Reducing the industry carbon footprint is becoming more important than ever

Sustainability at Bidvest Materials Handling

Everything we do is built on our understanding of sustainability, which enables us to successfully balance business growth with social and environmental issues.  Increased usage of more capable electric trucks and alternative power solutions reduces environmental impact. Alternative fuel solutions are being driven by customer demand to support environment and sustainability efforts across customers, businesses, manufacturers and suppliers.

As the impact of climate change and inequality become more and more evident, the need for all stakeholders to ensure common cause, understanding and purpose, and to avoid damaging the environmental and social status for future generations, has become a critically important imperative. We recognize that people are the enabler of our business and a critical resource that needs to be nurtured, developed and supported.

Our sustainability strategy, focused on areas where we can make the biggest difference, culminated in an ESG Framework. The notion of stakeholder capitalism and sustainable enterprise value creation resonates strongly with the Group and for this reason we have set innovative, measurable and challenging targets for our leadership to implement this framework. This will ultimately ensure the continued generation of long-term value for shareholders, for all other members of stakeholder society and for the planet we share.

Reducing the industry carbon footprint is becoming more important than ever:

  • Increased emphasis on emission reduction and green initiatives.
  • Reliable, affordable and clean energy access is a key to achieving ambitious CO2 emission cuts.
  • Two main technological pathways for CO2 reduction; smart usage of CO2 and direct CO2 avoidance.

Our ESG Framework sets our focus areas and targets to achieve our objectives and meet our commitments, all while delivering the Bidvest strategy. These focus areas include:

  • Reduce our carbon, water and waste footprint by a further 20% by 2025;
  • We want to be an inclusive employer with females making up 35–45%, and African people representing 50% of the SA businesses’ management by 2025;
  • Become SA’s leader in supply chain transformation by targeting more than 90% local sourcing from suppliers that have a Level 4 or better B-BBEE rating;
  • Ensuring that our supply chain partners are responsible in their dealings, that we contribute to the circular economy while protecting and enhancing livelihoods; and
  • Conducting business with uncompromising integrity will remain our cornerstone and actively manage cybersecurity risk.


Conduct profitable business in a responsible and accountable manner


Caring for the Bidvest family and driving positive change through partnerships and social dialogue


Doing the right thing even when no one else is looking

Environment: Conduct profitable business in a responsible and accountable manner

In line with SDGs aimed at affordable and clean energy and climate action, the Group is focused on energy and water efficiency, responsible waste management, and innovative solutions to aid customer sustainability.

Social: Caring for the Bidvest family and driving positive change through partnerships and social dialogue

In line with SDGs aimed at good health and well-being and gender equality, the Group is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace with equal opportunities conducive to learning and personal development. In particular, the Group continues to promote and offer out-of-home hygiene services and integrated facilities management services in order to support safe and healthy occupational environments.

The Group is proud to be a deep-rooted corporate citizen in South Africa, as it is highly engaged in community development activities, with a particular focus on enhancing education, health, economic advancement and diversity. Investing in communities and human capital and supporting local suppliers, affords us the opportunity to operate, do business in and draw skills from the communities in which we operate.

The social element of ESG is of particular importance to Bidvest as it is one of the largest private sector employers and touches multiple sectors and communities. We incorporated the Bidvest blueprint, identified risks and relevant stakeholders in formulating our aims and commitments as it relates to social matters in our ESG Framework. The measurements identified will assist in achieving these commitments in the period to 2025. As we continue on this journey, our measurement data will become richer allowing us to be even more targeted and deliberate.

Governance: Doing the right thing even when no one else is looking

Bidvest has a deeply entrenched functional governance structure that places significant reliance on the ethical behaviour of all employees. This places a very high hurdle of responsibility and accountability on everyone. Rather than having many policies and manuals, we have a Code of Ethics that sets out our behaviour. When someone missteps, decisive action is taken, and communicated back into the business. An authority matrix forms the backbone of day-to-day governance.

Formal reporting structures complement business-level processes that result in dynamic and iterative risk assessments and mitigation actions. Relevant management and executive committees have been structured into each of the six divisions. These in turn report into divisional boards, represented by the divisional exco as well as representatives from Bidvest’s corporate office executives. Matters from these divisional board meetings are escalated further to the Exco, which is attended by the Group directors and functional executives (covering strategy, M&A, finance, transformation, ESG, business development) as well as the six divisional CEOs. The three executive directors in turn report into the main Group board of directors, directly or through the established committees.


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