There is an increased focus on the role business can play to support the global effort around sustainable development and the 17 UN SDGs. Adopted by all UN member states in 2015, the SDGs provide the blueprint for a more sustainable future by addressing some of the biggest and most urgent global challenges. It provides guidance to how we might make a meaningful contribution in supporting all efforts in collectively achieving a positive outcome for future generations.

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Diversity and inclusion


No matter how large or small, and regardless of industry, all corporate citizens can make a meaningful contribution to the SDGs. While the scale and scope of the global goals are unprecedented, we believe that we can and are making a difference. We also support the UNGC principles and good practices and believe it forms the foundation for future innovation and collaboration to accelerate change in our circle of influence and in advancing the SDGs.

We have identified the SDGs where our core business activities and sustainability efforts can have the most impact and make a meaningful contribution.

To identify where we have and could still make a significant impact, considering our business and context, we reviewed how we were adding value to customers, how we were assisting employees, and where we were investing in communities through corporate social investment initiatives. This process highlighted the three primary SDGs described below, while further SDGs were identified and considered internally for potential action. However, we are not yet in a position where we can significantly contribute to the latter grouping.

What are the SDGs?

2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations member states in 2015, provides a shared the blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 SDGs, which are an urgent call for action by all countries – developed and developing – in a global partnership. They recognise that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand in hand with strategies that improve health and education,
educe inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.’

SDG 1: No poverty

End poverty in all its forms

Creating socio-economic value. Providing quality products and services at value prices reduces the burden of poverty for our customers. We provide competitive and affordable prices across a spectrum of needed and wanted products and services, demonstrated by our 96% best price leadership in PEP. Although we have some specialised offerings and cover a range of price points, most of our products are value-priced nondiscretionary items. Our extensive footprint allows us to leverage our scale to reduce costs and keep prices as affordable as possible. Layby and responsible credit options also assist households to better manage the balance between their income and expenses. Through our strategy of providing product, price and
convenience, we make the unaffordable affordable and give people the opportunity to live with dignity and pride. In our capacity as a significant employer, we ensure decent working conditions and expect the same across our supply chain. We fully support fair remuneration, reasonable working hours and compliant health and safety measures.

Only 8% of our sales is done on credit in the total group1, which indicates that most of our customers earn less than R8 000 p/hh/m

80% of total volume of PEP products priced at R100 or less

SDG 4: Quality education

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

Obtaining quality education is the key to sustainable development and sustainable communities. It has the power to dramatically improve quality of life by increasing employability. The group has two focus areas: early childhood development, and learnerships that focus specifically on youth and people with disabilities. This not only helps the country deal with engendering the independence of disabled persons, but also with the scourge of youth unemployment. We support social investment programmes and initiatives by contributing time, expertise and products.

Number of children supported in early childhood development (ECD) centres23 000 since 2008 (PEP Academies)

Number of learnerships 3 811 in FY22

CSI spend R233 million (total over five years)

Number of schools supported 200

SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth

Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

The group provides a substantial number of diverse employment opportunities, providing 49 700 people with jobs. We further invest in the development of our employees, all of whom have access to an extensive range of ongoing in-house training programmes.
The group upholds labour standards across our operations and expects the same within our value chains. Decent work involves employment that is productive, inclusive and supports freedom of association. Our services also provide access to insurance and financial services.

Increase in average training time invested (average h/emp) from FY19 86.77%

Number of employees49 700 in FY22

Total salaries paidR8.6 billion in FY22

As a good corporate citizen, we ensure we comply with all government prescripts. Our policy of non-discrimination prohibits any form of unfair discrimination and is guided by the principles of the Employment Equity Act and the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act.

We monitor our interventions in this area against the B-BBEE generic scorecard and set targets for the operating businesses on all the scorecard elements. KPIs are integrated at an operating business level for improved levels of change, participation and improvement.

B-BBEE improvement to Level 7

Percentage of black female employees 59.2% (permanent employees in South Africa)