Sustainable business | WWF South Africa

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Sustainable business

Our mutual partnerships aim to deliver direct conservation results on key issues and priority areas by changing operations and value chain practices, embedding stewardship and seeking sustainable business models.
All companies rely on natural resources but their operations often impact negatively on the environment. Economic growth has come at the cost of increased pressure on natural resources. With a rising demand for food, fibre and fuel, our planetary boundaries have been overstepped.

WWF works with targeted industries and companies whose products, practices, supply chains and business models can make - with sustainability strategically in mind - collective impact at scale, creating shared value for people and nature. By partnering with WWF and becoming part of the solution, companies benefit as well through greatly improved environmental impacts, more sustainable supply chains, improved stakeholder relations, greater efficiency and better risk management. Business is primed to lead the rapid adaptation and innovative solutions needed to drive change.

We work with business in a number of ways with investors, consumer groups and policymakers to drive the change we need to achieve a greener, more resilient and sustainable economy.

It’s about corporate stewardship - businesses protecting and securing natural capital - the natural habitats and agricultural landscapes they source or derive benefit from, addressing social issues, and creating local economic benefits, whilst taking action to address climate change.

Do sustainable business with WWF

For more information, contact:

Stephen Elliott-Wetmore on +27(0)21-657-6600 or

How do we do this?

We focus on six critical elements with the greatest impact on our economy, society and environment. These are water, food, energy, fibre, land & biodiversity, and waste. We guide sustainability approaches and create stakeholder engagement opportunities for businesses in building future resilience, while making a positive contribution to the natural world.

1. Better Management Practices

Through innovative practices such as WWF-SASSI, our Conservation Champions in the Cape winelands, SUSFARMS® and Better Barley Better Beer, we help producers to reduce negative environmental impacts, improve livelihoods and increase market access. We also support the uptake of independent, credible certification schemes such as the Forest Stewardship Council, Marine Stewardship Council and Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, the Better Cotton Initiative and Bonsucro that help reduce impacts. These are just a small part of WWF’s work internationally but are most significant in the South African context.

We possess the expertise and provide practical tools such as the Supply Chain Risk Analysis and the Water Risk Filter in identifying and reducing company risks and shaping appropriate responses for sustainable growth.

2. Shaping a Collective Response

The best indicator of a partnership’s success is further partnerships. We encourage and forge collaborative responses with market leaders in transforming their operations and supply chains, and increase scale through industry platforms and associations so that we have positive impact together.

3. Sustainable Finance

We help financial institutions, businesses and corporations reduce their risk to the natural world while providing financial mechanisms that protect and encourage sustainable ecosystems.

We seek to integrate long-term financial risks and opportunities into mainstream finance and lending. These extra-financial issues, such as carbon, water and biodiversity, are increasingly important to financing decisions.

Our work helps and challenges pension funds, asset managers, insurance companies and other financial institutions, integrating environmental and social issues into their business strategies.

4. Science-Based Targets

WWF works with companies to reduce carbon pollution and adopt more renewable energy, both in their own operations and along their supply chain.

Although today’s climate impacts are serious and must be addressed, there is still time to avoid the most severe consequences of climate change. If we act now, we can better prepare for these risks and shift the way our nation, and the world, chooses and uses energy, which is by far the greatest driver of climate change.

For four decades, WWF has been part of the movement to fight this global crisis. Our vision is a world powered by renewable energy, where communities and ecosystems are resilient in the face of climate changes. We engage millions of South Africans, leading businesses and government leaders to realize this future. Setting science-based targets provides businesses with a leadership strategy to meet goals that reduce GHG emissions, identify and advance projects to protect their resources from climate impacts, and ensure the sustainability of their core business.
WWF knows that preparing local communities, helping ecosystems adapt to rapid change, and reducing the emissions that drive climate change are critical to a safer world for ourselves, our children and the rest of life on Earth.

5. Public Policy

We complement voluntary approaches by working with government to shape regulation in areas such as forests and fisheries management, banking, biofuels and public procurement.

6. Consumers

We work to inform consumer awareness and drive demand for sustainable production and services (the efficient provision of sufficient nutrients, ensuring equitable benefits and access with a minimum footprint) and their better use while reducing waste.

Sustainable business partners

Alexander Forbes Investments

Working together towards sustainable investment portfolios
WWF and Alexander Forbes Investments are aligned towards influencing and driving change within and throughout the financial sector. Together we enhance responsible investment and environmental sustainability. The aim is to inform and then guide the investment management industry towards positive environmental impact.
Working together towards sustainable investment solutions.


Partners in responsible forest, manufacturing and product stewardship
Mondi and WWF entered into a global partnership in 2014 focusing on minimising the impacts of its operations on forests, climate and water by demonstrating that responsible practices in the packaging and paper sectors makes good business sense.
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WWF Mondi global partnership badge


Partners in conservation for over 20 years
The relationship between WWF and Nedbank is steeped in history, initiated with the creation of the WWF Nedbank Green Trust that supports environmental conservation. Since 2012, Nedbank has partnered with us to create sustainable agriculture in South Africa. We aim to promote awareness and incentivise the implementation of environmentally friendly and sustainable practices within agricultural sectors that share large spatial footprints with priority biodiversity hotspots or water source areas.
WWF/Nedbank partnership badge 2017

Pick ‘n Pay

Working together to secure the benefits of healthy oceans
Pick ‘n Pay and WWF’s partnership includes transformation around its seafood procurement strategies, a focus on small-scale fisheries funding support for the Seafood Market Transformation Programme.

The partnership helps Pick ‘n Pay meet its sustainable seafood commitments announced in 2011. To achieve the targets, WWF assists Pick ‘n Pay in engaging suppliers and fisheries on the sustainability of the seafood it sells, as well as labelling and traceability within its operations.
WWF Pick n Pay partnership badge

Responsible Fisheries Alliance

Irvin & Johnson
Oceana Group
Pioneer Fishing
Sea Harvest Corporation (Pty) Ltd
Viking Fishing Holdings (Pty) Ltd
These five fishing companies are part of the Responsible Fisheries Alliance, a collaborative forum for environmental NGOs (including WWF), and responsible fishing companies working together to secure the health of the ecosystems that underpin the business purpose of both sectors ensuring that healthier marine ecosystems will continue to provide more ecological, social and economic services to society Irvin & Johnson is also a member of the WWF SASSI Retailer/Supplier Participation Scheme.
Responsible Fisheries Alliance


Together, conserving South Africa’s marine and freshwater resources
Our relationship with Sanlam has evolved since 2006 to support WWF’s marine and freshwater programmes. We have entered into a third phase partnerships (2015-2017) that will see continued support of WWF’s freshwater work and focus on transforming Sanlam’s business in terms of environmental sustainability.
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WWF and Sanlam partnership badge


Working together to influence sustainable supply chains
WWF-SA and Woolworths enjoy a multifaceted partnership driving sustainability. The partnership aims to achieve conservation outcomes by helping suppliers produce sustainable products and creating awareness among Woolworths’s customers.

Woolworths works with suppliers on its dairy, beef, seafood and textiles operations while furthering its carbon and water efficiency strategies. WWF has been working with Woolworths to reduce its water use after becoming the first retailer to join the Water Balance Programme
WWF/Woolworths partnership badge.