The power of social good
Welcome to Discovery Group's 2019 Sustainable Development Report

A message from Discovery Group
CEO, Adrian Gore

Discovery’s purpose is to make people healthier and enhance and protect their lives. The health and wellbeing of our members, stakeholders and other constituents is part of our DNA and inseparable from our business model. Since Discovery’s inception in 1992, every product and service across the business has been built on the foundation of our Shared-Value business model, which has sustainable development at its core as it intersects with the needs of our clients, communities and nation.

Discovery’s revised Group strategy, Ambition 2023, provides a stretch goal to achieve greater scale and impact at a global level, and key to this is being a powerful force for social good. Through the Vitality Shared-Value business model and platform, Discovery – along with its global partners – is changing the way consumers experience financial services. What was once a grudge purchase based on pre-existing risk is now a dynamic and rewarding partnership that encourages healthy behaviour. Vitality operates an economy of behavioural change, where the currency is healthy choice and the interests of client, insurer and society are aligned.

The Group continues to innovate as we expand into new and adjacent industries (most recently banking) and into new markets, extending the impact of shared value. Our purpose, values and model ensure that as we scale, our people remain focused on being a powerful force for social good. As part of this, in partnership with our Vitality network of insurers, we have made a bold public pledge to transform global health by making:

100 million people
20% more active by 2025

It is a commitment to a social cause that is bigger than any individual organisation – it encompasses partnerships across sectors and nations that make people healthier on a global scale. It also stands as testament to a long-held belief – that if we take care of purpose, profits will follow.

Discovery has been a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact since 2015 and continues to uphold these principles as part of being a responsible corporate citizen.

Click here to see shared value in action

A message from Discovery Chief People Officer,
Tswelopele Kodisang

Given its focus on incentivising healthy behaviour, it is inevitable (and even desirable) that Discovery’s Shared-Value business model is broadly adopted by insurers worldwide. The model’s success is demonstrated in the outcomes from each new insurance partner we work with and in each country we enter. The challenge then for Discovery is how to stay ahead and maintain our leading position in shared-value insurance globally. That comes back to our people – in pioneering and ethical leadership linked to our core purpose, a skilled and engaged workforce with an eye for innovation, and a culture that supports life-long learning.

Discovery’s Sustainable Development team is revising the Group sustainability strategy. It is the result of widespread consultation with internal and external stakeholders, and will continue to give expression to what it means for us to be a powerful force for social good. It will also have a more direct link to the outcomes of Discovery’s Shared-Value business model and Ambition 2023, and become the pressure test of the extent to which the core business strategy is driving measurable social value.

We believe the revised strategy will enhance Discovery’s approach to sustainable development. It means that we are not simply responding to external forces in terms of sustainability, but measuring and reporting on relevant indicators that are aligned to our core business. It also challenges us as a business to test that every strategic decision we make and every product we develop is aligned to our objective of being a powerful force for social good.

The revised sustainability strategy will be submitted to the Social and Ethics Committee of the Board for final approval towards the end of 2019 and we will report against this strategy in the 2020 Sustainable Development Report. It will represent an evolution to a more aligned, measurable and business-driven strategy that reflects the interconnection between shared value and sustainability.

This report thus represents a transition between the previous and revised sustainability strategy.

About our report

The Discovery 2019 Sustainable Development Report provides details on how Discovery has delivered on its commitment to be a powerful force for social good.

We invite you to explore this website to read more about Discovery's journey to realising our ambitions for the good of our clients, our business, our community and society.

Details on our Sustainable Development report

We are constantly working to improve our reporting processes and the way in which we measure our impact and outcomes. We welcome stakeholder feedback on our strategy, initiatives and reporting, which can be sent to

Our material matters

Discovery has defined material sustainability matters for this report as those matters that will substantively impact a stakeholder’s evaluation of Discovery as a powerful force for social good.

The material matters were determined through interviews with executives and specialist teams across the South African and United Kingdom businesses on stakeholder concerns, key risks and management focus for the 2019 financial year. As a synthesis of the concerns of Discovery’s leadership and those of key stakeholders, material matters inform and describe strategic decisions in relation to the needs and perspectives of key stakeholders.

The material matters (accessed in the link below and mapped per section in this report) have defined the content to be included in this report.

We are committed to maturing the materiality determination process over time to provide a robust framework for our sustainability and annual integrated reporting.

Our material matters

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