Sustainability Report

We firmly believe franchising is social responsibility at work every day. Entrepreneurship is a vital underpin to sustainable economic growth through the transfer of skills and job creation.
Introduction
Franchising is sustainable responsibility operating within our society every day. By providing the support infrastructure from which franchisees can build their businesses, create employment and transfer skills, franchising generally and Taste specifically is advancing the goals and soul inherent in the Department of Trade and Industry’s broad-based black economic empowerment guidelines particularly in line with the measures for skills development and enterprise development.
It is the platform from which best practices can be implemented because in the current business environment it is too easy for sustainability and adherence to the King Report on Corporate Governance (King III) to just become a tick-box exercise that is more about form than substance.
The Taste directors believe our heart is in being good corporate citizens and thus do not believe in shying away from vital company reporting on sustainability or in applying notions that translate into little more than window-dressing.
King III is an “apply or explain” basis meaning companies must apply the principles in the report unless the board believes application of a principle will not be in the company’s best interests. If a principle is not applied, or applied differently, the reasons must be explained.
King III states that the board issue an integrated report on its economic, social and environmental performance annually that contains adequate information on the company’s operations, the sustainability issues pertinent to its business, the financial results and the results of its operations and cash flows.
It further states the integrated reporting be focused on substance over form and disclose information that is complete, timely, relevant, accurate, honest and accessible and comparable with past performance. Forward-looking information must also be released.
These are all issues to which Taste holds value and to which the directors have a role to play in adhering to these commitments.
Franchising is built on skills transfer and the model’s sustainability depends on the financial success of its franchisees. At its core, franchising aligns the goals and spirit of sustainable development in the South African context with the business goals of a franchisor and shareholders.
Consequently Taste will be bound to balancing the demands and expectations of a growing number of stakeholders in reporting on the impact its goods and services has on those stakeholders. It is thus bearing in mind these responsibilities that Taste focuses on two areas, namely reducing our energy consumption and carbon footprint and developing leaders across South Africa as ours is a country crying out for skills.


Progress to date
Reducing our energy consumption and carbon footprint
Leadership development
Why it is a priority
Taste uses energy in its outlets to cook and/or prepare food and to manufacture jewellery. The forecast increases in the cost of electricity will affect franchisee and business profitability.
Why it is a priority
Developing the appropriate skills to deliver a profitable future strategy is an imperative. Developing a pipeline for future business unit leaders is similarly a priority.
Progress
Establishing an accurate baseline measure depends on the accuracy of the municipal billing systems and accurately measuring energy consumptions across more than 250 outlets has proved challenging. Despite the hurdles, we have implemented several measures to reduce consumption in existing and new outlets and standard installations now include:
  • Replacing halogen lights with LED lamps that consume only 6% of the former’s energy
  • Replacing air-conditioning units with evaporative coolers that consume only 20% of the former’s energy
  • Installing geyser and external signage timers to more than halve energy consumption
  • Using imported energy-efficient ovens in new pizza outlets.
Progress
Taste has made significant progress in line with its goal for developing South African leadership skills including:
  • Conducting individual assessments on 32 senior managers and implementing coaching interventions in each case
  • Instigating employee personal development plans
  • Canvassing more than 150 employees to assess the companywide strength and weaknesses;
  • Implementing an in-house Finance for Non-financial Managers course in Johannesburg and Cape Town for 25 managers
  • Ensuring the alignment of incentives to strategy as a priority across all layers of employees; and
  • Establishing a share incentive scheme for executive committee members.