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The green economy
Success stories in
- sustainable mining
Traveling the green road
Building our future
Pollution and plastics
The public sector and
practice in your business
- a South African perspective
entrepreneurship Sustainability in the workplace
A time to give back
Sustainable finance in
ESG moves into mainstream
Corporate fraud and auditing
- what are the solutions? Powering Ahead
How to embed ESG best-
- CSI in the wake of COVID-19 Diversity in the workplace
Africa’s mining sector
investing - a global view challenges - 5 lessons
The future of sustainability is circular
CREDITS CEO Ralf Fletcher Financial Director Haley Fletcher
TOPCO STUDIO Production Director Van Fletcher
Kimberly-Clark South Africa
Old Mutual Investment Group
National Energy Regulator of South Africa
Total Serve Facilities Management
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E D IT OR’S NOTE
Doing good business for people, profit and planet
ESG criteria are an increasingly popular way for investors to evaluate companies in which they might want to invest - and avoid
Disruption and sustainability are 2 terms
companies that may pose a financial risk
which at first seem contradictory but which
due to their non-sustainable practices.
we need to embrace in order to thrive abundantly. Disruption is being driven
“Environmental, social, and governance
by technology and sustainability by an
(ESG) criteria help investors find companies
understanding that long term solutions and
with values that match their own. However
practices require immediate application.
ESG criteria have a practical purpose beyond ethical concerns. As ESG-minded
This publication – ESG: The Future of
business practices gain more traction,
Sustainability takes a deep dive into its
investment firms are increasingly tracking
three interdependent pillars:
their performance. Financial services companies such as JPMorgan Chase, Wells
Fargo, and Goldman Sachs have published
• Carbon emissions
annual reports that extensively review
• Energy efficiency
their ESG approaches and the bottom-line
• Climate change • Water scarcity SOCIAL • CSI • Diversity • Green jobs in the green economy GOVERNANCE • Business ethics • Sustainable asset management • How to embed ESG practices
results.” - Investopedia According to Bloomberg, investor interest in ESG funds, alongside market appreciation, drove a 37% annual increase in assets in 2017, outpacing the 23% return for the MSCI World Index. We hope you enjoy the read!
CONTR IB UTOR S
CONTRIBUTORS CHRISTINE MEYER
EUGENE VISAGIE Portfolio Specialist
Morningstar Investment Management South Africa.
Head of Sustainable Finance
Water Research Commission
Head of Mining and Metals
Sustainability Research Morningstar, EMEA, APAC
Standard Bank Group
MICHAEL GREEN Counsel
Latham & Watkins, Environment, Land & Resources Department, London
Standard Bank Group
Partner and Chair
Latham & Watkins’ Environment, Land & Resources Department, London
Founder, Director and Head
Head of ESG Engagement
Old Mutual Investment Group
Morningstar Investment Management South Africa.
Policy and Futures Unit WWF South Africa.
Operations, Indalo Inclusive, South Africa
Circular Plastics Economy Programme World Wide Fund for Nature.
“ The world needs to move away from economic models that value growth for growth’s sake towards a circular economy.” - President Cyril Ramaphosa
“ As the dominant species on this planet, it is our moral duty to protect and preserve all forms of life.” – Sir David Attenborough
“If you put your staff first, your customer second and shareholders third, effectively, in the end, the shareholders do well, the customers do better and you yourself are happy.” – Sir Richard Branson
“ I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.” ― Greta Thunberg
“ There is no such thing as ‘away’ – when you throw something away it must go somewhere.”
“There is no planet B.” – Mike Berners-Lee
– Annie Leonard
“ It’s going to be up to ordinary superheroes like us to actually change and commit to social responsibility.” – Anjuli Pandit
“2020 is a tipping point for ESG.” – Adena Friedman
“Earth is what we all have in common.” – Wendell Berry
“It is not an investment if it is destroying the planet.” – Vandana Shiva
“ Cabinet has approved three key actions that will contribute to an environment that is not only healthy for all South Africans, but also able to contribute effectively to sustainable economic development and job creation. During its meeting on 9 September 2020, Cabinet approved the Presidential Climate Change Coordinating “ Good governance is perhaps the single
Commission (PCCCC) to coordinate and oversee the
most important factor in eradicating
just transition. Also approved was South Africa’s Low
poverty and promoting development.”
Emissions Development Strategy and the revised
– Kofi Annan
National Waste Management Strategy 2020.” –D epartment of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries 7
THE EVOLUTION OF RESPONSIBLE INVESTING Jon Duncan, Head of Responsible Investment at Old Mutual Investment Group, talks sustainable investment in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis and the valuable lessons learned.
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed a great deal in recent months, highlighting the shortcomings of society that were vulnerable to begin with, and the interconnected nature of our social, biophysical and market ecosystems. It’s been argued that it represents the watershed moment for working-from-home, as well as under-the-skin surveillance. We believe that it is a defining moment for the active incorporation of Responsible Investing (RI) principles into asset management. The concept of RI – beyond just environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations The United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) defines RI as “a strategy and practice to incorporate ESG factors in investment decisions and active ownership”. While ESG investing is a term often used synonymously with sustainable investing, RI, however, is much broader. The concept is not just based on values, ethics or morals – while this may be a consideration. Rather, it aims to maximise long-term risk-adjusted returns by incorporating ESG risk factors into investment decision-making and active ownership. This practice recognises that there are a host of non-financial risks that impact asset allocation and, to be responsible custodians of capital, investment managers need to incorporate active ownership.
ESG incorporation and active ownership can be undertaken in various ways and are informed by the type of investment being considered. Applied RI adds value to clients’ portfolios leveraging its ability to manage their liabilities by hedging interest rate and inflation risk while also providing alpha to client funds. ESG integration ESG integration is the systematic and explicit inclusion of ESG factors in traditional financial analysis. It undertakes ESG risk assessments on each investee company to identify material risks and to establish the financial implications of those risks materialising, with the aim of ascertaining the merits of the investment. Old Mutual Investment Group (OMIG) has evolved in further formalising the approach to screening, as well as becoming more active owners of assets through stewardship. Screening responsible investments Screening utilises a dynamic method whereby portfolio managers run proposed investments through a four-pillar framework before analysts perform their fundamental analysis with ESG incorporation. This four-pillared framework is designed to consider the investing nuances and aims to establish the favourability of an investment from a responsible investing angle, before conducting a deep dive into the fundamentals. The first pillar considers the debt type: is it a
INVESTMENT GROUP 175 YEARS OF DOING GREAT THINGS Old Mutual Investment Group (Pty) Ltd (Reg No 1993/003023/07) is a licensed financial services provider, FSP 604, approved by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (www.fsca.co.za) to provide intermediary services and advice in terms of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act 37 of 2002. Old Mutual Investment Group (Pty) Ltd is wholly owned by the Old Mutual Investment Group Holdings (Pty) Ltd
bond or a loan? Loans typically have stronger protections and legal terms are more negotiable than bonds. Having stronger protections and being able to add ESG-related wording to legal agreements increases the favourability of an investment from a responsible investing perspective. The second pillar considers the listing status of the issuer, as both private and public companies can issue debt. JSE-listed issuers tend to have significantly better disclosure than their non-listed counterparts. These companies are also more likely to adhere to voluntary guidelines like the King IV Code, which makes assessing ESG risks easier. The third pillar considers the industry or sector that an issuer belongs to. Certain sectors may be more favourable from an ESG perspective (such as renewable energy). There are also external risks that could impact entire industries; for example, the introduction of a carbon tax can be significant for issuers in the fossil fuels industry. The final pillar in this framework utilises the OMIG RI team’s proprietary model to determine a quantitative ESG profile score of a potential investee company. Using the outcomes of all four pillars, portfolio managers can decide whether the proposed investment is favourable or not from a RI perspective, and could also assist analysts by directing them to specific focus areas when conducting their fundamental analysis.
Stewardship: be an active owner Important components of RI are active ownership or stewardship. Actively engaging with companies on ESG risk factors is necessary to ensure that companies operate sustainably, thereby enhancing risk-adjusted returns for clients. This engagement can be undertaken on an individual basis when engaging management teams on roadshows, or in collaboration with other stakeholders in more open forums. COVID-19 and beyond The pandemic has illustrated that RI practices are a fundamental requirement in risk assessment. For early adopters of ESG incorporation like ourselves, the pandemic has resulted in us viewing these risk factors holistically. The concept of an essential service will now garner more attention and aptly demonstrates the trade-offs one needs to consider when performing these assessments. Our stewardship expertise service is available to institutional investors wanting to be active owners of the assets they manage, while performing fiduciary responsibilities focused on delivering sustainable long-term returns to clients.
To answer more of your investment related questions, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit oldmutualinvest.com
VODACOM IN PURSUIT OF CONNECTING
FOR A BETTER FUTURE Takalani Netshitenzhe, Chief Officer for External Affairs at Vodacom South Africa, shares Vodacom’s vision of building an inclusive digital society that transforms communities, embraces everyone, and does not come at the cost of the planet. At Vodacom, we are on a journey to improve the lives of the next 100 million customers and halve our environmental impact by 2025, by focusing on three pillars, namely digital society (connecting people and things to the internet); Inclusion for all (leaving no one behind) and Planet (minimising our impact on the environment). As part of our commitment to creating a digital society, we have invested in increasing our network coverage and developing platforms that provide access to a range of life-enhancing services beyond communications. Vodacom now has 377 rural network sites, extending coverage to communities in South Africa that were previously not connected, and our fibre penetration has reached more than 109 536 homes and businesses in the country.
fu t u re o fs u sta i n a b i l i ty.c o.z a
Through our inclusion for all pillar; we believe that the opportunities and promise of a better digital future should be available to all. Through our education ecosystem and digital platforms for education, such as e-School and Instant Schools, we are making education more accessible, ensuring that even the most vulnerable are not left behind on the journey towards a connected, digital future. With more urgent and sustained action needed to address climate change, we
believe that our business success should not come at a cost to the planet. In
anticipation of the increasing demand for
digital services, which increases Vodacom’s energy consumption, we are securing
alternative energy sources where feasible,
and promoting energy efficiency awareness across our workforce.
Furthermore, we realise that water is a
scarce resource and have implemented
various water-saving measures within our
operations. Our waste management policy prioritises the reuse and recycling
of redundant equipment, minimising
waste across our value chain. Through our commitment to halve our
environmental impact in the next five
years, hope to contribute to a sustainable future for everyone.
VODACOM GROUP LIMITED P ROF IL E
COMPANY STATISTICS / DEMOGRAPHICS / HISTORY
Year founded: 1994 Employees: 7641 Branches: Head Office (Midrand, Gauteng) Memberships: United Nations Global Compact, National Business Initiative, World Wide Fund for Nature Environmental consultants: Carbon Calculated Current customer base: 116 million New products: ConnectU, VodaPay, VodaLend New acquisitions: Safaricom, Vodafone Ghana
BUSINESS & FINANCE
Turnover: R90.7 billion Financial year-end: 31 March 2020 Main Subsidiaries: Vodacom DRC, Vodacom Mozambique, Vodacom Lesotho, Vodacom Tanzania Holding company: Vodafone Sponsor Bank: UBS South Africa (Pty) Limited Auditors: Ernst & Young Inc. Current customer base: 116 million (including Safaricom)
CONTRACTS & AWARDS
Industrial standards: Prescribed by the Regulator ICASA Environmental health & safety standards: ISO14001 Environmental Management System ISO rating: ISO9001 Certified Recent awards: Kantar BrandZ Top 30 Most Valuable South African Brands - Vodacom placed 4th overall in the Top 10, and 1st in the telco industry (September 2020) Recent major contracts: Vodacom Group and the SADC Banking Association have signed a memorandum of understanding that will allow the Vodacom Group to join the South African Development Community’s Transactions Cleared on an Immediate Basis (TCIB) payment scheme.
ESG & TRAINING
ESG initiatives: Vodacom has embarked on a purpose led journey to connect for a better future through focussing on three pillars: Digital Society, Inclusion for All and Planet. Under each of these pillars are dedicated programmes which aim to drive progress towards improving the lives of the next 100 million customers and halving our environmental impact ESG Training programmes: Vodacom has a digital learning platform, Vodafone University with learning content on various ESG aspects. Employees are also encouraged to attend job specific training programmes as part of their learning and development programmes
How do you measure the success of your corporate accountability? We are evaluated by various institutions including ESG rating agencies, investors and analysts throughout the year. Our ESG performance is measured by rating agencies including Sustainalytics, the Financial Times and London Stock Exchange (FTSE), the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) How do you report your ESG activities to stakeholders? Our performance on ESG activities is disclosed publicly on the company website and in Vodacom’s annual Integrated and Sustainability Reports Which methods do you use to measure the direct and indirect impact of your organisation’s activities on the world? There are various mechanisms which Vodacom uses to measure the direct and indirect impact of its activities including ongoing risk assessments, reputation surveys, media reports, customer feedback surveys and socio-economic impact studies in our operating markets to name a few.
FAST FACTS Sustainable highlights and developments Vodacom has a significant role to play in contributing to society. Our purpose journey aims to improve the lives of the next 100 million customers and halve our environmental impact by 2025 which will be delivered across three pillars: Digital Society; Inclusion for All; and Planet. We aspire to enable an inclusive and sustainable digital society and remain dedicated to ensuring that Vodacom operates responsibly and ethically. This is an area, which we believe is more important than ever, given the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and the role business plays in supporting society during this period of uncertainty and change.
CONTACT INFORMATION CEO: Mohammed Shameel Aziz Joosub Managing Director: Balesh Sharma Financial Director: Raisibe Morathi Physical address: Vodacom Corporate Park, 082 Vodacom Boulevard, Midrand, 1685 Postal address: Private Bag X9904, Sandton, 2146 Telephone: +27 (0) 11 653 5000 Website: https://www.vodacom.com Toll-free / call centre / customer care number: 082 135
CHANNEL AFRICA THE AFRICAN PERSPECTIVE
Channel Africa is South Africa’s international public broadcast radio station whose primary audience is the entire African continent. Our secondary audience is the rest of the world, where we harvest our news and information. As an International Public Broadcaster, our core values subscribe to the highest journalistic ethics which find expression in fairness, accuracy, and impartiality. Channel Africa is a platform through which Africa is engaged in debate with itself, and recognises South Africa as a role player in continental and international affairs.
Vision: “The African Perspective” Mission: “to promote the regeneration, revival, and rejuvenation of Africa, through the production and broadcast of dynamic, stimulating, and interesting programmes”. Contact Information: Tel: 011 714 2997 Fax: 011 714 2072 Email: email@example.com Web: www.channelafrica.co.za Twitter: channelafrica1 Instagram: channelafricaradio DSTV:802
GIANTFUSE CAPITAL PARTNERS IN T ERVIEW
GIANTFUSE How does your organisation champion sustainable development?
Giantfuse is conscious of the environmental effects of its activities and those of its investments and recognises the need to minimise avoidable adverse environmental impacts where possible. We recognise the importance of ensuring that our own and our investments’ labour conditions, health and
LENNsafety AHguidelines C and wages are fair and are than those required by local laws. ACnot IRless FA EVITCEPSREP NACIRFA EHT
How does your organisation plan to respond to climate change?
We strive to lessen our imprint and to
What role do you think local business
Our message to investors looking to
innovative responses to social and
In today’s hyper-efficient markets, the
can play in the development of environmental challenges?
Local businesses can make a difference by continuously working towards improving our business practices to reduce environmental impact, and to develop customised investment solutions across
possible, to continuously work towards improving our business practices to reduce
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The institutional investor playbook is changing. We envision a future where there is far more productive and greater wellbeing, and wealth for the next generations.
communities and the environment. And to constantly Increase the awareness of environmental, social and governance within their corporate structures and to all stakeholders within their organizations. How do you achieve good financial
returns while contributing to the world’s
is the embodiment of an investment
”evitcepsreP nacirfA ehT“ :noisiV
enough, especially in developing markets.
and the risk and return spectrum to support
,dlrow egeneral ht fo tconsidering ser eht sthe i eimpact cneidofuour a ydaily radnoces ruO premise that looks forward to tomorrow’s operations and those of our investments. In sA .noitamrofni dna swen ruo tsevrah ew eopportunities, rehw like deploying capital to governing our work on sustainability, we hold seulav eroc ruo ,retsacdaorB cilbuP lanoitainvestment nretnI nstrategies a that seek to generate ourselves to the same principles of creating dnfi hcihvalue w sand cihtbeing e cieffective tsilanru o j t s e h g i h e h t o t e b i r c s b u s positive environmental or social outcomes and efficient in our .ytilaitraexecution pmi dna , y c a r u c c a , s s e n r i a f n i n o i s s e r p x e alongside financial returns On the impact of the Giantfuse Green projects acirfA hc ihw hguorhstrategy t mrofand talp si acirfA linvesting ennahC side, we invest in advancing and sustainability ourabroader women sesingocwork er d a ,flesti htGiantfuse iw etabCapital ed niisdegag ne siin the workplace to increase gender onnsustainability. environmental dna latnconscious enitnocofnthe i re yalp elor effects a sa aofcits irfA hdiversity tuoS in company leadership teams, and capture the potential benefits from activities .sriaffa la noitanand retthose ni of its investments and adverse environmental impacts where
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lanoitanavoid retndamaging i s’acirfA htuoS si acirfA lennawell-being? hC the environment by yramirpminimising esohw n o i t a t s o i d a r t s a c d a o r b c i l b upis possible by thematic or Impact This waste, reducing packaging .tnenitno c nacirpromoting fA eritnrecycling e eht sand, i ecinneidua Investing: A thematic investment approach materials,
recognises the need to minimise avoidable
invest in South Africa.
How does your company successfully manage ESG to strengthen its performance?
