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Message from the CEO

Hubert Brody  
Hubert Brody
Chief executive officer

At Imperial we recognise our responsibility to deliver sustainable mobility solutions that are affordable socially, environmentally and economically. Whilst the delivery of returns and profit are key business drivers, we understand the importance of balancing these commercial objectives which impact on society, our people and the environment. Improving our sustainability performance is an integral part of improving business performance, and the results in one area support and further the achievement of objectives in the other.

To this end, we are guided by a sustainability strategy that is underpinned by responsibility to all our stakeholders. We seek to integrate our sustainability initiatives with our long-term business strategy to deliver value not only to our shareholders but to our employees, customers, business partners, communities and broader civil society.

Achieving this balance in a highly diversified business that spans some 47 000 people across five divisions and four continents is a challenging task, but it is nevertheless one to which we remain firmly committed. As this report details, although work still remains to be done, we have made pleasing progress on our journey towards an integrated sustainability model.

During the year we established the executive compliance and governance committee and the social, ethics and sustainability committee, which provide the framework and guidelines on business conduct for corporate governance as well as health and safety and sustainability issues. We also made further progress in creating sustainability expertise and structures in divisions, which will champion the sustainability processes in each division.

We have rolled out a sophisticated sustainability measurement and management system which is currently being used to collect data relating to our carbon footprint, key sustainability and GRI indicators as well as health, safety and environmental incident data. The system has greatly improved the reliability and accuracy of data collection, and has provided us with a good baseline from which to measure our future progress and against which we can start to set targets for improvement. As the system becomes successfully embedded in all our operations, we intend to expand the scope of indicators it measures.

This report outlines our most material sustainability issues, who our stakeholders are, our areas of challenge and highlights some of the successes we have had in investing in communities, identifying and embracing greener business solutions and developing our employees. While these initiatives benefit our stakeholders, they also directly serve the needs of our business and our investment in these areas is a matter of strategic importance.

For instance, in the year under review we invested some R171 million in various training and skills development initiatives. This stands as testament to our ongoing commitment to promoting the development of our people, and building a robust skills base that will benefit not only our own businesses but our entire industry for years to come.

In line with a continued focus on improving health, safety and environmental (HSE) performance across our operations, we have implemented preventive and control measures in high probability areas of our business. These initiatives are vital to safeguarding employees’ lives and ensuring the safety and well-being of our stakeholders, the environment and the community at large, but they are also of strategic business importance as they protect our assets, investments and stakeholders’ interests.

We continued to promote the efficient utilisation of energy in our operations, not only as a means of improving our operational efficiencies but also to make a positive difference to global warming and climate change. We have stepped up efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of our operations and are rolling out exciting new green building projects at a number of our operations. While we believe environmental investment is a matter of good corporate citizenship, we also recognise that it offers a range of business opportunities, and we will continue to explore ways in which we can serve society’s growing need for cleaner technology transportation solutions.

Our work in communities and broader society is also strategically aligned. Our ongoing investment in education through the Imperial and Ukhamba Community Development Trust is helping to build healthy, self-sustaining and economically active communities.

We are always mindful of the need to conduct our business ethically, responsibly and with the highest integrity. This is critical to our operational and financial success.

We firmly believe that being a more sustainable business in every respect will help us meet our goals of improving our business performance, strengthening our resilience and enhancing our capabilities. It will allow us to meet the challenges of the future and deliver maximum value for shareholders, employees, communities and the broader societies in which we operate.

We welcome your feedback on the progress we have made to date, and look forward to keeping you informed of our future successes in the journey towards greater sustainability across all areas of business.

Hubert Brody
Chief executive officer

21 August 2012


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