Sabancı Group, allocates 44 percent of their R&D investments to sustainability


Sabancı Group, that has been the first Group that announced its long-term road map in Turkey in the area of sustainability with its 2050 goals it declared in recent months, shared its 2020 Sustainability Report with the public. Sabancı Holding, continuing its sustainability investments without pause, despite the negative business environment created by the pandemic, has been the first holding in Turkey to declare the number of products and services in this area with 828 products and services that contribute to the transition to sustainable economy in non-banking activities. Additionally, the total amount of investments made by the Holding in sustainable areas, R&D and environmental expenditures were realized as 287 million TL; while the share of sustainability focused R&D activities in total R&D activities have reached 44 percent. Commenting on the topic, Sabancı Holding CEO Cenk Alper, stated that they reviewed the Group Purpose last year as ‘We unite Turkey and the world for a sustainable life with leading enterprises’ and said, “Sustainability has always been one of the main priorities of the Sabancı Group. Three of the five main strategic areas under our Group Purpose are directly related to our sustainability policies. These are; pioneering sustainability in our geographies, lead in digital & material technologies and adapt to future of work. In the context of the Sustainability Road Map we determined in this direction, we make commitments and focus on taking pioneering steps for solutions to the climate emergency, increase our human and society focused positive influence and encourage sustainable business models.”

Cenk Alper: “We were the first Group to announce our 2050 goals”

Reiterating that as Sabancı Group they aim to reach Net Zero Emissions and Zero Waste by 2050 in all operations, Cenk Alper said; “We are proud to be the first Group to announce these long term goals to the public in Turkey and presenting our mission to be a pioneer and an example in such a vital subject like sustainability. We are focusing on areas like electrification, renewable energy, adapt to future of work, circular economy, sustainable finance, technology and digitalization in the transition to a low-carbon and inclusive economy. We continue to plan the steps for carrying out our operations as well as the operations of our customers toward a sustainable future. Within this context we have been the first Group to create an inventory of our sustainable products in Turkey.  An extensive taxonomy of which activities are sustainable has been established for the first time by the EU as a part of the Green Deal. We have also set criteria within our whole Group regarding sustainable products to lead the way for our goals for the coming years and classified these products.

We believe that the steps included in the Green Deal Action Plan will be instructive for all of us. As progress will be made in Turkey in this area we will continue to develop our own inventory. Yet, not wasting any time, especially regarding the climate issue, by carrying out this activity ahead of time, we have become a pioneer in Turkey.  At the same time, we have published a report in line with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) for the first time.”

Adding that within the activities of circular economy, the rate of water they brought back to the economy in 2020 is 19%, the rate of waste they recycled is 87%, Cenk Alper said that, “Within the framework of developing sustainable business models, our combined net sales revenues obtained from over 800 products and services that contribute to the transition to a sustainable economy have reached 5.9 billion TL. Having said that, last year Enerjisa Üretim has signed Turkey’s highest credit agreement regarding sustainability, worth a total of 650 million Euros with 7 banks. Our bank Akbank also committed to providing 200 billion TL of sustainable credit financing to our country and increase its sustainable investment funds balance to 15 billion TL until 2030.

“Reached 46 thousand people with social projects”

Stating that they view digitalization, technology and innovation as the most important accelerators to reach their sustainability goals, Cenk Alper said, “In 2020, 44% of our R&D and innovation expenditures were sustainability focused expenses.  We have continued to provide new generation digital solutions like big data, advanced data analytics, cyber-security, internet of things, robotic workforce ad artificial intelligence in 2020 as well, with SabancıDx that has an essential role in terms of digitalization within our Group. Within the context of our human and society focused activities, the Sabancı Group companies, with their support programs in establishing sustainable living conditions have reached 46 thousand people from the sensitive segments of the society only in the year 2020. In other words, apart from the activities of the Sabancı Foundation, Sabancı Group companies have reached 80% of the number of employees working in the Sabancı Group in the year 2020 with their socially focused projects.

Increased its score by 2 grades in nine months

Sabancı Holding, which has been one of the few companies that has managed to raise its MSCI Sustainability Index score by 2 grades in just nine months thanks to its sustainability focused projects and investments, is in the Borsa Istanbul Sustainability Index along with 6 of its group companies. Sabancı Holding representing Turkey in the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), one of the world’s leading business platforms regarding sustainability, is also a part of the global CFO Network of the Council that works in the area of sustainable finance. Additionally, Sabancı Holding is a Board Member of the Sustainable Development Association (SKD Turkey), the representative and business partner of WBCSD in Turkey and is also a Founding Member of the CNBC ESG Council where 55 executives from the world’s leading companies collaborate.