Giantfuse Capital‘s founders and
SIBONELO NKOSI Qualifications: Bachelors of Law Occupation and position: Co-Founder and Fund Manager
Steps to success: Discipline, Goal oriented Stand-out achievements: Sibonelo Nkosi has a number of awards recognising his
philanthropy and development of communities in rural areas of South Africa – these include the Premier’s Service Excellence Awards
Business Philosophy (in one sentence): Spend more time working on your own
winning culture. No one can take that away from you.
Best decision: Being an entrepreneur from the very young age of 12. Worst decision: Once upon a time, I mixed friendship with business and it came back and bit me.
employees helped in establishing the GiantGreen Foundation to support communities and conservation efforts – locally and beyond. The Foundation, with a dual commitment to working with communities (mostly children at risk and environmental degradation), allows us to view needs first-hand and to act on perceived imbalances. The Foundation emphasises Giantfuse Capital‘s commitment to social and environmental standards.
Address: 155 West Street Sandown Johannesburg, 2093
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: +27 64 227 0970 Website:
ENVIRON THE FUTURE OF SUSTAINABILITY
LET’S MAKE IT WORK By Fiona Wakelin
The Partnership for Action on Green
These agencies offer integrated and
Economy (PAGE) was launched in 2013
holistic support to countries looking
as a response to the call at Rio+20
to participate in an inclusive green
to support those countries wishing to
economy, ensuring coherence and
embark on greener and more inclusive
growth trajectories. The Partnership brings together five UN agencies:
PAGE aims to put sustainability at the heart of economic policies and
practices to advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and
International Labour Organization
supports nations and regions in reframing economic policies and practices around
UN Development Programme
sustainability to foster economic growth, create income and jobs, reduce poverty
UN Industrial Development Organization
and inequality, and strengthen the ecological foundations of their economies.
UN Institute for Training and Research
(GREEN ECONOMY COALITION)
T H E G R EEN EC O N O MY – L ET ’ S M AK E IT WOR K
N ECONOMY THIRD PAGE MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE HOSTED IN CAPE TOWN
“After all, it is above all else by advancing action for an inclusive green economy that we can address simultaneously all three dimensions of sustainability
Hosted by the Department of
– the economic, the social and the
Environmental Affairs, South Africa,
environmental. We have learned that
the Third PAGE Ministerial Conference
to progress in the future on any one
took place at the International
dimension of sustainability is likely to
Convention Centre in Cape Town from
be compromised if we don’t advance on
10 to 11 January 2019, highlighting and
all three. We have learned as well that
celebrating drivers of innovation and
there is no necessary trade-off between
entrepreneurship through inclusivity in
these dimensions. But we know well that
advancing green industries for a better
the task ahead of us is also complex
and more sustainable future for all. It
because it requires a major change in the
brought together over 500 leaders from
fundamentals of the way we organize how
more than 50 countries with delegates
we live, how we produce and how
which included representatives from
governments, civil society, private sector, development partners, media
The following is a summary of 5 key calls
and the public.
to action in the document, published by the ILO after the 3rd Ministerial
At the Conference ILO Director-General
Conference looking at key policy
Guy Ryder outlined three key climate
messages and action pathways.
change challenges and put forward a number of proposals stating:
To achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the targets of the Paris Agreement on climate change, we must: 1. Reinvent our economies as inclusive green economies.
This implies fundamental shifts from linear economic models of production, consumption and investment towards sustainable and circular economies that recognise and account for the value of nature and sustain, rather than consume and perpetually erode, the world’s natural capital basis 2. Anchor green strategies and policies in longterm development frameworks and promote
collaborative governance based on trust, political
will and broad citizen participation and ownership. Long-term strategies and policies for a just transition are indispensable in managing social and employment impacts of moving away from carbon and resourceintensive economic systems. 3. Focus on economic, social and political inclusion to ensure that agendas are shaped, acted on and reviewed by diverse and often left out people
and institutions, and that no one is left behind in
accessing equitably the benefits and opportunities arising from economic, social and environmental progress. Inclusive societies require democratising
the ownership of means of production and engaging those negatively impacted from economic crisis, social disruption and environmental degradation. 4. Create the future of work we want in a changing
climate where we must reorganise our economies
towards greater resource efficiency, sustainability and resilience. Work is a fundamental aspect
of human dignity. It is a means of livelihood and realisation of aspirations of all women and men in their working lives that must be promoted and protected 5. Strengthen partnerships and multilateralism. Broad-based partnerships, cross-ministry Deputy Director, Economy Division, UN Environment, Tim Kasten speaking at the 2019 Page Ministerial Conference (Image from: https://page2019.itcilo.org/)
collaboration, a strengthened multilateral system and effective international cooperation are vital for sustaining and strengthening a collective vision to transform economies and societies.
T H E G R EEN EC O N O MY – L ET ’ S M AK E IT WOR K
GREENCAPE LOOKS AT GROWING
The Atlantis SEZ is a zone dedicated
It is expected that the zone will attract
to the manufacturing and provision of
a further R3.7-billion of investment by
services in the green technology space.
manufacturers of wind blades, smart
Greentech refers to green technologies
The zone welcomes manufacturers,
meters, batteries, wind turbines, solar
that reduce or reverse the impact of
service providers, suppliers and other
PV, and by other players in the waste,
people on the planet. These include
players in the value chains of different
agri-processing, gas and chemicals value
renewable energy technologies. Wind
green technologies. Situated on South
chains. The goal is to create nearly 3 000
turbines, solar panels, insulation, biofuels,
Africa’s West Coast, the Atlantis SEZ
direct jobs in the zone by 2030.
electric vehicles, materials recycling and
capitalises on the Western Cape province’s
green building materials are all examples
already booming renewable energy and
In addition to jobs and investments, the
of green technologies.
green technology sector, tapping into the
people of Atlantis have also benefited in a
$3-trillion global clean technology market.
number of other ways.
manufacturing market is worth at least
Investors have access to extensive
Skills development has been prioritised
R30-billion; with a growing greentech
investment support through the One Stop
to ensure local skills meet the needs of
market in the neighboring countries.
Shop for investor support and the rest of the
industry located in Atlantis. To this end,
South Africa has opportunities in energy,
investor support ecosystem, which includes
the youth has benefited from training,
waste, agriculture, transport and other
InvestSA, GreenCape, the City of Cape
mentoring, exposure to greentech, and
sectors and is a great entry point for the
Town, and Wesgro. Together the ecosystem
participation in the annual Renewable
provides information and advocacy; market
Energy Challenge and career expo, all of
intelligence; facilitated access to permits
which will potentially help them tap into
Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are
and licenses, planning and development
greentech job opportunities emerging
key tools used by the South African
approval; and skills training.
from the SEZ.
economic development. Within SEZs,
Approximately R700-million has
Skills development and training for adults
cluster industries from a particular sector
already been invested in the Atlantis
has taken the form of a training session
locate in geographically designated areas
SEZ, including manufacturers of wind
on solar PV for people from Atlantis and
to get the benefits of scale and co-location.
turbine towers, geotextiles, double-
surrounds, and the recruitment of three
SEZs are governed by the SEZ Act (No.16
glazed windows, wind tower internals
female interns from Atlantis to work
of 2014) and are supported by a range of
and acetylene gas. Because of these
in the SEZ project office. The women
incentives aimed at attracting foreign and
investments more than 320 new jobs have
successfully transitioned into permanent
been created in the zone to date.
appointments with the SEZ project office
THE GREEN ECONOMY THROUGH GREENTECH
The South African greentech
government for driving industrial and
in 2016. Other benefits for Atlantis include the upgrade of the power supply, fibre connectivity and MyCiti transport links. The Atlantis SEZ as a physical manifestation of the potential of partnerships to grow the green economy across stakeholder groups, including government (national, provincial and municipal), business and community. Strategic investment into key green Cape Town welcomed 500 innovators and leaders from governments, civil society, private sector, development organizations, media and the public for the 3rd Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) Ministerial Conference, a unique global forum on green economy. (Image from: https://page2019.itcilo.org/)
economy opportunities will assist to propel South Africa towards the vision set out by the NDP. It’s our future. Let’s make it work.
In a world already grappling with a changing climate, water shortages, famine and disputes over land usage, the future presents new and profound challenges for feeding a growing population. We are slowly reaching a tragic point as food demands are placed on already-strained farmers as well as the entire agriculture industry. Hunger arguably kills more people than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined in Africa. And the problem is only growing worse. Food production must double by 2050 to meet the population growth in developing countries.
cooperated with regional organisations to
Organic production of crops is viewed as
develop the organic market, particularly
key to addressing environmental, social
the participatory guarantee system in
and economic challenges. It is known
Zimbabwe and Malawi.
to deliver more nutritious food products, which will help address the significantly
PELUM has been working with smallholder
high levels of malnutrition in Southern
farmers for more than two decades. The
Africa. Its adoption by smallholder
organisation has developed training
farmers would help to build resilience
manuals, delivered training and built
to the effects of climate change.
capacity within its member organisations, and cooperated with regional organisations
Organic production focuses on building
to develop the organic market, particularly
soil health, including its water-retention
the participatory guarantee system in
capacity, which helps mitigate the effects
Zimbabwe and Malawi.
of drought on production. South Africa, Namibia and Zambia have been subject to more frequent and severe droughts in the past few years. It also builds
SAOSO has brought together a fragmented organics sector in South Africa to develop a standard for organic production and
resilience to the emergence of new
processing. This standard has been
pest and disease vectors likely to
accepted by the International Federation
result from a changing climate.
of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM). It will also, with funding from
Participatory Ecological Land Use
GIZ, establish a committee to drive the
Management (PELUM) has been
uptake of a participatory guarantee system
working with smallholder farmers for
in the country to help smallholder farmer’s
more than two decades. The organisation
access organic markets. SAOSO is leading
has developed training manuals,
a process to gain accreditation from
delivered training and built capacity
national qualification boards for an agro-
within its member organisations, and
S U C C ES S S T O R I ES I N S U S TAI N AB LE AGR ICULTUR E
Arable land is a precious resource and as
The urban environment plays a huge role
Traditional agriculture takes a massive toll
soil health depletes, so does the nutrition
in shaping peoples’ health, food security
on the planet’s natural resources. Vertical
of our food. Vertical farms uses less than
and dietary habits, as well as their access
farming may be transforming agriculture to
1% of the land required by conventional
to livelihood opportunities. South Africa
flip the paradigm of exploitation to one of
growing. That means they are over 390
is undergoing a rapid urbanisation, which
preservation and conservation.
times more productive per square foot vs.
places huge demands on land, water,
traditional agriculture, while also ensuring
housing, transport and employment. The
Seventy percent of our water supply
that plants get all of the macro and micro
excessive congestion, unfavourable living
goes to agriculture and 70% of water
nutrients they need all year round.
conditions and insufficient infrastructure
contamination comes from agriculture.
that characterise South African
Current events, future predictions, and
Vertical farmers AeroFarms was the first
urbanisation have led to environmental
common sense tell us we cannot continue
agriculture company to be honored by the
degradation and an increased incidence
on this path. Vertical farms uses +-95%
“Ellen MacArthur Foundation” as one of the
and prevalence in disease.
less water than field farming and has
circular economy 100, because of the part
developed a closed loop water circulation
they playing in sustainable agriculture.
Back in 2005, an acre of land that is now
system that recirculates water to plants.
What we think of as farming is going
a thriving social enterprise was a bone-dry
Imagine the impact if even 10% of produce
through a lot of changes for sustainability.
and barren land that unassumingly blended
was grown this way.
From drilling for water, pumping from
into the rest of Bezuidenhout Park. It took
deeper reserves than ever before,
a dream and lots of hard work for that land
In the field, overuse of pesticides has
operating tractors, tillers, and harvesters,
to become a locally, nationally and globally
decreased the beneficial microorganisms
to washing three times in large scale
recognised hub for knowledge, growth,
in the soil and allowed bad ones to
processing facilities that operate 24/7,
research and social change.
proliferate. Our soil is no longer healthy
traditional commercial farming is quite
enough to filter out pesticides and render
It all began as a 1-hectare food garden
them inert, leading to toxicity and runoff.
that supplied a wide range of fresh fruits,
Runoff leads to algal blooms and oceanic
Vertical farmers reduce harmful
vegetables, maize, and herbs to local
dead zones. By growing indoors, vertical
transportation emissions by 98% on
Early Childhood Development Centres and
farms can avoid these issues.
average. That is because they build farms
NGOs that provided home-based care to
on major distribution channels and near
HIV+/AIDS patients and their dependents.
Twenty five percent of the world’s land is
population centers to bring local, fresh
Since then, the garden has transformed
now highly degraded, with soil erosion,
greens to communities who wouldn’t
and expanded to become a city, region,
water degradation and biodiversity loss.
normally have them.
nation and even world-wide demonstration site, training and research hub that was named Siyakhana which directly translate to “we are building each-other”. South Africa is in the midst of a food insecurity critical point where many go to bed hungry, and a lack of dietary diversity leads to detrimental health outcomes such as diabetes and obesity. Micronutrient deficiencies cause stunting in children, which compromises future academic ability. What is needed is a change agent that uproots old ideas and changes how people think, learn and practice urban food farming.
FORESTRY South Africa has a responsible and sustainably managed forestry sector that balances productive plantations with sound environmental management and social responsibility. With some 1.2 million hectares of commercially farmed trees and thousands of products made from them, timber plantations not only play an important role in South Africa’s economy, but also in society and our natural environment.
Globally, there are more than 1.3 billion young people ages 12 to 24... These young people can lead the next “Green Revolution” that will build a truly sustainable world.
Trees in both indigenous forests and commercial plantations act as nature’s greatest recyclers. Through
species that call forestry-owned land
photosynthesis, they take in carbon
Local forestry landscapes are a tapestry
dioxide, keep the carbon for their
of commercial timber compartments
growth and release oxygen. The carbon
or crops interwoven with tracts of
stays locked up in the wood, even when
natural vegetation, which enhance
it is converted into other products i.e.
and conserve biodiversity in these
furniture. This is why forestry can help
grasslands, wetlands and indigenous
to mitigate climate change.
The patchwork nature of forestry with
The forestry and forest products sector
South Africa has approximately
and tall trees for nesting lends itself
contributes around R69-billion to the
1.5 million hectares of forestry-owned
South African economy and employs
land, 1.2 million hectares of timber
more than 156 000 people. The majority
plantation and 300 000 hectares of
of forestry’s workforce live in rural
conservation area that stretch from
communities, where unemployment
Limpopo and Mpumalanga to KwaZulu-
levels are high and a single wage
Natal, Eastern and the Western Cape.
supports multiple dependants. The
The country boasts the highest forest
forestry sector invests millions of rands
certification rate in the world, with some
every year in education, health and
80% of South Africa’s forestry landscape
welfare, community infrastructure and
certified by the Forest Stewardship
enterprise development programmes.
Council (FSC), ensuring that the land is managed properly and timber is produced
home. This includes a number of rare, endangered and red list species. One of these species is the “Thunder Bird” or Southern Ground Hornbill. the mixture of insect-rich grasslands as the ideal habitat for these birds. Researchers are now interested to see whether the forestry landscape would offer the potential to create conservation corridors between Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal, the birds’ last great strongholds. Karkloof Blue, one of South Africa’s rarest butterflies, has been protected by conserving important breeding grounds and paying careful attention to site disturbances such as harvesting and burning regimes, and creating a
Ahead of the United Nations’
in line with global environmental and
international day of forests on 21 March
social sustainability standards.
better environment for the host plant
and protection director Dr Ronald
FOREST-OWNED LAND AS A HOME
butterfly lays its eggs.
Heath spoke about how the commercial
Through various research projects,
forestry industry is leading the way in
ranging from public bird surveys to
conserving and rehabilitating areas
camera trap studies, the forestry sector
of high biodiversity value. He also
has identified more than 30 mammal
challenged people to think differently
species, hundreds of bird species and
countless reptile, amphibian and insect
2020, Forestry South Africa research
“Indigofera woodii” upon which the
There is also a mysterious but symbiotic relationship between the butterfly larvae and an ant species “Camponotus natalensis” which means that the ant species also requires protection.
S U C C ES S S T O R I ES I N S U S TAI N AB LE AGR ICULTUR E
must push on because we can make a
On 01 August 2019, the Sernick
difference in agriculture.”
Group welcomed the opening of the Future Farmers office on its premises
The Future Farmers Foundation was
in Kroonstad, Free State. The Future
founded in 2006 by Judy Stuart,
Farmers Foundation has offices in
a farmer from Howick in Kwazulu-
Kwazulu-Natal, Western Cape and
Natal. The organisation is aimed at
now Free State. This new partnership
providing meaningful employment for
between Sernick’s emerging farmers
future farmers and develop them to
programme and the Future Farmers
their full potential. The company uses
Foundation marks the beginning of
an apprenticeship-model to qualify
new opportunities for the youth that
farm managers who are capable of
are interested in agriculture and the
running commercial operations. If
candidates shows passion, commitment and potential after the two-year
The Sernick emerging farmers
apprenticeship they are sent overseas
programme is supported by the Jobs
for practical experience.
Fund at National Treasury and is currently assisting 660 emerging
Globally, there are more than 1.3 billion
farmers to become established
young people ages 12 to 24. Many of
these are rural youth without access to resources to develop a viable future.
