Corporate Sustainability

Being a force for social good

Discovery's core purpose is to make people healthier and to enhance and protect their lives. This guides everything we do, including our relationship with society and the systems that make life possible.

Our products and services provide the primary pathway for positive change at scale. We support this through strategic social investments, such as the Discovery Foundation and Discovery Fund, and strong systems of governance and accountability.

Our contribution is focused on health and healthcare, aligning directly with national and global imperatives for 2030. These include the National Development Plan and the United Nations' call to action to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being, through the third Sustainable Development Goal.

Our business model, Vitality Shared-Value Insurance, drives a virtuous cycle: as our clients get healthier, our business grows and thrives. The United Nations' call to action to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being, through the third Sustainable Development Goal.

Our sustainability strategy below highlights four focus areas with 11 commitments. These are Healthy Products and Services, Healthy Workforces, Healthy Communities and Healthy Organisation.

Read more in our latest sustainable development report.

"We believe strongly that business strategy cannot be executed or even conceived of separately from an understanding of its social impact."

Discovery Group Chief Executive
Adrian Gore

Healthy products and services

By linking social outcomes to core products and services, we scale social delivery and ensure it keeps growing.

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as diabetes and heart disease, have overtaken infectious diseases, like measles, as the leading cause of global deaths. NCDs are significantly impacted by lifestyle choice. By creating incentives for positive behaviour change, we are helping our
members to build a new frontier in
proactive health management.

We'll increase access to more cost-effective and affordable healthcare.

Despite universal access to healthcare being one of the key targets of Sustainable Development Goal 3, the incidence of lifestyle diseases is rising disproportionately among lower income countries and populations. Technology can reduce the cost of health insurance, forming a key part of the solution.

Road safety in South Africa is a national issue, with a high number of accidents and fatalities reported on the country's roads each year. By combining telematics technology with insurance, we are rewarding good driving behaviour to make South Africa's roads safer.

Healthy workforces

Our focus on workforces pushes us to reflect on our own performance and to learn with organisations in our corporate network.

We'll prioritise our employees' health.

Given improving health is our core purpose, we must start with our own employees. An interactive digital move platform enables our employees to select their own wellness focus - which may include fitness, weight loss, nutrition or finding ways to relieve financial stress. We provide feedback and customised support, and reward success. Primary healthcare services complement these programmes and we offer assistance to manage chronic health conditions.

Based on this approach, in our South African offices we have set three objectives for employee wellness:

INCREASE ENGAGEMENT

We aim to get

80%

of permanent Discovery employees onto Vitality. We will run a series of internal health-focused campaigns and increase the number Discovery employees registered on Vitality

PROVIDE CUSTOMISED SUPPORT

We aim to get

70%

of Discovery employees to select a personal wellbeing goal via our BeWell platform, based on the five health factors contributing to Vitality Age 6

TRACK AND GET REWARDED

We aim to get

70%

of Discovery employees to make use of a fitness device or download a fitness app and link it to their Vitality account

Read more in our latest sustainable development report.

We'll clarify the link between workplace health and productivity

We also draw on our own employee experience to better understand the link between workplace health and productivity. Research in our call centres showed productivity improvements of up to 16% in healthier employees. Research undertaken in the USA (Fabius, 2013), and replicated in SA (Malan, 2016), shows healthier companies outperforming the market by more than 50%, bringing greater value to their shareholders.

Employee in poor health had a
NEGATIVE 8.95% EFFECT
on productivity
Productivity -8.95% 6.5%
Base wellness
Compared with their healthier couterparts who had a
POSITIVE 6.5%
impact on overall productivity - a direct effect on the bottom line with healthier employees almost 16% more productive.
6.5%
compared with their heaither couterparts who had a
POSITIVE 6.5% EFFECT
impact on overall productivity - a direct effect on the bottom line with healthier employees almost 16% more productive.
-8.95%
Employee in poor health had a
NEGATIVE 8.95% EFFECT
on productivity

Read more in our latest sustainable development report.

Healthy communities

Our existence and growth ultimately depend on national healthcare systems that are functional, inclusive and resilient.

We'll help build a more resilient healthcare system.

As in many countries, South Africa struggles to train, develop and retain healthcare practitioners to meet the needs of its citizens, particularly in the area of primary health.

Discovery Foundation aims to alleviate some of these challenges by providing training in relevant sub-specialist areas and identifying talented candidates for skills development. Since its inception in 2006, it has invested over R189 million in support of 353 awards. At least 75% of Foundation awards and support goes to black South Africans.

Adopting a long-term, partnership approach, the Fund provides support to health policy, advocacy and infrastructure programmes.

Read more in our latest sustainable development report.

We'll contribute to a more inclusive health ecosystem.

A sustainable health system must be inclusive, which can be a challenge where large numbers of people, particularly the youth, are unemployed. Our contribution is to support black entrepreneurs and black-owned SMEs through preferential loans, incubation or direct mentorship.

By linking targeted entrepreneurs (such as black brokers or medical technologists) with our supply chain, we are able to deliver on multiple goals. These include accelerated transformation of our supply chain and increased access to quality healthcare.

We'll improve health and safety for target communities.

Discovery ForGood is a volunteer programme that enables our employees to learn contribute to development programmes in targeted communities. A long-term relationship with the community of Orange Farm, in partnership with the City of Johannesburg, allows for a coordinated and systematic engagement over time. The community identified youth development (including active and healthy lifestyles), ward-based outreach in primary healthcare, and access to employment opportunities as priority areas for practical assistance from Discovery employees.

By linking targeted entrepreneurs (such as black brokers or medical technologists) with our supply chain, we are able to deliver on multiple goals. These include accelerated transformation of our supply chain and increased access to quality healthcare.

Read more in our latest sustainable development report.

A healthy organisation

The basics of corporate responsibility form the necessary foundation in support of our effort to be a force for social good.

We'll be more equitable.

Hiring, retaining and promoting black and particularly African citizens is a priority to ensure that our employee profile better reflects South Africa's full talent context. Globally, we recognise the urgency in achieving a more accurate gender balance in the workplace, particularly in senior leadership positions.

We strive to lead transformation efforts in the financial sector and encourage frank and robust discussions about the opportunities and challenges in transformation.

Read more in our latest sustainable development report.

We'll be more environmentally responsible.

Although the direct environmental impact of our operations is relatively low, we recognise the urgency of action on climate change and the need for responsible environmental practices. We currently recycle 80% of our waste with a goal of zero waste to landfill by 2018.

Our new premises at 1 Discovery Place is a multi-award winning green-rated building, delivering 50% less water wastage and significant improvements in energy, carbon and waste management.

Read more in our latest sustainable development report.

We'll be accountable.

We continually reflect on the ethics and values that enable us to build strong relationships with a wide range of stakeholders.

We also handle highly sensitive data and follow rigorous standards of data management to ensure that we safeguard our clients' interests and the integrity of their personal data.

Aligning with various requirements, including the SA King Code on Corporate Governance (King IV), we continue to maintain our listing as a FTSE4Good Emerging Index constituent.

We have taken a strong stand against fraud, bribery and corruption: these are not tolerated in our company. Fraud management in the context of healthcare remains a particular challenge, including billing abuse. We have adopted a proactive approach to dealing with suspected fraud.

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