SABMiller Pushes UN to Tackle Climate Change Effects in Latin America
There is an immediate need for more businesses to recognize the risks water scarcity poses to their company’s bottom line and the communities in which they operate in Latin America, according to a leading SABMiller executive.
Speaking at the Sustainable Innovation Forum, at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Lima, Fernando Zavala, the South African brewer's Peru Managing Director, stressed the increasing risks water scarcity poses to business and society, while also talking about the economic, social and environmental benefits of tackling climate change and investing in water security in the region.
More than 70% of the global brewer’s business is in developing markets, many of which already suffer from water scarcity.
Through its new sustainable development strategy, Prosper, SABMiller has set itself demanding targets to reduce water use and its carbon footprint throughout its whole value chain, from grain to glass. Now it is calling other businesses in the region to do the same.
Leading a closed VIP Roundtable with leaders from NGOs, multilaterals, government and other businesses on water scarcity today, Mr Zavala said: “Investing in the security of water in Latin America isn’t just an environmental issue – it’s a very real business risk, and an investment which contributes to our profits. It is in our interest to work with other businesses, local communities, and governments to tackle shared water risks in the region to secure and replenish the water basins we all depend on.”
Mr Zavala highlighted Latin America’s water challenges, a region which accounts for one-third of SABMiller’s profits - as a pertinent case study: “While abundant, water is often in the wrong place throughout Latin America, in areas of low population density. In Lima, for example, the 2nd driest city after Cairo, Egypt, nearly 15% of the population has no access to the water network and depends on more expensive ways of obtaining water. In Peru, like in our other markets, we are committed to growing sustainably - water security has become an important element of our work.”
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.