Up until now the model to assist
These young people can lead the next
emerging farmers has not been
“Green Revolution” that will build a truly
focused on youth development. With
sustainable world. Empowering them
this partnership, the company hopes to
to do so should be everyone’s greatest
include more young people from Free
State in its programme and give more people an opportunity to successfully
To ensure global stability there is a lot
enter the agricultural job market with the
of work, to create long-term solutions
necessary knowledge and experience.
to feed a growing world. And within the youth lies the power to change
Nick Serfontein, chairperson of the
the course of history and build a more
Sernick Group said “The Sernick
Emerging Farmers Programme creates jobs, but more importantly it creates hope”. As a vocal supporter of helping emerging farmers he went on to say, “All commercial farmers want to make a difference, but they don’t know how. This is possibly the last chance to get it right. We must believe we can, and we
Sources: Massey Ferguson Sustainability Institute Sernick FSC Africa Siyakhana Aero Farms
WATER SUSTAINABILIT Y
THE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DIVIDEND By Dhesigen Naidoo, CEO of Water Research Commission
WAT ER SUSTAINAB ILITY
Water security has been a human occupation since the beginning of time. In fact our transition from a nomadic species to settlement was only possible for Homo Sapiens when our ancestors developed an ability to access and store water to enable year round habitation in one place. This gave confidence to invest in agriculture and the rest, as they say, is history. And yet, all these millennia later water security continues to be elusive. We have just been through a prolonged
are found wanting in terms of last mile
drought episode, on the back of climate
of interventions to get to the goal of
change, with parts of the country
universal access and sustainability of
continuing to experience extreme water
the interventions already implemented.
scarcity. The Global Risk Register of the
With personal and collective hygiene
World Economic Forum has had water
being the cornerstone of the containment
security through the notion of ‘water
strategy – access to safe water,
crisis’ as one of the top five risks to the
hygienic sanitation services and reliable
global economy for nine years in a row.
wastewater treatment become paramount.
We add to this the fact that we are
It emphasises once again the modern
experiencing an unprecedented global
day paradox. Never before have we had
pandemic. This Nouvelle Corona
access to so much scientific knowledge.
Virus, SARS-CoV-2, or COVID 19,
The water science community of practice
has rapidly overwhelmed the global
has been hard at work consistently
agenda. And water has taken centre-
increasing the rate of scientific publications
stage in the containment of infections
in this domain at a rate of thirty percent a
strategy all over the world as we try
year for the past twenty years.
to flatten the infections curve. All the protocols indicate that regular washing
We have the scientific know-how
and personal hygiene is a key line of
to engage the principle challenges
defence against the spread of the virus.
throughout the water and sanitation
And as a consequence, handwashing
value chains. And yet the primary
campaigns have become the highest
obstacle continues to be the fact that
priority in national interventions. This
the water sector is suffering from
crisis has put a magnifying glass on
pathological conservatism. This sector
the issues of water security and safe
continuously tries to solve 21 st century
problems with 20 th century technologies and 19 th century operating rules.
All of the scorecards associated with the Sustainable Development Goal for water
Add to this COVID-19 with the
and sanitation indicate that progress
important risks associated with this
is not as rapid as we had hoped. And
pandemic, and exacerbated by a
once again, world-wide, but mainly in
sluggish global and local economy, is
the Global South, we are still well off
the almost inevitable decreasing of the
target. Even countries with enviable
momentum in the achieving of many
access track records like South Africa
development targets including the
Sustainable Development Goals. There is a high probability that the SDG6 targets for water and sanitation, will have to be beyond 2030. This together with the concomitant slowing down of the other SDGs means a delaying of the global development agenda to at least ensure the end of global hunger and universal access to the basic services that South Africa deems basic human rights. But, with brave choices and a courageous strategy we have the opportunity to do exactly the opposite. We can, in fact, accelerate our efforts toward the SDGs in the medium term, and be firmly on the pathway to sustainable development and a lower carbon economy in the long term. The catalyst will be the mainstreaming of revolutionary and innovative water and sanitation management. The technology toolbox is deep and promising. We have better water augmentation options with smarter water harvesting systems that are integrated for economies of scale. Advances in materials technology ensure tank linings that are safer and better oriented to deal with water storage quality risks. Advanced manufacturing means that new tanks make for better building fit both functionally and aesthetically. The 4IR suite of tools mean that water management can finally enter the 21st century. A combination of remote sensing, earth observation and digitalisation means better and more accurate detection of groundwater. The remote sensing suite combined with the Internet of Things and big data management will organise for pragmatic
WATE R SU STA IN A BIL IT Y
and empowering real time management
But we are in the midst of a global
of the water system. From monitoring
emergency. This is the moment when all
of crop water use to the digital management of wastewater treatment plants to leaks detection and repair. From the monitoring of the integrity of pipes to ensure on time maintenance to prevent major breaks and downtime, to intelligent pressure management. Smart meters and intelligent billing will also enable demand management in the hands of the consumer for better
“Clean water and safe sanitation and wastewater treatment are core to the containment strategy... This is therefore the right time to engage in catalytic actions to leap-frog the current situation toward achieving universal access to safe water and sanitation.”
efficiencies and higher water security.
around the world countries are investing in strategies to deal with unsafe water and poor sanitation, the key COVID risk factors. Clean water and safe sanitation and wastewater treatment are core to the containment strategy. This is enjoying political attention in the public sector and huge focus in the private sector as we brace ourselves to deal with this crisis. This is therefore the right time to engage in catalytic actions to leap-frog the current situation toward achieving
The Brown revolution and the Sanitation
universal access to safe water and
Transformation Initiative or SaniTITM is
sanitation with concomitant, smarter, eco-
our best option to achieve and sustain
friendly waste and wastewater treatment.
the SDG6 goal of universal access
This should be complemented by the
to safe and dignified sanitation.
industrialisation of the beneficiation
Innovative toilet systems that are
of waste and wastewater to produce
either dry or low flush catalysed by
fertilizers, energy, high value
the Bill and Melinda Gates Reinvent
chemicals, lipids and proteins. These
the Toilet Programme, and the smart
actions will prove transformative
research and innovation investments
- economically, socially and
by the Water Research Commission,
will eventually become the mainstream toilet solution for all. The real innovation
There are some critical success factors.
that will accelerate the both rollout of
Firstly, we have to heighten our efforts to
sanitation to all, as well industrialise the
translate the vast repository of scientific
sector, lies at the back end. Non-sewered sanitation is a technology platform whose time has come. It immediately deals with water and energy limitations as a conventional high cost water borne sewerage system will no longer be required in favour of local decentralised waste treatment. And the attractive prospect of beneficiation of the waste into high value products that will seed businesses and industrial platforms. The foundation for the achievement of sustainability lies in the adoption of the Water Sensitive Design approach in planning new settlements from rural towns to large cities. Core to the ideology is the water self-sufficiency. Implementation of the full suite of water
and technological knowledge in this harvesting, water demand management and recycling measures means that the urban environment draws less water out of the catchment. Through the installation of local wastewater treatment works and artificially wetlands, the quality of water leaving the town should be as good or even better to what was abstracted in the first place. The possibility is high for both higher levels of water security with respect to both quantity and quality. If we add to the mix renewable energy dominance and general waste recycling the ecological footprints of towns and cities will be dramatically reduced with big pluses for the environment and the sustainable development agenda.
domain to tangible products and services for immediate use on the ground. There will have to be substantive support to product and business development and an overhaul of our archaic regulatory rules and operating procedures. Secondly, we need new economic models to effect large scale implementation and sustainable operations and maintenance. Thirdly, we need to bolster our partnerships between science and society, governments and business, local and international. Using these intervention the transformation of water and sanitation could catalyse our development trajectory into one of sustainable development. Now is the right moment to invest in this change.
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SUSTAINABLE MINING GIVING BACK TO PEOPLE AND PLANET The Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act No 28 of 2002 (MPRDA) which came into force in May 2004 provides the regulatory framework for South Africa‘s mining and minerals industry. What are some of the most pressing sustainability challenges faced by the mining sector? How is the industry giving back to people and the planet?
Mining companies are adopting new, more sustainable approaches. South Africa is no exception, with several mines taking worldleading approaches to environmental and community sustainability. Adopting these practices will not only benefit the environment and local communities, but also would also contribute to mining’s long-term viability.
D IG G IN G D EEP - S U S TAI N AB L E MI N I N G G I VI N G B AC K T O P EO P L E AND PLANE T
Commitment to address challenges of access to quality and affordable healthcare for miners and the surrounding communities is a healthy and sustainable step to take for a sustainable mining practice. ZERO HARM: ELIMINATING MINING INJURIES
Exxaro has committed to the principle of zero harm, with the goal that every worker should return home unharmed every day. Zero Harm remains the key safety objective, aiming to consistently achieve this through collective responsibility, commitment and ongoing focus. On 3 March 2020 this year Exxaro celebrated a three-year fatality-free milestone. “The safety and well-being of our people continues to be a key focus area for us. We, therefore, commit ourselves to providing the best in healthcare services to ensure that our employees MINING FOR GOOD HEALTH
employee assistance programme, the
Exxaro coal mine situated in Mpumalanga
treatment plans to strengthen the prevention
- A CASE STUDY
has protocols in place for the future of their workers and the communities they come from. Exxaro has ongoing initiatives to combat TB and HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment thus ensuring that workers remain in good health. Their current health offerings include HIV/AIDS awareness training and testing, X-rays, hearing and lung function tests as well as DNA analysis and health coaching. Importantly, these services are in line with the United Nations #Envision2030 Goal of Good Health and Well-being aimed at ending the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other communicable diseases by 2030. Mental health and substance abuse also form part of these services where they offer general counselling to address depression, addiction and anxiety. As part of this
practice provides advice, counselling and and treatment of these diseases. The overall approach to health and wellbeing is based on three pillars namely: Diagnose, Manage and Prevent. During diagnosis the focus is on extending clinical tests including ECG and riskbased cancer screenings. The ultimate vision is to have 100% of Exxaro employees receive analysis, which will make it easy to recommend disease management programmes based on the valuable data retrieved from the DNA testing in order for the employees to manage their
are well taken care of and able to perform to the best of their abilities.” - Mxolisi Mgojo, President of the Minerals Council South Africa Mining practices have a huge responsibility to safeguard the environment they are working in and the people working for them. Keeping a safety system aligned with its purpose and ensuring the system respond appropriately to change requires conscious effort. Risk management processes are fundamental to the Mine Safety Act. The underlying propositions of risk management is that improvements in health and safety can be made by
health against certain conditions.
correctly identifying and addressing
To prevent diseases from developing or
risk. The main components of risk
worsening, mandatory comprehensive wellness and healthy lifestyle coaching programmes are also in place. Vaccines, supplements and prophylaxes are also distributed to ensure health and well-being.
hazards that contribute to occupational management are hazard identification, risk assessment, implementation of controls, monitoring of controls, review, and adjustment or redesign of controls as necessary. 29
D IG G IN G D E E P - SU STAI N AB L E MI N I N G G I VI N G B AC K T O P EO P LE AN D P LAN ET
ENVIRONMENT The mining industry competes with other sectors for precious natural resources like land and water. In South Africa, the situation is exacerbated by a legacy of more than 100 years of mining, which has led to various environmental challenges like acid mine drainage and dust from dumps. Environmental impacts of mining occur at local, regional, and global scales through direct and indirect mining practices. Impacts may result in erosion, sinkholes, loss of biodiversity, or the contamination of soil, groundwater, and surface water by the chemicals emitted from mining processes. Exxaro has invested in a wind farm situated in Eastern Cape which supplies approximately 450 559MWh of electricity a year to Eskom’s electricity network and is expected to offset approximately 445 152 tons of carbon dioxide (CO 2) a year from the atmosphere and over the past five years the mine reduced its greenhouse gas (GMG) emissions by 17% per copper equivalent unit. Mining companies have six main emission reduction levers at their disposal and should try to work several simultaneously. For example, European steel players are investigating processes to avoid, reduce, and reuse CO2 emissions. They “avoid” through innovative replacement of carbon with hydrogen from water electrolysis. They “reduce” by adopting more CO2 efficient technologies. And they “reuse” by utilising process gases for chemical products, such as bioethanol, fertilizer, synthetic fuel and polymers. While many mining companies have programmes aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fossil-fuel burning several have taken additional steps and focused on process innovation - including the extraction of lithium with less energy-intensive and contaminating processes for lithium mines. 30
Exxaro is also committed to using water as efficiently as possible. Their Grootegeluk Mine has constructed cyclic ponds that reclaim all water and material from the mine’s fines complex and Matla coal mine uses desalination technology to convert water from its underground mine into drinking water. In doing so, Matla has released over 3 million kilolitres of safe water into the Olifants catchment. Mining practices should never have to do it alone. The right partners can bring valuable expertise and capital to develop and accelerate new technologies, which in turn can help the company respond faster
Mining Charter III has been amended to introduce the requirements for locally manufactured mining goods, with a view to leverage procurement capacity of domestic mining to create a market of locally manufactured goods.” - Xolile Mbonambi, Department of Mineral Resources representative at the launch of Mining Charter III
to market changes.
Mining charter III targets
deep transformation. The use of hybrid
One of the targets of Mining Charter III is its support for supplier development in South Africa, which aims to grow and transform the local mining supply chain. The Mining Charter stipulates that a minimum of 70% (by value) of mining goods must be manufactured or assembled in South Africa – this requires that at least 60% local content be used during manufacture
It is clear that mining is a sector undergoing power solutions at mines is set to increase, while investment will continue to be driven by innovation in green technology. Mining companies are in the unique position of needing to find their own solutions to green energy whilst being a key component in the supply chain for new low-carbon technology. Finding nimble solutions, such as hybrids or micro grids, provides companies with the agility needed
to respond to the quickly-evolving energy
The Mining Charter further states that
is playing an important role in the transition
goods must be procured in line with a
landscape. It is worth noting that the sector to a lower-carbon economy.
standardised product identification coding system developed by the Department of Trade and Industry.
Exxaro; Modern Mining
policies to curb such emissions. Currently
As the world continues to urbanise
With global energy demands on the
the world is in the process of greening
rapidly, the importance of developing
increase, coupled with the depletion of
the transport sector and South Africa is
sustainable and smart cities is becoming
our natural resources and the negative
participating in these initiatives.
increasingly important. Nevertheless, this
impact of fossil based energy sources
accelerated urbanisation will continue
on the environment, the issues of clean,
“The Department of Trade and Industry
to exert pressure on resources like
sustainable energy have become a reality.
(the dti) is collaborating with the United
energy and water, as well as on the
Nations Industry Development Organization
environment’s carrying capacity to
Energy innovation and the efficient use
(UNIDO) to facilitate and promote the
absorb waste and emissions.
of energy are two key components of
introduction of Electric Vehicles (EVs)
mitigating these challenges. This article
through the South African Low-Carbon
Mobility is a key issue in cities.
serves as a catalyst for sustainable
Transport Project. This project will culminate
Sustainable transport is vital for
transport systems in supporting sustainable
among others in the erection of EV charging
maintaining good air quality, reducing
development that benefits our needs.
infrastructure and awareness raising
energy-use and greenhouse gas
campaigns targeting this technology.
emissions, and enabling inhabitants to
In the wake of global efforts to curb the
commute efficiently and according to
emission of climate change impacting
“However, this is not the first instance of
their needs. Having adequate transport
greenhouse gases and the emission of
electrifying transportation modes in South
infrastructure, together with inclusive
exhaust gases that are detrimental to
Africa, the Class 1 E electric locomotives
and sustainable industrialisation, is
human health, these are important times
was introduced to the market as early as
a precursor to economic development,
for South Africa to continue demonstrating
mid-1920s. Continued improvement in the
job creation and prosperity for all.
to the world its capabilities.
rail infrastructure led to the recent addition of high-speed locomotives like the Gautrain,
UNIDO supports countries in jointly
the local manufacturing of a prototype
addressing their urban and industrial
as the second
electric car – the joule and gas-driven Bus
development challenges through its work
rapid Transit Systems that South Africans
in fostering sustainable cities. UNIDO’s
to Greenhouse Gas
are so proud of today.” - EVIA Foreword,
interventions focus on promoting higher
Transport is identified
Lionel October, DG, dti
both domestically and
globally and hence cannot
be ignored when developing
T R AVEL I N G THE GR E E N R OAD
manufacturing supply chain, fostering enabling policy frameworks, building
E ELECTRIC VEHICLE JOURNEY IN SOUTH AFRICA
growing concern from politicians about carbon pollution have helped the drive
and strengthening local capacities
The first oil crises during 1970s sparked
and enhancing knowledge transfer
the first interest in electric vehicles (EVs)
and alternatives to petroleum fuels. This
One of the early problems which the
was evidently an energy issue presented
EV consumers were still faced with was
to the country and the then Department
where to charge their vehicles on the go?
The focus on urban transport and clean
of Mineral and Energy Affairs (DMEA).
Many countries around the world have
mobility is pertinent in Africa. Its urban
The department, together with the CSIR,
involved their governments in helping to
share is likely to be more than double by
researched and demonstrated the use of
build public charging infrastructure.
2030 (African Development Bank, 2017).
EVs as an alternative to imported oil.
Africa is urbanising faster than any
of EVs globally.
Smart charging would make EVs an
other region in the world and is
More than 150 research papers resulted
asset to the grid. Development of IT
undergoing a mobility revolution.
from the research and produced a few
infrastructure to support a range of
vehicles converted to electric propulsion.
smart grid applications would ensure
The transport sector, made up of
Although quiet, easy to drive and with
reliable service to homes and other
passenger and commercial/industrial
no smelly pollutant, these were very
charging locations. While we introduce
transport, dominates urban energy
slow and had a low range. What came
electric propulsion technologies,
consumption, accounting for 60–70%
out as highlight of the programme was
renewables used as alternative energy
of total energy consumption in metros.
the development of the ZEBRA (Zero
generation would make sense to
South African cities are some of the least
Emission Battery Research Activity) and
achieve charging efficiencies.
dense cities in the world, giving rise to
the Lithium ion battery technologies. The
a heavy reliance on transport fuels to
focus for this programme was on local
Both residential, as well as fast and
ensure the mobility of people and freight.
development and commercialisation of
inexpensive public charging stations
Local combustion of transport fuels
these technologies, but as the oil crises
need charging infrastructure.
directly affects the levels of local
faded so did the focus on EVs.
air pollution of the city.
Most EV charging take place at home Yet again from 1988 - 2002 high oil prices
overnight, but early on, accessible
Electric vehicle (EV) is not a new
triggered the interest in alternatives to
public charging facilities are critically
invention. Electric motors have been
petrol and diesel. This time it was the
important in order to increase
in use as far back as the late 1800s.
