We also worked with charitable organisations to provide vehicles and resources to deliver food parcels and other basic needs to communities most impacted by the crisis. For example, we facilitated grocery deliveries from Durban to Johannesburg for Gift of the Givers.

Imperial and Motus Community Trust (South Africa)

45 libraries and resource centres in Johannesburg, reaching over 50 000 learners. Five school libraries were established during F2020 with two still to be handed over in September 2020 to Phephane and Intokozo primary schools#.

Be safe, Be smart Covid-19 roadshow (South Africa)

Delivers Covid-19 and hygiene education at primary and secondary schools. 23 schools have been visited to date with 5 125 learners reached. 575 litres of sanitiser and 230 dispensers have been distributed.

SOS Children's Villages (Hungary)

Supporting the basic needs of children and young adults - most of whom are orphans - in Kecskemét.

Be safe Be smart Campaign (South Africa)

The Be safe Be smart Campaign delivers road safety awareness at schools, helping secondary school students, mostly from disadvantaged communities, prepare for their K53 learner's licence test, and educates them on pedestrian safety, and the importance of wearing safety belts when travelling in taxis and other vehicles. The campaign has received numerous compliments from learners and teachers, and is supported by the Gauteng Department of Education, school and safety management division. The Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department has also joined the roadshows to demonstrate its support. Although the Covid-19 pandemic interrupted our mandated target to reach 85 schools nationwide before the Easter school holidays in April, we reached 66 schools (including the 20 reached in 2019) across six provinces - reaching 58 931 (2019: 15 122) aspirant drivers. As K53 is part of the school curriculum and the sizes of these classes are small, the Department of Basic Education believes that we will be able to reach our target by December 2020.

# Handover delayed due to school closures as a result of Covid-19.

  • Participated in thought leadership discussions and forums on how to restart the South African economy post-lockdown.
  • Sourced and delivered thousands of cubic metres of PPE and medical-grade hand sanitisers for public and private sectors in South Africa and Europe.
  • WWCVL in Nigeria donated essential medicines with a retail value of around N3 million (R132 000), as well as a cash donation of N17,5 million (R774 000), to the Young Professionals Organisation for a Covid-19 isolation centre in Lagos and other Covid-19 relief efforts.
  • Provided free-of-charge logistics and transportation services to a client in Germany who manufactures hand sanitiser for the Goslar council and set up all operations within 24 hours of an initial request from another client to urgently store and distribute hand sanitiser for the police, the Federal Ministry of the Interior and hospitals in Hamburg.
  • Reinforced our commitment to sports development as a means of uniting nations and people by securing the naming rights to the Wanderers cricket stadium in Johannesburg. The Imperial Wanderers Stadium is being used as a drive-through Covid-19 testing station.
  • Invested in the Central Gauteng Lions women's league to develop women in cricket in South Africa.
  • Held road safety awareness events at four major holiday driving stops over the December festive season, ranging from providing safety tips to 'chill zones' for motorists to relax in. As part of the Be safe Be smart Campaign we also delivered fun road safety talks at eight primary schools in Dinokana, along the N4 toll route, including an informative session with taxi and bus drivers on defensive driving practices. In addition, a number of taverns were visited, speaking to patrons about their visibility when walking home in the dark.
  • Contributed to the hosting of the third annual Voices of Change event in South Africa (August 2020). The virtual event was attended by more than 500 people across South Africa. The aim of the event was to encourage men, women and organisations to play leading roles and collaborate on gender parity in the workplace, to activate awareness, enable shared learning and identify interventions that will help to empower women.
Kenyan Refugee Schools Undertaking

Our Market Access business has invested USD100 000 (R1,7 million) in the Kenyan Refugee Schools Undertaking, a partnership with the Caring Women’s Forum and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The UNHCR has the mandate to protect refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people – and assist in their voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement to a third country. Project deliverables include the delivery of schoolbooks, teacher training, new school desks and enabling refugee students to write their high school exams.

