Our partners

Boréalis is the most advanced stakeholder engagement software that allows Synergy to minimize on unexpected risks, ensure compliance, and secure social licenses to operate. Whilst Synergy builds strong stakeholder engagement, data is organized through planning, engaging and measuring success.

Planning involves assessment, mapping and planning. This also includes allocating roles and documenting on the feedback on the execution. Engagement captures communication on the basis of a strategy reduce manual data entry by documenting and capturing the stakeholder data on stakeholder registers. Effective engagement also includes updating data directly from email communication, alerts on duplicate contacts and creating personalized emails. In measuring success, Borealis allows for quality reports, analytics and extracting insights from them.

This software is ISO 27001: 2005 certified as well as SOC 1 type II (SSAE 16 and ISAE 3402) and SOC 2 type II compliant. This means that it has an efficient response time to security incidents and a thorough approach to monitoring updates. Vulnerability management is maintained through an ongoing 24/7 monitoring of technical systems and infrastructure.

Human Rights

– Assessment, policy and goals:
• Synergy’s vision is that “Companies working in challenging environments secure their long-term value by creating positive social outcomes through the way they do business”. We work on social issues, helping companies understand the impacts they have on communities and helping them to deliver value for their shareholders and those impacted communities. This ethos starts in the office with the way we work with each other.

– Implementation:
• Our ethos is articulated in a Business Ethics Policy which is shared with all staff. It includes an explicit requirement to respect human rights and to promote human rights in the work that we do.
• Synergy delivers training and assurance on human rights practices to our clients as part of our commitment to a fair and equitable society.
• Synergy actively develops knowledge and understanding on human rights issues within our consulting group in order to support our clients understanding of what human rights represents in their contexts.
• Synergy conducted a Human Rights Due Diligence Assessment and Training for an International Extractive Company in 2018.
• Internal presentations on human rights challenges on specific projects to develop understanding within Synergy.
• A Synergy Director has been on the Board of Global Compact South Africa and has chaired the committee overseeing the human rights programme area of the Global Compact activities in South Africa.

– Measurement of outcomes:
• Synergy Directors review any issues raised, including anything related to human rights, internally as part of the monthly management meeting;
• Project risk assessments include assessment of client and community issues

Labour

– Assessment, policy and goals:
• Our staff are our greatest asset. Synergy is a majority employee owned company Synergy is an equal opportunity employer, and ensures that no requirement or condition is imposed, which could disadvantage individuals on basis of their sex, sexual orientation, race, marital status, religion, union membership or disability. In South Africa we have achieved level 2 Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment status and 5% of Synergy shares are owned by Ikusasa Trust, dedicated to empowering young black women in South Africa through support for education and training. In addition, Synergy runs a successful internship programme for young professionals in Oxford, Paris and Johannesburg. Synergy is also committed to promoting labour rights and developing ways to improve practices within the mining sector and internationally. We conduct training and assurance against international labour standards as a service to clients.

– Implementation:
• The Synergy Employee handbook has policies that ensure that both South African and UK labour laws are complied with. Synergy ensures that the working environment is safe and conducive. The policy allows for flexible working hours to accommodate those with caring responsibilities. As many of the Synergy employees travel and work in fragile states, Synergy has a robust travel risk assessment procedure and staff have been trained in safety and security risk management.
• Synergy periodically commissions expert reviews of its employee policies to ensure they meet laws and industry best practice
• The Business Ethics policy also requires that we meet individual and company responsibilities described in the International Labour Organisation declarations;
• Staff working time is monitored and periodic reviews are conducted with line managers.
• Synergy operates a time off in Lieu policy to ensure staff can take time off where working time has exceeded standard working hours;
• Synergy developed UNICEF Child Rights Guidance for the Mining Sector for UNICEF.
• Radio interview on Radio France International on artisanal mining, raising awareness on the topic and deconstructing some of the stories that surround it;
• Employee handbook reviews completed in the UK and South Africa.

– Measurement of outcomes:
• Synergy generates and reviews reports on working time of all consultant staff on a periodic basis;
• Project risk assessments include assessment of client and community issues;
• Audit reports completed by Synergy for clients include compliance with international labour laws where those standards are required. Any issues will be highlighted;

Environment

– Assessment, policy and goals:
• We are a small consulting company with offices in France, the UK and South Africa. We do not have a large infrastructure or carbon footprint. We use online and cloud assed applications to undertake much of our research and project work. We communicate with colleagues and clients through a range of online applications and use digital document management in almost all cases. Trips and travel are coordinated across offices and minimised where possible. Where it is possible client engagement and site visits are performed by the closest Synergy team.

– Implementation:
• All offices recycle their waste including printer cartridges and electrical equipment;
• All offices are committed to reducing electricity consumption, including using low energy bulbs;
• Travel planning is done on a weekly basis. Where it is possible client engagement and site visits are performed by the closest Synergy team.

Anti-Corruption

– Assessment, policy and goals:
• Synergy has zero tolerance on corruption. Synergy is committed to a culture where bribery by any employee or third party is unacceptable. Failure to comply with any part of the bribery and corruption policy will result in disciplinary action.

– Implementation:
• Synergy has a bribery and corruption policy that complies with UK and South African bribery and anti-corruption acts
• Synergy’s standard terms and conditions of contracting include anti bribery and corruption clauses.
• Synergy recognises that bribery and corruption is a risk and it is explicitly considered as part of Synergy’s project risk management and travel planning processes.

– Measurement of outcomes:
• Synergy’s internal risk management process includes an assessment of the region and country as well as the client
• The Directors monthly meeting includes a review of any issues raised, including related to bribery and corruption
• Synergy accounts are independently audited on an annual basis

The iKusasa Trust was initiated by Synergy Global Consulting and Activate Architecture in 2009 – imagining the potential for a better future for people and planet. The trust offers opportunities to young black South African women, who have the potential to shape this vision.

The primary objective is focused on the skills development of promising young black South African woman who have the potential to become influential leaders and; in particular, have the potential to contribute to sustainable urban and rural development.

The iKusasa Trust originally registered in 2009 and was amended in 2015 to align with the Amended DTI Generic B-BBEE Codes currently in force. There have been 5 beneficiaries who have received funds from partner companies for tertiary study programmes at the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of Johannesburg.

There are six trustees on the Board of Trustees, the composition of which complies with the demographic requirements of the DTI B-BBEE Amended Codes:

• Siza Majola (Chairperson, Human Resources)
• Nkosie Ndlovu (Director of Synergy Global, Corporate Social Responsibility)
• Buhle Mathole (Architect and Principle of Kabu Design Architects)
• Nirvana Pillay (Consultant in Capacity Development, Welfare and Education)
• Paul Kapelus (Director of Synergy Global, Corporate Social Responsibility)
• Michael Magner (CCO of Activate Architecture)

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