National Energy Council (NEC), created by
consumer confidence. There is nothing
During these times, the internal
the DMEA, which initiated various projects
complicated about smart charging
combustion engine (ICE) vehicles used
to investigate potential solutions. Ethanol,
or feeding renewable energy into
benzene for fuel. There were no fuel
methanol and EVs were some of the
electricity grids. What is challenging
stations, but a visit to the local pharmacy
alternatives considered. When the NEC
though is the clustering of EVs
got you a refill for the car. In order to start
closed in 1992, Eskom continued flying
when charging – will they be evenly
this car, you needed to crank the engine
the flag by adopting the EV programme.
distributed or concentrated in specific
by hand. Only after the electric starter motor was developed and refueling for longer distances for the ICE car became possible, did electric cars lose
THE FUTURE LOOKS ELECTRIC FOR SOUTH AFRICA
areas – and also what will be the basic mode and power of charging?
With all the ongoing starts and stops
Across the world, the history of electric
their appeal. At that time, the
of the electric vehicle (EV) industry,
mobility has been a demonstration
negative impacts of the petrol
the true revival of the EV did not
of persistence of creativity from
car were unknown and not
happen until around the start of the
generation to generation on the
yet perceived as a problem.
21st century. Rising petrol prices and
adaptation of transportation.
BUILDING OUR FUTURE
ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY CONSTRUCTION IN SOUTH AFRICA By Maxine Volker
In the last decade, South Africa’s construction industry has taken substantial steps towards going green. November 2011 saw new energy-efficient building regulations come into place, boosting a growing trend of cutting-edge green architecture throughout the country. The implementation of these regulations included a strict set of rules which construction companies had to follow. New buildings are now required to use solar water heaters, heat pumps or similar technologies. It is also now compulsory for walls, ceilings and windows to meet the minimum requirements in insulation in order to minimise heating in winter and cooling in summer. These are just a few of the parameters which have been set out in recent years. They are laid out in the South African Bureau of Standards and are enforceable in terms of the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act. The regulations apply to all future energy-consuming structures, both residential and commercial. Local authorities are now responsible for the administration of the regulations as well as on-site inspections.
Currently, South Africa is one of the global
with World Bank Group member, the
leaders in green building, implementing a
International Finance Corporation (IFC).
number of sustainable practices, methods,
The primary aim of EDGE is to facilitate
materials and technologies.
a transformation of the property sector in rapidly urbanising countries through
If we look at environmentally friendly
influencing design considerations. To
construction as a pyramid, sustainable
achieve the EDGE standard, minimum
practices essentially from the base of the
savings of 20% energy, water, and
structure. The way these practices are put
embodied energy in materials must be
into place set the tone for the eventual
met. EDGE has been adapted for the
outcome. The practice of green building
local South African context, especially in
in South Africa is overseen by The Green
light of the SANS 10400 Part XA energy
Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA)
efficiency building code. This code was
which was launched 2007 and works
promulgated for all new buildings in 2011.
with its membership community in an
The total number of green-construction
effort to encourage a built environment in
projects certified by the GBCSA has
which both people and planet thrive. The
increased by 121% since 2009.
GBCSA has developed Green Star SA rating tools, an initiative aimed at providing
When it comes to going green within
the property industry with an objective
the construction industry, the methods
measurement for green buildings and
and materials used are a vital element.
to recognise and reward environmental
As we move toward efficiency and
leadership in the property industry. Each
sustainability, industry experts are utilising
Green Star SA rating tool reflects a
new, innovative materials as well as a
different market sector. These include
resurgence in certain age-old materials
retail, office, multi-unit and residential.
which have naturally environmentally friendly properties. These days, the list of
September 2014 saw the launch of the
eco-friendly building materials is extensive
EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater
and ever-growing. Environmentally
Efficiencies) rating system. EDGE
friendly or sustainable building materials
has been implemented in South Africa
refer to those that are reused or natural,
thanks to the GBCSA and its partnership
minimising environmental impact.
BU IL D IN G O U R F U T U R E – EN VI R O N MEN TAL LY F R I EN D LY C O N S T R U C T I O N I N SOUTH AFR ICA
The distinguishing factor between building
reaching and having massive impacts on
materials that are sustainable and those that
the construction industry. One process
are not, is the amount of embodied energy
which is making leaps and bounds in
the material has. The term ‘embodied
sustainable construction in South Africa
energy’ refers to the sum of all the energy
is 3-D printing. 3-D printing, or additive
required to mine, manufacture and then
manufacturing, is essentially where 3-D
transport the material. Ultimately, the lower
objects are created from a digital file. In
the level of embodied energy a material has,
the context of construction, 3-D printing
the more sustainable it is for use.
is used in a variety of ways. It may be
POPULAR SUSTAINABLE BUILDING MATERIALS
used to create construction components or even ‘print’ entire buildings. The construction industry as whole generates
Wood is one of the most popular eco friendly
a huge amount of waste and because it
building alternatives as it is able to provide
is so multidimensional, progress towards
durable and solid insulation structures.
sustainability can often be slow. When
Straw bales are utilised as a renewable
looking at eco friendly construction as a
energy source because if efforts to keep
whole, we know that supply chains in the
them dry are put in place, they can last many
industry are complex, often resulting in
years. Although an effective alternative, it
sustainable practices having little impact.
is important that when utilising this material
There are numerous companies involved in
steps are taken to prevent rodent and
a single construction project. This can make
insect infestation. Additionally, appropriate
it extremely difficult to ensure a sustainable
measures to prevent damp must also be
approach is employed throughout the entire
taken. Sandbag construction, essentially
supply chain. This is where 3-D printing
a technology in which bags are filled with
comes in. These disruptive technologies
locally sourced natural materials, lowers
have the potential to change the way that
the embodied energy that comes with the
products are not only designed, but also
manufacturing and transportation of regular
manufactured. Basically, they can change
building materials. Utilising sandbags
the structure of supply chains.
requires no cement or binder and also has the advantage of being versatile − the bags
The construction industry, which has been
can also be filled with rubble, gravel or clay.
known to impact harshly on the environment, has taken massive strides
Other eco friendly building materials
towards being environmentally friendly in
being used in South Africa are recycled
recent years. With a growing worldwide
steel, mycelium, thatch and bamboo.
emphasis on the need for climate-change
‘Hempcrete’, which combines hemp fibre,
mitigation, South Africa has become one
water and lime which are then moulded
of the global leaders in green building. As
into lightweight blocks, has seen massive
built-environment professionals become
popularity worldwide as it a renewable
more inventive and resourceful, eco friendly
building material that can be grown and
technologies and methods only seem to be
replenished quickly. Hempcrete has not yet
evolving. However, having a lower carbon
been legalised in South Africa, but efforts
footprint requires more than simply following
to commercialise it are being explored and
a set of procedures. It requires an innovative
proposals being put forward to government.
approach and open-mindedness. We need to look towards the future we wish to build
Green building technologies have seen a
for generations to come, and then implement
surge in popularity in recent years. These
the strategies needed to sustain it.
technologies, which make buildings more sustainable and energy-efficient, are far-
Comment from construction companies
Despite the dynamics of challenges experienced while
operating under the far reaching impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) is able to continue with its operations to ensure the orderly development of the energy sector, mainly
Jacob Modise, through licensing, setting and approving ofJacob pricesModise, and tariffs, Chairperson Chairperson compliance monitoring and enforcement, and dispute resolution
Maleho Nkomo, Jacob Modise, Deputy Chairperson Chairperson
in the electricity, piped-gas and petroleum pipelines industries. rnergy of South Regulator Africa (NERSA) of The South National Africa Energy (NERSA) Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) ble to the contribution socio-economic tomakes the socio-economic a valuable contribution to the socio-economic the realisation thatprosperity this pandemic be prevalent and f theprosperity peopleWith ofof South the development people Africa, of South and Africa, of thewill people of South Africa, try he energy in accordance industry by with in regulating accordance the with energy industry in accordance with for the foreseeable future, NERSA endeavours to be more ndards ws, policies, and international standards government and international laws, policies, that standards and international innovative agile in ensuring we continue to make a in tainable support development. ofvaluable sustainable bestcontribution practices development. in to support of sustainable development development.and the socio-economic
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Nhlanhla Gumede, Full-Time
Nomfundo Maseti, Full-Time
Regulator Member: Electricity
Regulator Member: Piped-Gas
Muzi Mkhize, Full-Time
Smunda Mokoena, Part-Time
to regulate the electricity, piped-gas and petroleum pipelines date rivedisfrom further written derived NERSA’s government from mandate written government is further derived from written government industries in terms of the Electricity Regulation Act, 2006 lssued as regulations by the Minister issued policies of by the as well Minister as regulations of issued by the Minister of (Act No. 4 of 2006), Gas Act, 2001 (Act No. 48 of 2001) rces . NERSA and Energy. is expected NERSA Mineral to isResources expectedand to Energy. NERSA is expected to and Petroleum Pipelines Act, 2003 (Act No. 60 of 2003). ecessary ory actions regulatory in anticipation perform actionsthe in anticipation necessary regulatory actions in anticipation sponse anging to circumstances the changing of and/or incircumstances in responseinto the changing circumstances in NERSA’s is further derived from written government ustry. the mandate energy industry. policies and regulations issued by the Minister of Mineral
Resources and Energy. NERSA is expected perform the fces Mineral and Energy Resources appoints The and Minister Energy ofappoints Mineral Resources andto Energy appoints necessary regulatory actions anticipation of and/or in ator, e Energy comprising Regulator, Part-Time Members comprising of the Part-Time Energy in Regulator, comprising Part-Time response to the Regulator changing in the energy industry. e) (Executive) and Full-Time Regulator (Executive) (Non-Executive) and circumstances Full-Time (Executive) Regulator
Executive uding the Chief Officer Executive (CEO). Members, Officer including (CEO). the Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
gulator rted by is staff supported under The the by Energy staff under Regulator the is supported by staff under the The Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy appoints e CEO. direction ofEnergy the CEO. Members of the Regulator, comprising Part-Time
(Non-Executive) and Full-Time (Executive) Regulator Members, including the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The Energy
Regulator is supported by staff under the direction of the CEO.
@NERSA_ZA @NERSAZA @NERSAZA
se, Street, 526Arcadia, Madiba Kulawula 0083 Street, Kulawula House, Arcadia, House, 526 0083 Madiba 526 Madiba Street,Street, Arcadia, Arcadia, 0083 0083 , Arcadia, 0007 PO Box PO40343, Box 40343, Arcadia, Arcadia, 0007 0007 600 01 4700 | Fax: 012 Tel:401 012 Tel: 4700 401 0124600 401 4600 | Fax: |012 Fax:401 0124700 401 4700 ersa.org.za Email:Email: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org .nersa.org.za Website: Website: www.nersa.org.za www.nersa.org.za
Zandile Mpungose, Part-Time Regulator Member
Fungai Sibanda, Part-Time Regulator Member
WHAT ARE THE SOLUTIONS? By Yasmine Miemiec
P O L L U T I O N , P L AS T I C - WH AT AR E T HE SOLUTIONS?
According to the 2018 South African State
corporates, we know very little about the
are minimal compared to the industrial
of Waste Report, in 2017 South Africans
benefits of upcycling.
processes use for recycling.
generated 42 million tons of general waste,
Upcycling: better quality and higher environmental value
It comes down to upcycling - the
This means that over 37 million tons of waste was sent to landfill to rot and pollute
Upcycling is the process of transforming
Not every waste stream can be upcycled
the atmosphere. With waste and refuse
waste materials or unwanted products
but where material can be transformed
increasing exponentially every year,
into different, new products of higher
there is also a creative benefit for
households and business organisations can
environmental value. When one upcycles,
companies. We have seen offices where
no longer turn a blind eye.
they are not breaking down the materials
all the office décor and furniture is made
of which 4.9 million tons were recycled.
of waste products as with recycling where
from materials which have been upcycled,
Already there are reports that
plastic, for example, is melted down
and this conveys the repurposing message
Johannesburg’s landfills will reach capacity
to create more plastic. With upcycling
to the staff in a subliminal way as well as
within the next six years. In order to combat
the item is refashioned, using the same
sparking their creative juices.
this ever-growing problem of waste, many
materials. A good example here, is using
organisations think that recycling is the best
old tyres to make products like bags,
way to tackle this issue. Conversely, there
dog beds and shoes. The material is
are also other options such as upcycling
still the rubber from the tyres, just used
that can aid in the fight against waste and pollution and companies should bear in mind that both upcycling and recycling have
in new ways. So, what’s the difference really? Both
So, where does recycling and upcycling
fit in with corporate waste management? When a company produces enormous quantities of waste material like wood from construction sites, it may not be feasible to
a place in corporate waste management.
save the planet, right?
However, upcycling and recycling use
In a nutshell, the difference between the
may choose to recycle the bigger volumes
distinctly different processes that feature
two is that recycling involves a shredding,
of waste and upcycle the smaller volumes.
their own benefits, depending on the
melting and/or compressing process,
The benefit of this approach is that both
quantity and type of waste being handled.
usually to recreate the same products as
ends of the value chain are being supported.
the original products. Upcycling involves
The recycling companies are employed but
taking unwanted or used items and
the company also contributes to income
repurposing them to create different items.
generation and job creation through
We all know about recycling – but where does the waste come from?
The biggest waste stream in South Africa is
upcycle all of it. In this case the company
upcycling. Upcycling, however, as a practice
general waste. which is made up of organic
Both processes have an important role
is not as widely used by corporates. South
waste such as food, gardening or animal
to play in the management of waste.
African companies should be consulting with
waste. In addition, we have construction
Recycling is vital because of the volumes
companies to try and see what waste they
waste such as building rubble, sand or
of material that can be processed and
are producing and understand where they
wood and then other waste such
converted. Billions of tin cans are discarded
can make a difference.
as paper, glass, metal, plastic and
each year but this amount of material
cannot be upcycled into products that people will need. However, the problem with
There are different ways to assist with
recycling lies in the fact that it has a high
decreasing this waste. One of these
energy cost compared to upcycling due to
options is recycling where waste material
the processes involved.
is converted into the raw material for the manufacture of new melted down and used
Upcycling, on the other hand has a
to create new cans. The key differentiator
human element because people
of recycling is the fact that used products
are employed in the transformation
are put through a process to create the
of the products. The energy inputs
new version of the same product. However,
for upcycling are also lower than for
even though most people are familiar
recycling. For example, there is electricity
with recycling, along with the public and
used for sewing or woodwork, but these
SOLUTIONS TO THE PLASTIC SCOURGE
and create jobs at the same time via upcycling. By throwing their support behind
Plastic production over the last half-
projects which seek to remove plastic
century has mushroomed, from 15 million
from the environment and by working with
tonnes in the 1960s to a gobsmacking 311
communities, these organisations can
million tonnes in 2014. It is estimated that
find ground-breaking and original ways
13 000 pieces of plastic litter can be found
to generate incomes from the items that
in every square kilometre of the ocean.
would be normally be thrown in the trash.
South Africans are culprits too and use between 136kg and 139kg of plastic per
An inspiring example of this is the
person per year, 47% of which is recycled.
upcycling of millions of disposable coffee
Given that corporate entities are the
cups that are used in corporate South
largest consumers and disposers of items
Africa. A company has found a simple
such as plastic cups on a daily basis, the
solution that has led to the training
fight to save the environment should start
and employment of many people while
with them. So, what can South African
upcycling their used coffee cups into eco
companies do to assist? The answer may
friendly products in the form of veggie
lie in upcycling.
seed bombs. This process involves
SOUTH AFRICA’S PART IN THE WAR AGAINST PLASTIC
separating the outside paper from the inside plastic of the cup. The paper is then used to make a mould for the veggie seed
South African companies need to look at
bombs. The seeds are put into compost
reducing the amount of plastic packaging
and fertiliser, covered with the mould and
that all consumables are sold in. Where
sold back to corporates and the public to
it is necessary to use plastic packaging,
plant in their veggie gardens. Workers are
recycled plastic can be used in the making
now able to receive the used coffee cups
of the packaging. The highlights the shift
from the company, manufacture the seed
towards ‘reduce and re-use’. However,
bombs and sell them as a different product,
upcycling also plays a major role in the
thereby creating their own income.
fight against plastic. Globally, there is a mass of innovation taking place in the
CORPORATE SOUTH AFRICA SHOULD
repurposing of plastic items. Examples
of the creative repurposing of plastic
Companies must realise they are not
are floating islands which are helping to
working in a vacuum. Their activities
combat habitat loss and are the basis of
such as the contribution to upcycling
and recycling not only contributes to the
UPCYCLING A TWOFOLD SOLUTION
activities of other companies involved in upcycling but are part of an important
Although there is a global shift, the uptake
chain to keep plastic out of landfills.
of upcycling locally, has been slow.
Obviously not all plastic can be upcycled.
However, in South Africa upcycling can
However, if a company does have waste
also help combat our huge unemployment
material, such as wood or Styrofoam,
problem. Companies can therefore
there may be a product which can be
contribute to the transformation of the
created which in turn will create jobs. It is
plastic that is already in the environment
a win-win situation.
Every year about 8 million metric tons of plastic is dumped into our oceans. That’s as much as a truckload of plastic waste every minute
Everything from plastic bottles and bags to microbeads end up in our oceans. This creates a swamp of large and small plastic pieces that is mistaken for food by marine animals Plastic waste chokes and entangles turtles and seabirds. Tiny pieces of plastic are clogging the stomachs of marine creatures and fish. Scientists have found that we are already eating seafood that is contaminated with plastic. We can help put an end to plastic pollution by choosing not to use single use plastic items, such as plastic bags and straws. Single use plastic items are one of the biggest contributors to ocean pollution.
P O L L U T I O N , P L AS T I C - WH AT AR E T HE SOLUTIONS?