Looking forward
Health and safety
  • Shift our focus to a more proactive approach to safety versus our past reactive measures. This will be supported by driving organisational discipline and standardising best safety practices and processes across the group. This work will begin in Market Access and Logistics Africa in 2021. A focus on safety will also be driven through the roll out of the Imperial values.
  • Launch a reporting platform in South Africa that integrates onboard truck computers and cameras as well as satellite tracking systems to enhance safety in our road transportation services.
  • Develop a central reporting and document management platform for Logistics International, with a clear reporting structure, to enhance our accident investigation and safety risk assessment processes.
Access to healthcare in Africa
  • Continue to drive affordability in healthcare by extending our product offering.
  • Consider mobile phone-based money transfer services (M-Pesa) for subscale pharmacies in Kenya that lack access to banking facilities, enabling them to purchase pharmaceutical products.
  • Develop a project to increase the access of smaller wholesalers in Nigeria to pharmaceutical products.
  • Invest a further R5 million in the Unjani Clinics network (South Africa) in 2021 and provide five modular healthcare buildings to extend existing clinics.
Transformation in South Africa
  • Achieve a level 3 BBBEE rating in 2021. Employment equity and skills development are the two areas where we can improve.
  • Collaborate with clients on enterprise and supplier development initiatives and identify more SMMEs that we can assist in acquiring our old assets and growing their businesses by leveraging our supply chain.
  • Develop strategic partnerships with clients to support rural communities in areas where our businesses operate, particularly in the mining sector.
Community support and development
  • Continue to support our flagship CSI projects, including the Unjani Clinics network (R5 million), the Imperial and Motus Community Trust (R5 million) and road safety awareness (R1,5 million) in South Africa. We will also undertake site visits to the Kenya refugee camps once Covid-19-related restrictions are lifted to provide further support to the project and ensure expected project outcomes are met.
  • Investigate the feasibility of adapting the school library model to include the transfer of ownership to schools.
  • Expand our CSI projects into new markets of operation in Africa.
Imperial Wanderers Stadium

Imperial Wanderers Stadium has partnered with POWA (People Opposing Women Abuse), an NGO that advocates for women’s rights and provides shelter, counselling and legal advice for victims of abuse. POWA’s vision is “a safe and equal society intolerant of all forms of violence against women and girls in all our diversity, where we are all treated with respect and dignity and our right promoted”. Imperial is a proud partner of this initiative and will leverage our relationships with schools to maximise this partnership, educating boys on how to treat girls and teaching girls how to receive assistance.

Environmental stewardship

Contract logistics and freight management activities are main contributors to environmental threats such as air pollution, global warming and resource depletion. Stakeholders increasingly expect organisations to participate in a circular economy that limits environmental impact, contains the waste of resources and uses resources efficiently. Successfully delivering on our new strategy will enable us to meet these stakeholder expectations.

As a first step, a group-wide climate change and environmental sustainability strategy framework has been developed and approved by the executive committee. It confers responsibility for addressing climate change and other environmental issues on the CEOs of each division. The strategy framework is presented as a set of policies and implementation plans to guide divisions on the group's approach to climate change and waste, water and biodiversity management. It also includes a social and environmental responsibility code of conduct for the supply chain. There is still significant scope for improvement in our environmental performance and this will continue to be a focus going forward.

Key performance indicators
Market Access
Logistics Africa
Logistics International
Fuel consumed
6 355 622 litres
(F2019: 8 037 483 litres)
112 698 911 litres
(F2019: 131 304 857 litres)
81 369 062 litres
(F2019: 74 796 891 litres)
200 423 595 litres
(F2019: 214 139 231 litres)
Electricity purchased
6 356 603
kilowatt hours
(F2019: 6 649 859 kilowatt hours)
35 307 912
kilowatt hours
(F2019: 64 613 178 kilowatt hours)
28 428 430
kilowatt hours
(F2019: 35 615 290 kilowatt hours)
70 092 945
kilowatt hours
(F2019: 106 878 327 kilowatt hours)
Carbon footprint1
20 171 tCO2
(F2019: 24 827 tCO2)
338 668 tCO2
(F2019: 421 108 tCO2)
216 082 tCO2
(F2019: 205 797 tCO2)
574 921 tCO2
(F2019: 651 732 tCO2)
Water purchased
19 307 kilolitres
(F2019: 22 005 kilolitres)
326 109 kilolitres
(F2019: 397 801 kilolitres)
60 689 kilolitres
(F2019: 68 214 kilolitres)
406 105 kilolitres
(F2019: 488 020 kilolitres)

1 Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions.

