Sub-Saharan Africa - Sustainable investment on the rise

18 August 2011 - Financial Mail, Lise Pretorius

Sustainable investment in sub-Saharan Africa is on the rise. Not only are investors and companies under increasing pressure to take sustainability seriously in the run-up to COP17 (the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, to be held in Durban this year), but SA has become a regional front-runner in promoting sustainable investment practices. SA is Africa’s biggest institutional investment market, with invested assets worth more than R4trillion and retirement funds of about half that amount. ..... But it is not to say that sustainable investment in general asset management is not growing. SA is already a world leader when it comes to governing listed equities on the JSE, most notably through King 3, which makes it mandatory for companies to include ESG analysis in their corporate reporting from 2011, through what is called integrated reporting. In reaction to local and international pressure, all four major SA banks have adopted the Equator Principles for project financing, through applying the IFC’s environmental and social standards to deals in Africa. Read More.