PLASTICS BY THE NUMBERS
14% of all litter comes Annually
from beverage containers
500 billion plastic bags
SOME KEY FACTS Half of all plastics ever
manufactured have been made
are used worldwide.
in the last 15
More than 1 million bags are
used every minute. Production increased exponentially,
Packaging accounts for just over 40% of total plastic usage.
from 2.3 million tons in 1950 to 448 million tons by 2015. Production is expected to
DOUBLE BY 2050 Every year, about
Plastic takes 500 years to break down.
of plastic waste escapes
into the oceans from coastal nations. That’s the equivalent of setting five garbage bags full of trash on every foot of coastline around the world.
Plastics often contain additives making them stronger, more flexible, and A plastic bag has an average “working life” of 15 minutes.
durable. But many of these additives can extend the life of products if they become litter, with some estimates ranging to at least
400 YEARS to break down. Source: National geographic
Sources: (www.westerncape.gov.za ) That is 0.0000057% of 500 years
GREEN AND CLEAN By Fiona Wakelin
The Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme
renewable energy and in 2010, after
on non-renewable coal-based Eskom-
Energy Independent Power
Over the last year the country’s reliance generated power nearly brought the economy to a standstill with rolling load shedding taking place day and night. Many people downloaded the app Eskom se Push, not only for the alerts it provided but because the name of the app represented the general public outrage at being held hostage to a nonrenewable energy source provided by
the necessary legislation had been passed, the Department of Energy launched the Renewable Producer Programme (REIPPP) to enhance South Africa’s powergeneration capacity. This programme encourages independent power producers (IPPs) to generate power
Eleven years ago, in 2009, we
started investigating how to increase and sustain private investment in
techniques which then buys for Eskom.
P OWE R ING AHE AD
RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES INCLUDE:
photo voltaic cells
The REIPPP was also structured
What is an independent power
to contribute to broader national
An IPP is a company established
• Job creation
by a range of shareholders to bid
• Social upliftment • Broadening economic ownership “South Africa’s renewable energy
from procurement and construction, government policy places specific requirements on independent power producers (IPPs) to foster community
projects, an average of 2 000 people were employed on the sites
• Black industrialists
the local communities where the projects are located • Foreign shareholders An example of IPPs Globeleq South Africa Management Services, operates and majority owns
ownership in the form of shareholding
in RE projects, local employment, as
• De Aar Solar Power
well as annual monetary contributions to stimulate local development” - Cobenefits Study 2019.
138 000 South African homes.
shareholders typically could include:
• Community Trusts representing
benefits for communities, deriving
clean renewable energy to power over
During construction of the three
emphasis on stimulating socio-economic
projects. In addition to potential indirect
Together these three generate enough
of an independent power plant. The
• Other South African shareholders
in the vicinity of renewable energy (RE)
for the construction and operation
procurement policy is unique in its benefits at the local level for communities
• Droogfontein Solar Power • Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm
from local communities and 1.5% of project revenues were invested in socioeconomic and enterprise development programmes and skills development to ensure the sustainability of the renewable energy industry. How successful has the Programme been to date?
The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2019 reported that a total 6 422 MW under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Programme had been procured, with 3 876 MW operational and made available to the grid.
PO W E RIN G A H E A D
Electric vehicles The global shift towards electric mobility has been a result of three major shifts – the volatility of the oil price, the COP agreements regarding carbon emission reduction commitments and overall pollution concerns. And while South Africa does not yet have the policy framework in place for the industry to grow, if battery prices continue to fall the price of electric vehicles (EVs) will become competitive in the country. This will be a natural progression for the automotive sector which is a key contributor to the GDP. “For South Africa, a thriving EV market supported by the robust local manufacturing capacity, holds the promise of economic growth and job creation in South Africa. It will also counteract the inevitable decline
The EV market brings with it a number of possible opportunities: •
Lithium iron batteries
engine (ICE) vehicles globally,”
says Khanyiselo Kumalo, Energy
in demand for internal combustion
Analyst at GreenCape. “The 2019
Electric Vehicles MIR highlights
“ For SA, a thriving EV market supported
notable investment opportunities
by local manufacturing holds the
that are emerging in passenger
promise of economic growth and job
vehicle manufacturing, electric bus
creation. It will also counteract the
manufacturing and Lithium ion battery
inevitable decline in demand for ICE
(LIB) production,” she added.
vehicles globally.” - Green Cape
We are committed to helping our customers exceed their environmental compliance goals through continual research and identifying areas of improvement regarding all environmental-related waste streams. These key areas of focus include, but are not limted to, reducing waste (hazardous and nonharzardous), increasing recycling and scrap credits, and continous evaluations of optimal landfill/disposal methodologies.
A major benefit of “green cleaning” is that it minimises the environmental and health concerns associated with conventional cleaning practices. Traditional cleaning products are derived from non-renewable resources and that can be toxic to human health with long-term negative environmental impact. Whilst cleaning less might solve the severity of the problem, it doesn’t eliminate it and reduces the frequency of care for your facilities. Rather, the solution is the selection and use of appropriate cleaning and maintenance products. Using cleaning technologies that utilise rapidly renewable derived resources without sacrificing quality, performance or adding additional cost improves the life cycle of your facilities. TSFM is committed to the stewardship of the environment as well as the reduction of exposure of our employees, your tenants and visitors to any potentially harmful chemicals, particulates and biological contaminants.
We work with clients on the implementation of energy-efficient lighting systems for new and existing facilities. Our energy cost reduction analysis includes energy-efficient lighting design and upgrade; HVAC and motor control upgrades and modifications; and evaluations of alternate sources of energy.
Telephone: 031 827 0982
SOCIAL THE FUTURE OF SUSTAINABILITY
CLIMATE-SMART ENTREPRENEURSHIP REAPING THE POTENTIAL OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP FOR A CLIMATESMART INCLUSIVE GREEN ECONOMY IN SOUTH AFRICA
By Rest Kanju and Christine Meyer Take a moment for a thought experiment.
Droughts exacerbate electricity
Imagine South Africa in summer 2030.
shortages, disproportionately affecting
Climate change is an increasing reality.
the rural and urban poor (or other
Extreme heat is challenging South Africa’s
vulnerable population?) and widening
population; imagine the thermometer
hardly falls below 35°C. It is hot and dusty. Severe thunderstorms hit the country every
This scenario demonstrates that solutions
now and then; floods cause soil runoffs
to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of
and degradation. Both water quality and
climate change are desperately needed.
availability is a challenge for communities, agriculture, the tourism and manufacturing
The good news is that South
sectors, and many more. This results
Africa’s entrepreneurs have
in crop losses, water restrictions, and
already developed solutions
threatens food security and human health.
for climate change
The impacts of climate change on food
production, agricultural and subsistence
adaptation at the
livelihoods will be of high concern.
C LI MAT E-S MART EN T R E PR E NE UR SHIP These market-based solutions effectively
and the potential for solar energy in South
challenges range from a lack of access
build the resilience of South African
Africa, innovative solutions are needed to
to adequate and appropriate financing
communities and showcase the enormous
offer access to renewable, clean energy
for their business, difficulty accessing
potential of small and medium enterprises
to communities that are currently not
markets, and regulatory and administrative
to contribute to a climate-smart, inclusive
connected to the grid.
burdens that impose additional costs on the
green South African economy.
Solar Turtle is an example of an eco-
enterprise. SMEs must also build technical and entrepreneurial skills, and take on
BN Aqua is an eco-inclusive enterprise
inclusive enterprise that is effectively
significant risks to access the human
that has developed a technological system
addressing this gap by developing small
resources needed to scale their enterprise.
for acid mine drainage treatment. The
mobile solar charging kiosks for use in
These challenges are cross-cutting, and
term “eco-inclusive enterprises” refers to
communities that do not have access
affect small and growing businesses in
enterprises with business models that are
to electricity, and specifically aiming
different ways, depending on the sector,
from the outset ecological and inclusive.
at equipping youth and women with
geography and scale of the enterprise.
Ecological action often refers to business
entrepreneurship skills. Using a franchise
activities that implement sustainable
model, the SEED 2016 Award Winner trains
production methods, contribute to efficient
youth to use the solar kiosks, replaces
use of resources and waste reduction,
the primary use of paraffin and kerosene
conserve biodiversity, or support climate
in the communities with a source of clean
change adaptation and mitigation efforts.
energy, in turn promoting health, enhancing
Inclusive action includes the creation of local
security, and providing electricity to schools.
jobs, in particular for often-marginalised
The vision of an inclusive green economy that mitigates climate change and is adapted and resilient to climate risks depends not only on SMEs, but on an ecosystem that supports them to grow.
populations like youth, women and low-
Small and medium-sized enterprises
income households and through integrating
(SMEs) like BN Aqua and Solar Turtle are
these communities into local and global
well suited to sustainably tackle future
value chains of their enterprises by engaging
challenges. They develop market-based
them as suppliers, distributors or customers.
solutions, are innovative, versatile, agile
sustainable business practices requires ecosystem players to create an enabling
Inclusivity, and or community inclusion, in
and demand-driven. More specifically, eco-
collaborative efforts by and among
BN Aqua’s product prototype uses a
inclusive enterprises have the potential to
metallurgical waste product to treat
play a significant role in achieving South
environment in which these enterprises can
acidic water to potable stage for human
African national agendas on climate change
consumption. The treated acid mine water
and the green economy, such as the 2011
is then sold to mines to save on drinking
Green Economy Accord, the National
water costs and reduces dependency on
Climate Change Bill and the National
water resources from the municipalities.
Adaptation Plan. Yet, small and growing
This innovative process will lead to
enterprises do not feature strongly – if at all
pollution remediation of the waste material
– in these agendas.
financial and policy framework conditions
increasing South Africa’s drinking water
On average, an SME in South Africa
to start and scale their solutions. The
capacity and contributing to climate change
employs two to five employees. With
adaptation. By encouraging the treatment
over 2 million such enterprises on the
of waste water at mines and reducing mine
market as of 2018, these enterprises bear
dependency on municipal water services,
an enormous potential, both in terms
BN Aqua’s solution reduces the vulnerability
of providing employment, and creating
of the sector to climate change, and builds
significant green impacts, like the reduction
resilience in surrounding communities
of greenhouse gas emission, water savings
through increased drinking water capacity.
and the reduction of waste. Small and
BN Aqua is a 2019 SEED South Africa
growing enterprises are well placed to
Climate Adaptation Award Winner.
drive growth in the green economy from
and recover saleable minerals while
within traditionally large-business sectors. Given issues accessing electricity, the
However, they face major challenges to
high reliance on coal as an energy source,
build and scale their solutions. These
thrive, and to grow a sustainable social and green economy in South Africa. Through over fifteen years of supporting eco-inclusive SMEs across the world, SEED has drawn insights on the advisory, that enable eco-inclusive enterprises recommendations shared below draw on learnings and conversations from a SEED Practitioner Labs for Policy Prototyping process in South Africa in 2019, where SEED collaborated with the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF), Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS) and the South African Renewable Energy Business Incubator (SAREBI) to develop innovative policy solutions to strengthen the potential of eco-inclusive enterprises in South Africa’s transition to a green and inclusive economy.
A CALL TO ACTION TO SUPPORT ECO-INCLUSIVE ENTERPRISES IN SOUTH AFRICA’S TRANSITION TO A GREEN AND INCLUSIVE ECONOMY RECOMMENDATION 1 Increase (accessibility of) information
private support programmes, and fill gaps
Intermediaries can leverage the
where support is needed.
expertise of working with multiple businesses and a familiarity with
on market demand
Different stages of business growth
the kinds of challenges they face
require different support needs -
when accessing markets, and share
Increased enterprise activity in
varying types and amounts of funding,
that information with policy makers.
mentors, and different markets. At an
Intermediaries can also facilitate timely
early pilot stage, businesses need
feedback from relevant enterprises
to test their product or service with a
through their networks. Furthermore,
core target market to gather feedback
intermediaries can bridge the gap
and develop a viable product. When
between the policy environment and
scaling, enterprises need to tap into
small business environment by linking
larger distribution channels, supply
the activities of small businesses to
chains (B2B), and consumer markets
the transition to a green and inclusive
(B2C). They might want to diversify
economy in South Africa.
adaptation to climate change, including exploiting opportunities that arise from adapting to new environmental conditions will result in new markets. Information on the current and expected market size and demand can support enterprises to understand their potential target market and opportunities to scale their product. The provision and dissemination of this information should be facilitated by
their offerings, segment their markets to cross-subsidise or meet a variety of
Think again about the 2030 scenario.
needs through extending their product
In fact, some climate change related
line. Various support programmes can
impacts have already taken place and
Access to information on market
therefore be pieced together to support
adversely affected communities. Month-
an enterprise along its path and ensure
long droughts affecting most of southern
transition between programmes.
Africa have led to serious food shortages
governments to effectively stimulate and
demand and size reduces the costs of undertaking a feasibility study in a
for millions of people. In 2019, farmers in
nascent market and mitigates risks in scaling. It also helps the enterprise to identify gaps in supply to meet the demand, leading to business model and product/service innovations.
RECOMMENDATION 2 Create and reinforce linkages between
RECOMMENDATION 3 Leverage intermediaries as
contributors to the implementation and evaluation of policies and adaptation strategies
The integration of enterprise voices into
public and private support programmes
policy design and implementation helps
Existing public and private market access
are targeted and accessible to their target
programmes for SMEs, supported by corporate incubators, government and intermediaries, can be leveraged to support enterprises to scale. Often, a lack of coordination between these support programmes lead to a valley of death, in which businesses experience a gap in support between the pilot and scaling stage of their enterprise. Equipped with an oversight of the sector and support programmes, policy makers can build pipelines between public and
to ensure that programmes and policies group. Regular communication with multiple enterprises, however, is difficult for policy makers who often have limited time and resources. Instead, policy makers might leverage the experience and expertise of incubators, accelerators, enterprise support organisations and networks, who can provide insight into enterprise challenges in accessing markets in adaptation-related sectors, and can help to connect enterprises to the appropriate support.
South Africa were experiencing the worst drought in 40 years.
C LI MAT E-S MART EN T R E PR E NE UR SHIP Aqua Green and Projects developed
Eco-inclusive enterprises are at the
an integrated and streamlined farming
centre of global sustainable development
technology to grow catfish and crops
initiatives through their resource-efficient
through a self-designed water pond
and socially inclusive value chains
that can withstand floods and harsh
and low-carbon products and services,
weather conditions. The idea came
which help communities to adapt to and
from an unexpected loss of crops from
mitigate the impacts of climate change.
their farm following a heavy storm
In coordination, ecosystem builders
that ravaged a small community in the
– key stakeholders from the private,
Limpopo province. This eco-inclusive
public, and social sectors – possess
enterprise now helps to improve
tremendous potential to ensure that
the livelihoods of the community it
eco-inclusive enterprises receive the
operates in through catfish farming and
necessary support to realise their social,
production. It focuses on catfish as it
economic and environmental objectives
can grow in high densities and is less
and drive the global transition to an
expensive to farm. The fish is marketed
inclusive, green economy.
and sold to the local community including middle class and migrant
SEED is a global partnership for action on
customers. Among other economic,
sustainable development and the green
social and environmental impacts, the
economy, based on the understanding
enterprise is conserving water through
that the promotion of social and
the use of aquaculture production
environmental entrepreneurship is pivotal for
systems which re-use water and reduce
environmentally friendly and socially inclusive
its loss. Using fish waste fertiliser for its
development and poverty reduction.
vegetable growing aquaponics system, it helps prevent the use of chemical
We work directly with growing
fertiliser. Aqua Green and Projects is a
enterprises and aspiring entrepreneurs
2019 SEED South Africa Award Finalist.
in our Enterprise Support programmes to strategise, optimise and award achievements in eco-inclusive entrepreneurship. All our participating enterprises receive a comprehensive SEED Support Package of tailored business and capacity-building support, networking, and profiling at the national and international level. Complimentary to our direct Enterprise Support programmes, we offer programmes to build an ecosystem of supporters and advocators necessary to the success of growing enterprises. Our Ecosystem Building activities fortify a global network of local business development
environmental and economic impacts of entrepreneurship. SEED at the moment works in nine countries around the globe and is hosted by adelphi research. SEED’s programmes in South Africa are funded by the Government of Flanders and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. Indalo Inclusive is a South African nonprofit company aiming at strengthening a more environmentally friendly and socially inclusive economy in the country through capacity building, dialogue and policy consulting. Indalo stands for “creation”, “nature” and “ecology” in isiZulu. The Government of Flanders, in partnership with the Department of Environmental Affairs, supports Indalo Inclusive South Africa towards their “Reaping the Potential of Entrepreneurship for a Climate-Smart Inclusive Green Economy in South Africa” project. Indalo partners with the Climate Innovation Center SA and adelphi research on this project which aims to enhance climate resilience in rural communities. Indalo Inclusive and SEED hosted by adelphi have implemented various programmes to directly support ecoinclusive enterprises and create an enabling environment in South Africa in the last years.
services providers and offer platforms for coordination between key local, national and international stakeholders. Our facilitation of multi-stakeholder engagement through SEED programmes generates policy, financing and collaboration instruments that multiply the social,
https://climateknowledgeportal.worldbank.org https://businesstech.co.za https://seed.uno
IN THE WORKPLACE By Maxine Volker
the health and safety of employees to implementing responsible supply chain practises contributes to the sustainability of a workplace. These values result in a happier, more productive and beneficial environment for all. The first quarter of
Put simply, a sustainable workplace is a workplace which takes into account a regard for people and the planet.