Spills (group)
28 000 litres of
ammonia solution by an Imperial

(F2019: one)

Environmental incidents (group)
No fines or penalties incurred for environmental incidents

(F2019: none)

Performance overview
  • Working with ING Bank to access a green finance facility with preferential benefits to be used to implement various environmental projects. The preferential benefits depend on the outcomes of an annual EcoVadis rating process. The submission to gain an EcoVadis Transport and Logistics sector rating for the group is underway. Logistics International has completed the EcoVadis reassessment of the automotive and chemical businesses for recertification and achieved EcoVadis Gold Status for both.
  • Completed an in-depth analysis to understand the impact of South Africa's carbon tax. Some businesses exceed the 10 megawatt hour combined stationary combustion tax threshold and we are in the process of registering Imperial with the Department of Environmental Affairs and the South African Revenue Service.
  • Road fuel decreased 14% due to fewer kilometres travelled with an 8% decrease in Scope 1 emissions. Electricity purchased dropped markedly in South Africa due to the consolidation of businesses, which is expected to continue for the remainder of the calendar year.
  • Overall water purchased from councils decreased by 17% across the group, due to consolidation and closure of some major water consuming businesses and increases in water sourced from alternative sources (mostly boreholes).
  • 5 820 tonnes of waste was generated in South Africa, with 59% classified as safe disposal materials* (food and edibles that have exceeded their shelf life), 26% being general waste (materials and rubble taken to landfills) and 15% being hazardous waste (oil, grease, sump effluent and oil filters, etc). 1 070 tonnes (18%) of this waste was recycled, equating to 71% (target: 80%) of the general waste stream being recycled. The metrics have shown that much of our general waste is rubble, needing to go to landfill, and that our key recyclable items are paper, cardboard, cans, metals and steel.
  • Moved WWCVL's operations in Lagos, Nigeria, to a new warehouse, reducing our reliance on diesel generators for a more stable electricity supply. The warehouse facility has energy efficient lighting and air-conditioning, supports better workflows and provides employees with a more conducive and safer working environment.
  • Interstate Bus Lines installed a 200,64 kilowatt peak solar photovoltaic system at its Bloemfontein depot in South Africa, which is expected to achieve estimated carbon emissions savings of around 351 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.
  • WP Transport, based in Namibia, partnered with OEM, Scania Namibia, to replace its fleet with new generation trucks over two years. 24 trucks have been replaced to date. Emissions reductions of 225 tonnes and fuel savings of R2,5 million will be achievable for 2021.
  • Logistics International achieved ISO 50001 (energy management system) and ISO 14001 (environmental management system) re-certification. It also reduced the number of printers in the German operation by 25%, which will reduce the amount of used paper, reduce costs and drive the change towards a paperless office environment.
  • Resolve Solution Partners won the Silver Award and the Environmental Award in the Logistics Achiever Awards. The awards recognise organisations for environmental and social stewardship and for proactively minimising the environmental impact of their supply chain processes.

* Safe disposal materials are unlikely to be recycled as their reuse has not been fully researched.

Testing vehicles that are less emission intensive
In Hungry, we are testing a 24-tonne electrically powered truck on our shuttle services between our warehouse and the plant of a major automotive manufacturer. The 236 kilowatt electric motor abates around 1,7 tonnes of CO2 emissions a day when compared with a conventional diesel-powered truck. In the UK, we are moving towards a road transport fleet that is powered by liquified natural gas (LNG). LNG trucks have been successfully trialled in the UK and Germany over the past year, with good results and positive driver feedback. The trials have enabled us to accommodate a request from a major client in the UK to switch to low-emissions vehicles on its supply routes between 19 component manufacturers and its main assembly plant.
Looking forward
  • Integrate environmental practices into daily operations.
  • Achieve the EcoVadis rating required to access the green-finance facility.
  • Invest in a digitised fleet, leveraging existing and new technology to transform the road freight business and gain efficiencies, including better vehicle performance and fuel and tyre consumption.
  • Implement systems to enhance waste management in South Africa and Europe, including improving the integrity of our waste data to better understand our waste streams, reducing waste to landfill and tapping into potential revenue generating streams associated with waste management.