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Sanlam Awards for Excellence in Financial Journalism Introduces New Award Categories

14 December 2022

Co-sponsors Sanlam and Santam are pleased to introduce a new category for the Sanlam Group Awards for Excellence in Financial Journalism: The Environmental, Social, and Governance category (ESG) which will comprise two sub-categories. Both categories seek to acknowledge journalism that vividly reports on the critical issues about ESG.

The sub-categories are “Business and the Environment” and “Business and Society”. The coordinators of the awards have prepared some definitions and guidance for the kind of reporting that may be submitted.

Business and the Environment category

With an increasing number of catastrophic, climate-related events affecting populations and geographies, we’re seeing business leaders intensifying their focus on climate and environmental sustainability.

Private and public sector executives are beginning to acknowledge the business imperative of climate change. And they are beginning to respond and act on the mounting pressure from stakeholders and risks to their businesses.

The ways in which business responds to environmental and particularly climate challenges, as well as the opportunities of ESG provide a field filled with possibilities for insightful and critical reporting.

Business and Society category

Corporations express their societal engagement and responsibilities to direct stakeholders and the wider society in many ways.

Businesses are expected to be responsible and transparent in the way they operate and with due attention to the impact that they have on their stakeholders.

Companies are increasingly looking at innovation to address the opportunities ESG presents, including changes to their business model or optimising new technologies.

Employees, consumers, investors, and governments are increasingly concerned about whether the way goods and services are provided is fair and ethical.

The Business and Society award category requires reporting that goes beyond recording charitable or social investment activities.

Why a new ESG category for these awards?

The media has a critical role to play in ensuring informative, insightful, and critical coverage of the ESG issues driving global and continental policy and investment activities.

Reporting on ESG performs critical functions that include but are not limited to:

  • Highlighting environmental and social issues that need to be known and understood and educating audiences accordingly;
  • Seeking accountability when things go wrong;
  • Demonstrating progress against defined milestones and targets;
  • Balancing reporting on scientific issues without being alarmist;
  • Triggering actions by responsible authorities;
  • Evaluating the ethics of business conduct;
  • Articulating outcomes of business interaction with the environment and society; and
  • Highlighting financial impacts of the positive and negative outcomes that organisations may have generated in their interaction with the environment and society.

What the independent judging panel wants you to know about this category

The reason for introducing these categories is to acknowledge the critical role of ESG from a financial and non-financial perspective in contributing to a company’s resilience. Additionally, this category will look at financial journalists who have contributed to the broader sustainability agenda, adding to the debate by insightfully addressing core issues from an African perspective.

In particular, the judges are looking for submissions that:

  • Bring attention not only to the science of climate change but also the human dimension and related impacts;
  • Draw clear linkages between the environment, society and climate change;
  • Articulates and advances Africa’s position and role in the ESG debate; and
  • Are more than adaptations of content originally generated outside of Africa for Africa’s readers, viewers, and listeners.

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