2020 saw a dramatic shift in workplace dimensions - COVID-19 has taken the world by storm and resulted in many companies having to implement remote working. While this certainly presents its own challenges, sustainability does not need to go out the window. A sustainable workplace - which may now mean home contributes to viability in the long run, not
A business that employs sustainable
only for businesses and their employees,
practices is one that looks past
but for the environment at large. So,
profitability and revenue as the only key
what practices can companies implement
drivers and considers how they can make
both inside and outside the workplace to
a difference both inside and outside their
workspace. Everything from ensuring
S U S TAI N AB I L I T Y I N T HE WOR K PLACE
A workplace that employs sustainable
place where businesses have an opportunity
practises is ultimately a win-win for all.
to truly make meaningful environmental
Sustainability may be in the form of a regard
impacts. Although complex and often
for environmental impact or, on a smaller but equally important scale, the
Sustainability in the workplace strives to balance the triple bottom line of the three Ps - profit, planet and people.
challenging, when a company incorporates sustainability into their supply chain, they
health and safety of workers.
are starting at the source. While in-office
Keeping sustainability in
practises certainly make a difference, the
mind within the workplace reduces the risk of
reality is that until a company is able to involve their entire supply chain, they won’t
be able to make a big enough impact. Once
all parties involved in the supply chain of a
hazards - resulting in a
business practice sustainability, big changes
happier, safer and more
start to happen. Setting goals when it
productive space. Once a
comes to maintaining a sustainable supply
business has established
chain is a great way for a business to spark
a baseline from which to work, they may begin to reduce their environmental impact. By tracking monthly
utility bills, they can get a feel for their energy consumption and then begin
action. These goals can be big or small. Starting from the source by mapping a supply chain can help businesses to identify the areas most in need of sustainable supply practices. By examining each part of the supply chain from beginning to end,
limiting the costs externalised to society.
the company can put more sustainable
Changing wasteful habits is a good place to
strategies in place to ensure a more
start. Simple practises such as turning off
holistic supply chain. Consistently keeping
lights when they are not needed and limiting
a close eye on how the chain functions
heater and aircon use are ways to reduce
allows businesses to monitor its overall
electricity usage. Offices can also make
sustainability. Ensuring ethical sourcing is
sure to turn off computers at the end of the
a vital part of supply chain sustainability. A
day or enable sleep mode and power-saving
supply chain manager needs to be able to
features to reduce power consumption.
see how their suppliers are extracting and
Setting up a recycling program is an efficient
producing raw materials and the overall
way to track how much or how little a
impact this has on the environment. From
business is recycling.
there, changes can be made if needed.
Placing recycling bins in places where
Sustainability in the workplace strives to
workers are reminded to use them, such
balance the triple bottom line of the three Ps
as lunchrooms and next to printers, is
- profit, planet and people. Over the years,
an effective way to make sure recycling
sustainability has become increasingly
practices are implemented. Recycling paper
important to both individuals and businesses
and setting printers to double-sided on default are ways to reduce paper wastage and therefor save costs.
as a whole. We often fall into the trap of thinking that small contributions don’t make a difference, so why bother. However, the truth is, it’s the little things added up that
When it comes to sustainable
make the biggest difference. Integrating
practices outside workspaces,
sustainability practices into workspaces
responsible supply chain
requires having strong values and sticking
management is vital. Supply chains, which are critical links connecting an organization’s inputs and outputs, are a
to them. With a firm plan, strong leadership and teamwork, companies can do their bit to make a difference.
A TIME TO
CORPORATE SOCIAL INVESTMENT IN THE WAKE OF COVID-19 By Maxine Volker
A TIM E TO GIV E B AC K - C O R P O R AT E S O C I AL I N VES T MEN T I N T H E WA K E OF COV ID- 1 9
These days successful companies are
However, CSR in terms of employees
invested in doing good in the world
extends beyond providing security. Giving
around them. Looking beyond, yet not past, increasing profits and productivity, companies are exploring how to give back in meaningful and sustainable ways. Dedicating their resources and time to various environmental, social and economic causes means they are making important corporate social investments. However, the recent global
CSR is often viewed as giving back to the community at large, but in these times, giving back to staff is a key social responsibility.
employees flexibility regarding working hours and revisiting requirements are also ways in which companies can look out for the wellbeing of their staff in light of the recent changes to work structure. Taking into account things like childcare and elder care are important, as workers are now having to juggle family obligations on top of work priorities. Employee wellbeing
pandemic has swept nations off their
needs to be a top priority, this will benefit
collective feet and turned the world
upside down. COVID-19 has changed life as we know it and businesses have been structurally shaken. So how exactly are companies giving back during this time and what does this mean for those
the globe, employee security needs to be a top priority. Businesses need to be focusing on those they depend
they are trying to support? We explore.
on most, and this is not only for
Without knowing the way things will be
When someone feels uncertain
post-COVID-19, companies are faced with uncertainty on all fronts. With no economy or sector beyond the reach of this devastating pandemic, businesses are having to look at strategies for longterm survival. Facing the challenges of dealing with prolonged global and local instability, the anxiety and possible retrenchment of staff, as well as possible loss of clients and customers, in many ways, the idea of corporate social responsibility has taken on a
the benefit of the employee. about financial security, they are going to do everything in their power to put this insecurity at bay. Employers should understand that in the absence of financial security from their employers - where possible - workers are going to seek safety elsewhere. If this results in leaving their current place of work, companies will suffer a loss when the world does eventually go back to normal.
wider meaning in terms of including the wellbeing of staff. CSR is often viewed as giving back to the community at large, but in these times, giving back to staff is a key social responsibility. COVID-19 has created uncertainty for everyone. Businesses are faced with economic challenges, resulting in individual employee insecurity - it’s ultimately a domino effect. With a dangerous health crisis threatening
A TIME TO GIV E BA C K - C O RPO R AT E S O C I AL I N VES T MEN T I N T H E WAK E O F C O VI D -1 9
Many big companies are devoting their resources to aiding the world at large during this time. Whether this be in the form of supporting small at-risk businesses or donating to relief funds, there are many ways that companies can do their bit.
• Standard Bank’s CSI initiatives are
• Unilever’s Enterprise and Supplier Development Fund assists small
positive social development of the
businesses – crucial in this time of
stress has been placed not only on
communities they operate in. Through
companies as a whole and the world at
various community interventions, effective community re-investment reinforces their values and achieves business objectives. Standard Bank Group’s Corporate Social Investment
• Starbucks has given all employees
• Uber and Uber Eats have taken the
expenditure is funded by an annual
decision to provide their employees who
allocation of not less than one percent
are either diagnosed with the virus or at
of previous year’s after-tax income
risk, with 14 days of financial assistance.
• Nedbank is doing their part by
• Companies have also become creative in the way they are giving
providing emergency relief to the most
back and creating awareness during
vulnerable South African communities.
this time. For example, clothing
They have pledged a R12 million
brands are now manufacturing and
donation in aid of hunger relief as
selling masks. Although this does
well as to help mobilise, train and
serve as a form of creating
equip volunteers with the necessary
revenue, it also promotes
information to drive awareness across
the importance of
• Discovery and Vodacom have formed a partnership which enables free COVID-19 online doctor consultations. This platform allows South Africans to access professional healthcare without having to travel to healthcare facilities. • The Sasol foundation is now offering free online primary and high school textbooks and resources during lockdown. In addition, Sasol, in partnership with the Department of Basic Education and Africa Teen Geeks, has launched free science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) “Lockdown School”, which provides online classes on STEM subjects.
have been widespread. An unprecedented
large. However, it is vital that businesses do not disregard CSI during this time.
access to therapy during COVID-19.
from its South African operations.
The devastating effects of COVID-19
aimed at achieving and sustaining
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DIVERSIT Y IN THE WORKPLACE
ESG REPORTING INCREASINGLY CONSIDERED FOR INVESTMENT DECISION MAKING Refinitiv tracks the trend Refinitiv reports that investors are
Companies reporting gender metrics report
increasingly considering companies that
that they have an average of 37% female
engage in ESG reporting as part of their
managers and 52% female employees.
investment decision making. Amongst
in the 2017 financial year compared to 12.17% in the 2013 financial year; • Female Managers averaged 26.41%
2. Changes at the top
other highlights, Refinitiv identifies five
• Female Executives averaged 18.07%
in the 2017 financial year compared to
key gender metrics findings based on the
24.75% in the 2013 financial year; and
ESG reporting of over 4000 companies
While still significantly underrepresented,
in a five-year period (2013 – 2017) from
in the last five years there has been
in the 2017 financial year compared
all over the world including South Africa.
improvement among women at board
to 33.49% in the 2013 financial year.
and executive levels. Little has changed 1. Investors consider companies
at lower employee level, however. The
which report gender metrics
• Female Employees averaged 34.92%
3. The Corporate Ladder Gender Gap
recent improvements at board and
Overall, on a global scale, we see companies more willing to report granular data on gender diversity than
executive ranks reflect the increasing
There are still some significant
focus on gender diversity at the corporate
barriers when it comes to promotion
leadership level, with a 5.57% increase in
of women to more senior levels. In an
female executives between 2016-2017.
ideal world, we would see comparable average percentages of female
ever before. In the last five years, we have seen a 6% increase of companies reporting female manager numbers.
An analysis of the female composition
representation across all levels, but
of the workforce reveals the following:
the reality is starkly different. Using female employee percentages as
Companies reporting female employee
• Female board members averaged
numbers is also seen as a positive sign for investors looking for transparency as now almost half of companies report on this metric globally.
a baseline for comparison against
13.35% in the 2017 financial year
board, executive and non-executive
compared to 11.34% in the 2013
levels, the gender gap is substantial
at all levels.
The Gender Gap: US
Female Board Members (%)
Female Executives (%)
Female Managers (%)
D I VER S I T Y I N THE WOR K PLACE
4. Gender Diversity by Region When comparing countries with the highest GDP, Japanese companies with female board members, executives and managers are conspicuously absent. It is also worth noting that six of the top ten regions have a deficit in female executives, meaning it could be a challenge to keep the board level diverse in the future if there isn’t a healthy pipeline of female executives to promote onto the board. Female Representation for Six Countries:
Board Members – 20.62%
Board Members – 10.29%
Executives – 15.11% Managers – 33.27% Employees – 38.33%
Japan Board Members – 4.68%
Executives – 10.57%
Executives – 1.29%
Managers – 26.31%
Managers – 9.56%
Employees – 35.91%
Employees – 26.28%
5. Gender Diversity by Industry Our data shows that globally, gender composition of the workforce has changed
Board Members – 27.83%
Board Members – 22.93%
Board Members – 23.67%
Managers – 24.66%
Managers – 25.19%
Managers – 31.54%
over the years based on industry group. Although changes have been consistent in the top business sectors, we still see
Executives – 7.90%
Employees – 36.00%
Executives – 15.54%
Executives – 20.27%
Employees – 26.59%
Employees – 39.65%
severe underrepresentation of female employees in industries that have been traditionally male dominated. Top Five Business Sectors Ranked by Female Employee Percentage:
Top Ten Countries with Highest Female Board Representation by GDP:
1. Drug and Food Retailing – 56.39% 2. Retailers – 55.90% 3. Insurance – 54.54%
Female Board Percentage in 2017
Refinitiv ESG Company Coverage
United States of America
1. Mineral Resources – 15.39%
2. Automobile and Auto Parts – 17.73%
3. Chemicals – 19.73%
4. Applied Resources – 21.54%
5. Industrial Goods – 21.55%
4. Healthcare Services and Equipment – 51.51% 5. Banking and Investment Services - 49.42% Bottom Five Business Sectors Ranked by Female Employee Percentage:
Business Sectors Ranked by the 2017 Female Employee Percentage: Female Board Representation
Top 5 Groups
Female Managers (Non-Executive)
Food and Drug Retailers
Healthcare Services and Equipment
Banking and Investment Services
The financial sector represents two
controversy and attention for their
of the top five economic sectors by
lack of gender transformation in
female employment with the banking
recent years and we are yet to see if
and investment services being ranked
they fulfil their commitment to have
at the top by female employees and
more female representation in the
Some improvements have been
The increasing focus on ESG by
seen by female employees in the
investors and the movement to
retail sector appears in the top
regulation around sustainable finance
five for female employees, female
means asset managers are needing
managers and female executives.
more data and analytics than ever
Insurance, and healthcare services
before to build sustainability into
and equipment industries show high
their investment strategy. We have
representation in female employees
highlighted some of the bright spots
and female board members;
that investors can look at when
however, the healthcare services and
deciding on industries and counties to
equipment industry has had a gradual
make up their sustainable portfolio.
decrease in female managers over the last five years.
In addition, looking at emissions and CO 2 production, one could answer the
Another area to keep an eye on is
question which companies, industries
STEM industries. The technology
and countries are positioning
and engineering economic industries
themselves for success in the
are not represented in the top five
transition to low-carbon economies.
business sectors based on female
We then turn to waste, water, and
employees. The only STEM business
the impact on biodiversity to see
sector that has more than 40%
which nations are leading the way
female employees is pharmaceuticals
with recycling and protecting wildlife.
and medical research. STEM is an
Finally, we consider energy use and
area which has received a lot of
the impact of supply chain.
D I VER S I T Y I N THE WOR K PLACE Some key findings that Refinitiv data has extracted include the following:
“ ...It is critical the industry promotes data transparency and standardization to empower and inform investors which companies are improving their impact on the environment and re-direct capital towards the winning sectors, companies and asset classes...”
• 63% of companies have a policy to reduce emissions (up from 56%
five years previously); however, only 35% of companies have specific reduction targets around emissions. • Japan, Europe and Africa & Middle East have the highest percentage of companies reporting on target emissions. Asia is the region with the highest average CO2 emissions per company. • Hong Kong produced more than double the amount of CO2 per $ million revenue compared to the closest polluting country and 17 times more than the lowest polluting country, France. • 78% of companies have resource reduction policies, however only 30% are putting tangible targets in place, and only 26% have both. • Over the last 5 years, we have seen a 25% increase in companies with water efficiency policies and 34% more companies setting specific water efficiency targets • The top 5 industry groups in terms of percentage of companies with policies on emissions are: •
Automobiles & Auto Parts
Food & Drug Retailing
“This is a pivotal moment for capital markets and the role investors have to play in order to sustain and finance
At Refinitiv, we strive to be the trusted and preferred partner for environmental, social and governance (ESG) data and solutions, and are committed to bringing to the market an array of best in class data, analytics and fully integrated workflow solutions. We understand the increasingly critical need for ESG information and the solutions we offer enable customers to act with confidence on consistently captured and standardized transparent information and insights. We have deep domain expertise and have been providing ESG solutions to the financial industry since the early 2000s. Designed to help you make sound, sustainable investment decisions, our ESG data covers nearly 70% of global market cap and over 400 metrics. Our ESG data is available through Eikon, Excel® add-in, Datastream®, Datastream Data Loader (DDL), QA Direct® and the Elektron Data Platform Cloud API. For more information, visit us online at www.refinitiv.com/esg
prosperous economies in the future. It is critical the industry promotes data transparency and standardization to empower and inform investors which companies are improving their impact on the environment and re-direct capital towards the winning sectors, companies and asset classes of the sustainable future,” said Global Head of ESG at
MEDIA CONTACT: Sonwabise Sebata
Africa Head, Communications and Public Relations, Refinitiv Email: email@example.com Telephone: +27664727593
Refinitiv, Elena Philipova.
INVESTING IN A BETTER FUTURE FOR OUR COUNTRY AND OUR INVESTORS
Prescient Investment Management is one of the country’s largest black-empowered asset managers and has been managing money for over 21 years.
During this time, our primary investment aim has been to give our clients the certainty of knowing that their capital will be preserved. We do this by consistently managing relative and absolute downside investment risk, with the ultimate aim of achieving superior risk-adjusted returns for our clients. To achieve these sustainable returns, we recognise how important it is to take environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues into consideration. We also understand that, as a guardian of clients’ savings, we have the responsibility of ensuring the capital we invest is put to work contributing to the greater good of the economy, environment and broader society. This commitment is reflected in our corporate philosophy, which embraces the mutually reinforcing values of commercial success and long-term sustainability. Internationally, climate change, corporate governance crises and social inequalities are posing severe challenges that world leaders and other economic stakeholders need to address as a matter or urgency.
fu t u re o fs u sta i n a b i l i ty.c o.z a
Against this backdrop, there is a growing awareness of just how crucial it is to incorporate ESG considerations into investment decisions. In South Africa, economic inequality and governance challenges are particularly acute, and thus, we believe it is imperative to integrate ESG considerations seamlessly into our investment decision making processes.
OUR APPROACH TO SUSTAINABLE INVESTING To achieve this, Prescient has adopted a holistic and integrative approach to sustainable investing, embedding ESG considerations into our corporate activities, product development and security selection and portfolio construction processes. This three-pillared approach ensures that we deliberately and systematically include all material ESG factors in our investment and corporate activities. Our approach to ESG goes beyond traditional financial factors by considering overall sustainability and the alignment of all stakeholder interests in the investments we make.
At the product development level, Prescient offers a range of retail unit trusts for individual investors, as well as institutional investment products that comply with Regulation 28, which makes them appropriate investment options for retirement. Our product range enables clients to choose funds that best suit their investment needs and aspirations, while aligning with their appetite for risk.
INVESTING IN CLEAN ENERGY AND INFRASTRUCTURE The Prescient Clean Energy and Infrastructure Debt Fund has been specifically established to address the environmental and energy challenges South Africa is currently confronting. The Fund invests in clean energy and other infrastructure that is specifically designed to have a positive social and environmental impact, while also improving the sustainability of the country’s energy supply. The projects in which the Fund invests will provide the infrastructure that is so vital for the development of South Africa by reducing carbon emissions, creating jobs and providing socio-economic and enterprise development.
PRESCIENT A D VERT ORIA L
Addressing social considerations is particularly material in South Africa, given the country’s history of inequality and increasing unemployment. The Prescient Foundation undertakes Prescient’s social upliftment initiatives. The Foundation’s main objective is to create a better, sustainable future for South Africans by investing in, primarily, education and leadershipfocused initiatives. The various projects the Foundation supports include a leadership programme in partnership with the Sakhikamva Foundation, IT-related programmes, a school support programme, community involvement, bursaries and individual financial support.
a compliance exercise but reflects our sincere desire to facilitate economic inclusion and have a positive impact on all of our stakeholders and the broader economy.
We have also been significant contributors to enterprise development within the South African investment landscape, both through fostering upcoming investment talent, as well as through our initiative to support black stockbrokers in their business endeavours by allocating almost 80% of our brokerage services to blackowned stockbrokers.
There is no doubt that good governance is critical in determining the long-term performance of companies in which we invest. For that reason, governance considerations are firmly embedded in our investment process, including our investment research and idea generation, security selection and portfolio construction and portfolio monitoring.
TRANSFORMATION, EMPOWERMENT AND GOOD GOVERNANCE Prescient considers transformation and the creation of sustainable Broadbased Black Economic Empowerment as a critical imperative within the South African business landscape. We became the second-largest black empowered asset management company in the country, with a level one B-BBEE status, when financial services investment holding company, Sithega, became a significant shareholder and partner in the business in April 2019. We are passionate about fostering empowerment through what we do as a business. Thus fulfilling our B-BBEE requirements is not merely
“...we have the responsibility of ensuring the capital we invest is put to work contributing to the greater good of the economy, environment and broader society.”
We engage investees and stakeholders on material ESG issues across all asset classes, intending to balance short-term financial gain with longerterm sustainability goals. The types of governance engagements we involve ourselves in include engagement with investees, other stakeholders and proxy voting. Where there is a governance issue that requires urgent attention, we engage with the investee directly to gather the information we need to form an opinion. We also subscribe to the Code of
Corporate Practices and Conduct as set out in King III. As a signatory to the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investing (UNPRI) and Code for Responsible Investing in
South Africa (CRISA), we engage with
other industry stakeholders around governance considerations.
Prescient understands that the way we, and other investment firms, deal with
ESG issues as investors and corporate citizens will have a meaningful
impact on the long-term consistency and sustainability of the country’s
economic growth and the investment returns generated by different asset
classes. For these reasons, we have firmly embedded ESG principles and engagements around these issues
in all our investment and corporate decision-making processes.
CONTACT DETAILS Tel: +27 21 700 3600 MANCO toll-free: 0800 111 899 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Physical Address: Block B, Silverwood, Silverwood Lane, Steenberg Office Park, Tokai, 7945 Website: www.prescient.co.za
Prescient Investment Management is an authorised Financial Services Provider (FSP 612).
KIMBERLY-CLARK A D VERT ORIA L
CARING FOR THE PLANET Kimberly-Clark (K-C), makers of Kleenex R , Huggies R , Kotex R and Baby Soft R are an indispensable part of life for people in more than 175 countries. Fueled by ingenuity, creativity, and an understanding of people’s most essential needs, the company creates products that help individuals experience more of what’s important to them and uses
sustainable practices that support a healthy planet, stronger communities, and ensures their business thrives for decades to come. K-C recently announced its 2030 sustainability strategy which will address key social and environmental challenges of the next decade. In South Africa, this strategy comes to life through one of the many initiatives at Enstra Mill, K-C’s mill in Springs. Enstra recently and successfully switched from coal to gas fired boilers, an ambitious project that will deliver a reduction of around 16,500 metric tons of carbon dioxide, and the teams have had to do that whilst maintaining the energy security because the mills run 24/7. Ensuring the gas availability and reliability of supply has been one of the project complexities. The coal phase-out throughout KimberlyClark EMEA is an important milestone for the company’s decarbonisation journey and represents a critical steppingstone towards decarbonising the thermal energy needs of the South-African operations while exploring solutions to decarbonise its electricity needs as well. “The Enstra Mill team have achieved a fantastic accomplishment in phasing out coal in our EMEA operations; despite the significant project complexity, it is a clear kick-off signal of a significant energy transition for Kimberly-Clark in the years to come,” says Oriol Margó, Energy and Climate Leader for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Kimberly-Clark believes in ‘making lives better-with the smallest environmental
footprint’ - a statement that is lived daily by the business, ensuring they control, measure and reduce the impact on the environment. “We monitor our emissions, waste disposal to landfill and use fibre that is sourced responsibly. We do weekly, monthly and annual reporting and we raise non-conformances up to the Global
Environment Team to account when we have deviated from the limits. These ensure that we produce responsibly and that we comply daily,” says Ntokozo Sithole, Enstra Mill Manager. “We are audited every year on environmental and legal compliance by local bodies and can get our systems certification withdrawn if we do not adhere to the company policies and procedures.” Looking to the future for Enstra Mill – there are 5-year plans which include investments in energy conservation, water recycling, reduction of energy usage and using natural energy sources with goals to move to 100% aversion of waste to landfill by 2022. “The drivers are trying to balance providing for human needs while reducing the impact on natural resources by using sustainable development goals, by-laws, company policies and procedures to ensure companies are held accountable,” says Sithole, “corporate responsibilities and reputation are defined and protected by how business conserves the environment. Our sustainability goals are linked to corporate strategies.” The energy transition to decarbonised technologies is probably the biggest of the century following transitions from wood to coal, coal to oil, oil to gas and now gas to renewables and Kimberly-Clark is working hard to make it possible with 2030 goals that have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative which are in line with the latest climate science.
K-C employees from Enstra Mill at a community clean up and tree planting event in Daveyton, Benoni.
CONTACT DETAILS Head Office - South Africa
Kimberly-Clark House, 8 Leicester Road, Bedford Gardens, Bedfordview, Gauteng Telephone: +27 (0) 11 456-5700 Fax: +27 (0) 11 456-5917 Website: kimberly-clark.com/en/
GOVERNA THE FUTURE OF SUSTAINABILITY
HOW TO EMBED ESG BESTPRACTICE IN YOUR BUSINESS
PURPOSE DRIVEN COMPANIES OUTSHINE THE REST By Victoria Reuvers
“Purpose is not the sole pursuit of profits but the animating force for achieving them … In fact, profits and purpose are inextricably linked.” – Larry Fink
In contrast, not offering ESG may
Sustainable investing is growing, both
In a Morningstar study of 948 people,
in supply and demand, but several
72% of investors are likely to consider
advisers are still confused on how best to
sustainably-minded solutions; with
execute. At a high level, many advisers
broad-based interest across millennials,
acknowledge the need to future-proof their
generation-X and baby boomers:
actually isolate your business from a significant and growing portion of the market (as evidenced in the following table), where 72% of investors are at least moderately interested in ESG investing.
KEY EXECUTION MATTERS The far more difficult question—and one we seek to advance in this article —is how to execute using ESG solutions. For example, you may like the idea of offering ESG in your practice, but there is little evidence available to tell you the best way to structure the financial planning process. With this in mind, we break down three of the building blocks that are likely to be foundational in a great execution plan.
practice and/or attract new types of clients. However, implementing an environmental, social and governance (ESG) solution
Distribution of My Sustainability Profile Preference Score (weighted)
for a client is still problematic for some. Questions like “how do I raise it with my clients?” remain commonplace, so we explore the road ahead and seek a reasoned approach to execution. When evaluating your value proposition, it is useful to think about balancing monetary goals with client values:
Client Money Goals
Great Financial Advice
Client Life Goals
Under the “value proposition” lens, it is hard to argue that sustainable-investing solutions—including ESG portfolios—are a fad and should thus be excluded from your toolkit.
My Sustainability Profile Score Source: Morningstar research paper, April 2019: “The True Faces of Sustainable Investing: Busting the Myths Around ESG Investors”.
H O W T O EMB ED ES G B ES T-P R AC T I C E I N Y OUR B USINE SS
Raising ESG preferences with clients
At the heart of the financial planning profession is the concept of knowing your client. To date, most practices have adopted risk profiling and fact-finding tools to build a repeatable and robust framework that not only matches gaps to solutions but also meets the requirements of the regulators. But rarely has the factfinding process included ESG or valuesbased preferences. Whilst the debate about the best way to incorporate ESG into advisory practices continues, one observation from behavioural science appears clear—just asking the question is unlikely to be enough. The rationale demanding a more thorough approach is that asking clients value-based questions will tempt them to answer in a way that reflects what they think others want to hear, not what they really want. That is, no one wants to say I’m not interested, because that seems cold-hearted. But no one wants to invest in something that doesn’t align to what
effective ways to raise it with existing clients will likely require more thought.
value-adding exercise. This may express that ESG often appeals to
that is one-size-fits-all. Not only are
older generations too, with an option
each clients’ financial goals different, but
to enquire if they are interested.
the adviser process must be capable of handling the change necessary to adapt to
The key is to deepen the
ESG-related goals. That does not mean it
understanding of where clients’ see
isn’t worth exploring—quite the opposite—
themselves on the returns-driven to
as it may create an opportunity to deepen
sustainably-driven spectrum, then
the client-adviser relationship and possibly
making sure there is the capability to
drive new business. But we need to be
tailor the financial plan accordingly.
realistic as to the challenges it presents. While this is an area ripe for development, to help make it practical, we offer three examples of ways advisers are currently raising ESG capabilities with existing clients. This is not conclusive, nor suggestive as such, but intended to be thought provoking. Examples include: • An upfront announcement to the client base regarding a new capability or function, with the option to enquire if they are interested. • A structured approach to client annual reviews, perhaps using a premeeting checklist that asks the client
To overcome the challenge this poses,
setting and whether their financial
expect some great ESG preference tools
clients, perhaps as a marketing or
In this sense, it’s hard to see an approach
they really want either.
the industry has some work to do. We
• An offer to the children of existing
to review their risk tolerance, goal plan is aligned to their life values (including ESG preferences).
Find unique ways to show the impact
Take two investors with the same age, the same savings patterns and the same retirement goal—yet one is sustainably minded while the other is returns driven. They share a lot in common, but the messaging will not resonate equally. If you can bring the ESG impact to life, you are well on your way to changing the past performance conversation into a well-rounded assessment of value. Tying into the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals is one such effective way this may be done.
to become available as the product supply increases (for example, Morningstar’s Behavioural Science team are developing one such version to support the Morningstar
Demonstrating the impact is important. While the right approach depends on the goals of the client, it may change the way they think about value
ESG Portfolio Range at present), which should go a long way in bridging the divide. However, even with the addition of great ESG preference tools, it seems clear
Your Portfolio Performance = 9.8%
Benchmark Performance = 10.2%
that many of the ESG preference tools will be better suited to prospects rather than existing clients. For prospects, you can easily establish a clients’ ESG
preferences via the fact-finding process, perhaps by adding it to the questionnaire or risk tolerance assessment. Finding
Get to know your product implementation options
Do you really understand how sustainable a given company is? Or tougher, how sustainable a portfolio of companies might be? This is extremely difficult, even for the experts, as corporate and governmental policies change over time. For instance, it might be easy to say that a tobacco company ranks poorly on the ESG front, but what about an oildriven emerging market that offers government bonds? Having an ESG portfolio capability function will likely require outsourcing of some kind—at a minimum, having a research provider on your side. More advanced solutions include a managed portfolio offering, taking the burden of misallocation risks out of your hands. Only you can decide what products are most suitable for a given client, but whichever way you go, it is likely you’ll need to develop a relationship with trusted ESG specialists that can help provide the solutions your clients need. This has the added advantage as a means to stay on top of a quicklygrowing field. THE DOWNSIDE TO OFFERING ESG PORTFOLIOS
Offering ESG portfolios is theoretically easy—using the client, impact and product foundations—however it is worth elaborating on potential downsides. For example, a common mistake we are already seeing in the industry is something we can simplistically label the “plug and play” approach to ESG. That is, a client shows a preference for ESG, so
the adviser picks a handful of ESG
funds and replaces the conventional holdings like-for-like. Such an
Ask your everyday person on the
approach is sub-optimal for many
street and they are increasingly
reasons, leading to a portfolio profile
preferring companies with a strong
that can deviate considerably (both
environmental record or those that
in risk and return) from the desired
embrace other developments such
outcomes. For example, the ESG
as gender equality.
indexes tend to carry meaningfully different sector and size biases
This movement is certainly not a fad,
than traditional indexes, which can
it is very real, and raises the
impact everything from credit
interesting prospect to differentiate
quality to liquidity.
your value proposition.
This leads to another important
The development of ESG products is
point. While we believe offering an
likely to grow further and you have
ESG portfolio range has the ability to
a great opportunity to strengthen
strengthen your practice, you do need
your practice by using them. While
to be ready for different conversations.
the industry continues to grapple
Some of these conversations will
with the best way to incorporate
be meaningfully positive (such as
ESG preferences into previously
developing a deeper understanding of
standardised practices, a foundational
your clients’ opinions and values), but
approach could see you step ahead.
others will be more challenging. One such example is that ESG portfolios
The benefits of offering ESG
can be expected to behave differently
solutions are likely to far outweigh
from conventional portfolios (tracking
the drawbacks, but there will be
error from conventional benchmarks
challenges. To support adviser’s
may be higher), so it does raise the
in their journey, Morningstar have
prospect of how you’ll handle relative
decided to offer ESG Managed
Portfolios, which comprise five portfolios aligned to Morningstar’s
As with most things, setting
established risk profiles and
expectations upfront will be
compatible with other leading risk
paramount, but so will the ongoing
tools. The portfolios are managed
communication. For those that already
using Morningstar’s distinctive
use an individually-documented
long-term valuation-driven approach
investment strategy with each client
and use both active and passive
(usually involving a statement of
funds with the aim to maximise the
principle, purpose and expected
potential reward for risk while reducing
behaviour), you may need to evolve
the cost as far as possible. The
this thinking to consider ESG factors.
portfolio management team draws on
For those that don’t, you’ll need to be
expertise from over 100 investment
clear with your client on why an ESG
professionals around the world and
solution is fit for purpose and think
are supported by Morningstar’s
carefully about how to reinforce this
industry-leading research, data, and
message across the journey.
thinking around ESG considerations.
H O W T O EMB ED ES G B ES T-P R AC T I C E I N Y OUR B USINE SS
To successfully embed ESG into your practice, one must start by getting the foundations right
THE WAY FORWARD
To successfully embed ESG into your
Like anything, there are likely to be
practice, one must start by getting the
some challenges to offering ESG
Future proofing your business—by
foundations right. While there is no one-
portfolios. You can expect client
evolving your “value proposition”—can
size-fits-all approach, it is likely to revolve
conversations to change—mostly for
be improved by including a focus on
around at least three key variables:
the better, but possibly for the worse
environmental, social and governance
1) f inding a way to raise it with your
at times. For example, ESG funds
(ESG) investments. This is a great opportunity to change the way your clients perceive success, moving from performance-driven expectations to rounded goals.
clients in an effective manner 2) f inding ways to visualise the ongoing impact, and 3) knowing your products of choice.
carry higher tracking error against conventional portfolios (even if there is no change in overall risk), which may create perceived disappointment if ESG funds experience a weak period.
A SOUTH AFRICAN PERSPECTIVE By Hortense Bioy, Eugene Visagie and Victoria Reuvers
In South Africa, ESG investing is still in
likely to move into sustainable funds.
its early days. But there’s no doubt that
Asset managers are taking note of these
it’s here to stay and is only going to grow
dynamics and accounting for them in
in importance. Globally, it’s estimated that
their investment processes.
ESG investing has more than $23-trillion
How do publicly listed companies deal with environmental issues and climate change? How do they manage carbon risk? How do they treat their workers, and do they have effective health and safety policies? Do they manage their supply chains in a sustainable way? Do they have a corporate culture that builds trust and fosters innovation? These are the types of questions increasingly being asked by South African investors as part of a growing trend towards sustainable investing, where investors and institutions look for strong ESG (environmental, social and governance) credentials as a key part of their decision-making.
in assets under management (AUM)
Additionally, in the South African market,
- or around a quarter of all professionally
multiple corporate governance failures
managed assets around the world.
have fostered a growing awareness around the governance angle, resulting in
This is being driven by several factors.
more pressure on investment managers
In many important markets, including
to incorporate ESG into their investment
the U.S. and the EU, ESG integration is
strategies. If the growth of ESG focused
increasingly seen as part of fiduciary duty.
assets in the global market is anything to
There’s also a growing body of research
go by, the movement isn’t a fad—instead,
which suggests that good environmental,
we’re viewing it as a real opportunity
social and governance practices translate
for advisers to differentiate a client’s
into good business results, and lead to
more sustainable markets and better outcomes for societies. A company with
As ESG awareness grows, the industry is
good ESG credentials is a company
grappling with the best way to incorporate
that’s well-positioned to deal with the
these preferences into previously
challenges of the future.
standardised practices. In the US, we’ve observed that this isn’t just about meeting
Increasingly, investors prefer to put
growing investor demand—instead,
their money into companies with a
fund managers are incorporating ESG
demonstrated social conscience—that
because they believe it can improve their
may be a strong environmental record
overall investment process and results.
or companies that embrace other
As stakeholders hold public companies to
developments, such as gender equality.
higher standards for corporate behaviour and performance, these issues become
Globally, this has been driven by
central to a company’s sustainability and
millennials, an increasingly powerful
investor segment with a higher level of confidence in the long-term investment
Climate change is real, and it’s a serious
value of strong ESG practices. As their
challenge for investors who want to
investable assets grow, more assets are
balance their desire for high returns with
S U S TAI N AB L E I N VES T I N G - A S O U T H AFR I C AN PE R SPE CTIV E
a commitment to a positive environmental
bad for the environment can get a more
factors and often screen out certain
impact. This means investors will need to
positive score by establishing practices
industries or companies. Impact
be more precise than ever in analysing their
that partially offset their carbon footprints.
funds look at measurable social and
portfolio exposures to ensure they meet the realities of a carbon-constrained future. To help them gear up for this new reality, South African investment advisors and asset managers are going to have to raise their ESG capabilities. This is getting easier all the time, with several resources available to help investors determine ESG factors, like
environmental impacts alongside financial This is broadly done in three ways:
return, while sustainable sector funds
focus on the growing green economy.
Values alignment: screening out or excluding certain stocks
ESG integration: mitigating
It’s important to note that individuals
exposure to certain industries (tobacco, gambling, weapons), while others are more concerned about incorporating best practice values when it comes
into the broader ESG
Impact or thematic driven companies
differently. Some investors won’t want any
conventional funds to move
risk and generating alpha
the potential carbon exposure in markets.
will prioritise ESG pillars/principals
Going forward, we expect more
searching for large-scale environmental and social issues.
A company with good ESG credentials is a company that’s well-positioned to deal with the challenges of the future.
group and more ESG integration funds to move towards impact investing. Sustainable sector funds
to board composition and staff
wellbeing. A more recent wave
of ESG, impact investing,
as more investors see
looks at investing solely
opportunities in the low-carbon transition
into projects that focus
to a green economy.
on renewable energy, recycling and similar.
ESG incorporation and sustainable funds have plenty of room to grow. Assets under
management and flows, though both higher
than ever before, remain tiny compared
with the overall investment universe. While
with apparent shakier
many financial intermediaries are yet to
fully embrace sustainable investing, asset
Next, companies that
managers are recognising the fiduciary
didn’t incorporate best
benefits – not to mention satisfying investor
practices were screened out
demand – that come from incorporating
(i.e. companies lacking board
diversity, such as ones with low female representation, or companies without
Ultimately, though, it doesn’t matter which
tool you use. The bottom line is that ESG Sustainable funds and ESG integration
is coming, and local investment advisors
As investors are increasingly led by their
come in several forms. As ESG
and asset managers should make sure
social values, more listed companies have
considerations grow, more asset
they’re up to speed. We’re already seeing
been incorporating ESG principles (some
managers are starting to recognise
instances in Europe and the US where
even establishing an ESG sub-committees
sustainability issues in their investment
institutions give their business exclusively
to the board) to address some of these
processes. By contrast, ESG integration
to asset managers with ESG credentials
concerns. This way, companies that
funds take a more thorough approach,
and capabilities. This is not a boat we
operate in sectors that are perceived to be
building portfolios that reflect sustainability
want to miss.
THE PUBLIC SECTOR AND SUSTAINABILIT Y By Fiona Wakelin
“ Government is key in driving and creating demand for the green economy in order to create opportunities and sustainable jobs.” - Gerhard Fourie, dti
South Africa’s green economy initiatives are built on the National Development Plan (Vision 2030), the National Strategy for Sustainable Development and Action Plan and the New Growth Path. The sustainable development vision is intrinsically linked to the green economy which has two interlinked developmental outcomes: • The growth of economic activity, which leads to investment, jobs and competitiveness • A shift in the economy as a whole towards cleaner industries and sectors
T H E P U B L I C S EC T O R AN D SUSTAINAB ILITY
NINE KEY AREAS IDENTIFIED IN THE GREEN ECONOMY PROGRAMMES The green economy action plan has a number of crosscutting roles and responsibilities and its implementation is significantly decentralised and includes private sector, civil society and all levels of government. The nine key focus areas identified in the green economy programmes include:
Green buildings and the built environment
Sustainable transport and infrastructure
Clean energy and energy efficiency
Resource conservation and management
Sustainable waste management practices
Agriculture, food production and forestry
Sustainable consumption and production
PUBLIC SECTOR GREEN INITIATIVES
127,000 new direct and indirect jobs. The
In 2019, President Cyril Ramaphosa
plans also include providing support to
launched the Good Green Deeds
Campaign to mobilise citizens, business,
4 300 SMMEs with 70% targeted at youth and at least 30% targeted at women; and
industry, labour and civil society at large
ultimately seeing more than 20 million
towards a common goal – cleaning up
tonnes of waste diverted from landfill.
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL
“By performing just one Good Green Deed
a day, you can make all the difference.
The dea is responsible for the
Whether it is in recycling your waste, or
implementation of the Expanded
conducting clean-up activities in your
Public Works Programme (EPWP)
street, in your neighbourhood, school,
and the National Green Fund projects.
or municipality, you must be the agent of
The EPWP includes 8 programmes
change we want and need…
focusing on sustainability, job creation and the environment.
“We hope the Good Green Deeds campaign will be embraced with vigour and enthusiasm
However, to ensure systemic sustainability,
in all municipalities around South Africa.
cooperation between departments, sectors
We are all too aware of the challenges our
and internationally is key:
municipalities face with waste management.
Co-operation between government
“Our population is growing, and more
and more people are moving to the cities,
The Department of Trade and
leading to more waste being generated
Industry (dti) is working closely with
despite diminishing space for landfills…
the Department Environment Affairs (dea) to align the Industrialisation and
“Currently the number of South African
Environmental policy objectives in order
households with access to waste services
to achieve environmental benefits.
is close to 80%, compared to 55% in 2001.
Speaking at the Green Economy
The number of households that have
Investment Dialogue, Chief Director of
refuse removal at least once a week is on
Green Industries and Energy Efficiency at
the rise, increasing from 56% in 2002 to
dti, Mr Gerhard Fourie outlined how this
approximately 66% in 2017. The increase is
collaboration is bearing green fruit:
a step in the right direction; yet we know we can still do more…” - President Ramaphosa The government’s National Waste
Management Strategy has the potential
“The first sector that we looked at to optimise alignment was the steel and petro chemical sector. We often find that instead of re-investing in new equipment
to create 69,000 new jobs and empower
and processes within the sector itself,
SMMEs and cooperatives.
significant benefits can be achieved by
Operation Phakisa on Chemicals and Waste includes a number of detailed
optimising the value chain (for example increasing the recycling of scrap metal). We are also looking at diversifying the
action plans that will deliver results by
local sugar market and working with
2023 - these include increasing the total
CSIR’s Energy Centre to identify and
contribution of the waste economy from
model electricity generation and transport
R24.3- billion to R35.8- billion and creating
fuel solution to support this diversification.”
T H E P U B L I C S EC T O R AN D SUSTAINAB ILITY
Co-operation between government and international agencies
leadership of the Water Research Council, the Sanitation Transformative Initiative (SaniTI):
In January 2020, more than 130 participants from across sectors - public,
“In this new and transformative approach,
private and civil society - gathered at the
the circular economy of sanitation sees
CSIR International Convention Centre
human waste as a resource, which allows
in Pretoria at the launch of UNDP South
a whole ecosystem of beneficiation to
Africa’s Accelerator Lab – one of 60
be derived from processing, byproducts
across the world, serving 78 countries.
and servicing models that support self-
The labs test and scale new solutions to
global challenges by bringing together grassroots ideas with new sources of
“The circular economy has the catalytic
real-time data and experimentation to
effect of stimulating and developing a
meet the fast-changing realities of 21st
series and variety of logistics and supply
chain models, which brings greater convenience to the user and the much-
Minister of Higher Education, Science and
Innovation, Blade Nzimande in his speech at the
launch of UNDP South Africa’s Accelerator Lab
UNDP South Africa has partnered with the
required capacity, which is a weakness
Department of Science and Innovation
in the public model.”
These smart grids will provide opportunity
initiative. “Ground-breaking innovation is
Honourable Nzimande indicated that
but can also address local government
not new to South Africa. The country has
government is adopting a similar
played a pace-setting role in the global
approach with respect to energy access
innovation ecosystem, which led to the
and security (with a focus on off-grid
invention of several devices that continue
solutions using hydrogen fuel cells and
to shape the world innovation landscape
renewable energy sources) and in internet
till today” - Dr Ayodele Odusola, Resident
access and connectivity.
(dsi) to implement this innovative global
Representative, UNDP South Africa “Potentially the biggest industry that can In his keynote address, the Minister of
also develop especially looking at the
Higher Education, Science and Innovation,
infrastructure demand is the electric car
Blade Nzimande referred to the strategic
market. Investment in smarter electricity
partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates
grids will be a pre-requisite for a future
Foundation) which has initiated, under the
electric vehicle roll-out.
for private investors in infrastructure revenue challenges. The integration of information and telecommunications technologies and the electricity sector can be lead to a significant new growth in these sectors”. Together we can This statement in South Africa’s National Framework for Sustainable Development reflects government policy towards sustainability: “South Africa aspires to be a sustainable, economically prosperous and self-reliant nation state that safeguards its democracy by meeting the fundamental human needs of its people, by managing its limited ecological resources responsibly for current and future generations, and by advancing efficient and effective integrated planning and governance through national, regional and global collaboration.”
Sources UNDP South Africa www.dea.gov.za Launch of UNDP South Africa’s Accelerator Lab
2020 WILL LIKELY BE A TURNING POINT FOR
SUSTAINABLE FINANCE IN AFRICA’S MINING SECTOR The continent’s mining sector is likely
purposes of developing environmentally
to be among the adopters of sustainable
friendly student accommodation in Nairobi.
finance products, particularly as mining
By Nigel Beck, Head of Sustainable Finance for Standard Bank Group and Mark Buncombe, Head: Mining and Metals for Standard Bank Group
As corporates proactively implement measures to operate more responsibly and improve their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance, 2020 is shaping up to be a watershed year for sustainable finance in Africa
groups and their supply chains seek to
But a step change in activity in coming
demonstrate their positive societal and
months is anticipated. Standard
environmental impacts – and secure their
Bank’s sustainable finance unit has
social licenses to operate for the long-term.
seen a surge in interest from all sectors, including mining, and that
In fact, pursuing ESG policies and
momentum is expected to continue
responding to the challenges of climate
as investors demand action and
change are both seen as more important
transparency and corporates globally
priority areas than growth for the global
take more responsibility for uplifting and
mining and metals sector this year,
safeguarding society. The sharp rise in
according to law firm White & Case’s
interest, points to pent-up demand for
latest annual survey. Less than 9% of
sustainable finance solutions in Africa.
respondents are pursuing growth as their leading goal for 2020.
These unique funding solutions will play an important role in helping
While the sustainable finance market
Africa’s mining industry to overcome
has started to gain serious traction in
common challenges – such as energy
developed economies, it remains in its
supply, water treatment, environmental
infancy in Africa, with only a few notable
protection and mine rehabilitation,
deals having been executed. Among those
impending carbon taxes, community
being East Africa’s first ever green bond,
development, health and safety, and
issued in late 2019 by Acorn Group for the
resilient infrastructure development.
2020 WILL LIKELY BE A TURNING POINT FOR SUSTAINABLE FINANCE IN AFRICA’S MINING SECTOR
And as regulatory requirements tighten
Green bonds remain the most popular
and investor demands increase,
form of sustainable financing product,
corporates that avoid ESG issues face
although sustainability loans, green
material risks. KPMG warned in a 2019
loans, social bonds and sustainability
report that companies that fail to act could
bonds are all garnering more attention.
in time find it difficult to access capital.
As enablers of trade
and investment, banks have an important role
in encouraging the shift
Furthermore, their stock valuations
This comes amid an increasing
could be affected by their lack of ESG
focus on ESG issues, particularly as
transparency, potential regulatory action,
institutions move to win back the trust
and weaker long-term performances.
of the societies in which they operate.
Those that do take action have an
With confidence in governments low in
opportunity to improve their ESG ratings,
many instances, the public is looking
which in turn can lower their cost of
to the corporate world for solutions to
capital. As such, sustainable finance not
societal problems. Those companies
only enables future-proofing initiatives,
that fail to position themselves
but it also makes commercial sense.
accordingly – by basing their decisions on long-term sustainability rather
Local miners are considering funding instruments such as social bonds to develop employee housing and infrastructure, or green bonds and loans to fund water treatment plants and renewable energy units. These projects are not nice-to-haves – they are crucial for the sustainability of the industry. Consider how dependent mines are on water – a resource that is highly sensitive to climate change – and the urgency of such initiatives become clear. According to EY’s 2020 report on the biggest risks and opportunities across the industry, ‘license to operate’
There is a growing body of evidence that
than short-term considerations – risk
a stronger commitment to ESG issues is
linked to a company’s outperformance over the long term, partly because
Like its peers, the mining industry has
operational risks are reduced.
some way to go to change perceptions about its impact on the environment.
As enablers of trade and investment, banks
Nevertheless, it is worth noting that the
have an important role in encouraging
sector is playing an important role in the
the shift, which also needs to happen in
transition to a lower-carbon economy.
the short-term supply and trade finance arena. This is why Standard Bank has been
Platinum group metals and other
working with the International Chamber
metals such as manganese, cobalt
of Commerce’s Banking Commission to
and copper, for instance, are key
develop a framework that helps banks to
components of electric vehicles
develop sustainable trade finance practices.
GLOBALLY, THE SUSTAINABLE FINANCE MARKET IS EXPANDING AT A RAPID PACE.
remains the most significant risk to the sector. Reducing the industry’s carbon footprint ranks fourth, while the need for innovation – to ensure access to energy and infrastructure, and to improve water management, among other needs – also features as a prominent theme.
According to Bloomberg data, 2019
And as mines become more
was a record year for sustainable debt
sustainable, their products will
issuances, with transactions worth at
contribute to the development of
least $380 billion. This is an increase
of 46.2% from 2018, with European governments and corporates driving much of the demand.
Sustainable finance will catalyse the transformation.
WHY ARE INVESTORS FIXATED ON SUSTAINABILITY?
ESG MOVES INTO MAINSTREAM INVESTING
A GLOBAL VIEW
By Paul Davies and Michael Green
Recent studies show ESG implementation in mainstream finance has improved significantly, presenting opportunities for sustainable, long-term returns. In recent years, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) implementation has transformed from a niche to mainstream activity, as asset managers, asset owners, and pension funds increasingly recognize the importance of ESG factors to investors, stakeholders, and shareholders. Issues such as climate change, remuneration, modern slavery, and equal pay have led to the integration of ESG into investment processes. INCORPORATING ESG FACTORS AND METRICS
ESG factors include:
ESG metrics can be used
ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS Climate change Resource depletion Waste and pollution Deforestation
analysis, into investment and decisionmaking processes to better manage risk and
to ESG risks. Environmental metrics may
land, disposal of hazardous
waste, or reduction of toxic emissions.
Working conditions Local communities Health and safety Employee relations Diversity
Social metrics may examine a company’s business relationships (e.g., if the company works with suppliers that hold similar values) and working conditions (e.g., if the company shows a high regard for workers’ health and safety). Governance metrics may examine how the company is run (e.g., if the company uses accurate and
GOVERNANCE FACTORS Executive pay Bribery and corruption Political contributions and lobbying
ESG factors and metrics are numerous
Board diversity and structure
ownership of contaminated
generate sustainable, long-term returns.
but external to the traditional canon of
(PRI) describe “responsible investing” as which are not traditionally part of financial
examine how a
The Principles of Responsible Investment an approach to integrating ESG factors,
transparent accounting methods, eschews illegal practices, and avoids conflicts of interest in board member selection). MONITORING THE TRENDS THAT ARE SHAPING ESG
Several major events and trends have influenced ESG’s shift toward the mainstream in recent years. First, the 2008 financial crisis underlined how important
ES G MO VES I N T O MAI N S T R EAM I N VES T I N G - A GLOB AL V IE W
good governance practices are, and how
management. BNP found that 75% of asset
empirical links between ESG factors,
culture and conduct have a major effect on
owners and 62% of asset managers held
mitigation, and financial performance.
company success and market perception.
greater than 25% of their funds in ESG-
Climate change has driven a move toward
related funds — a significant increase from
sustainable investment largely due to
48% of asset owners and 53% of asset
TO GREATER ESG IMPLEMENTATION
the fact that it has become a present
managers in 2017.
To embed ESG further into investment
challenge, rather than a distant threat.
UNDERSTANDING THE CHALLENGES
processes, procedures, and activities, Asset owners and managers also see
many challenges need to be met. According
Second, ESG reporting is increasing,
responsible investing as a method
to the BNP Paribas report, respondents
with a recent LP Footprint
of positively contributing to the UN
considered data to be the top barrier
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
to ESG integration. Inconsistent data,
and related key performance indicators that
conflicting ESG ratings or indices, data
are being built into investment frameworks,
gaps, and inconsistent coverage across
and 65% of respondents stated that their
asset classes all contribute to poor scenario
investment framework is aligned with
analysis. Better quality and more consistent
the SDGs. Motivations for ESG investing
data is required to ensure that effective
included improved long-term returns (52%
scenario analysis can be conducted.
Project report finding that 63% of limited partners have ESG policies, 59% have selfselected to be signatories with the PRI, and 40% publicly
of respondents), positive impact on brand
and reputation (47%), and decreased
The next barrier was costs. Respondents
investment risk (37%).
appreciated the need to spend on
Standard & Poor’s
In April 2019, Standard & Poor’s released
performance, produce profiles, and create
a report titled Exploring Links to Corporate
new sustainability-based products. Investing
Financial Performance. The report notes
in smart technologies has the potential to take
that companies focusing on ESG issues
ESG to the next level and allow investors to
have reduced costs, improved worker
assess the performance and sustainability of
productivity, mitigated risk potential, and
investee companies with improved accuracy.
to recognize the value in ESG reporting. ESG metrics help manage risk by enabling a deeper assessment
technology in order to better aggregate data, produce ESG reports, benchmark
created revenue-generating opportunities. In turn, the report shows, ESG-related
Respondents overwhelmingly found the
investments have benefitted greatly from
“social” factor of ESG to be the most
high-profile market participants pushing
challenging to analyse and subsequently
investment period. ESG reporting can
ESG into the spotlight and the momentum
incorporate into investment analysis.
indicate strong corporate oversight and
generated by the PRI.
Investors continue to grapple with the
and understanding of risk, and close monitoring during the
clear, transparent engagement with
complexity of Social factors, and the lack
investors, which can drive value and
The report notes that assets invested
of a definite, industry-wide definition of
confidence in the organization.
according to ESG strategies reached
what Social factors are, and what they
US$30-trillion in 2018, following a 25%
encompass, creates confusion.
ANALYSING THE STUDIES SHOWING INCREASED ESG IMPLEMENTATION
increase to US$24-trillion between 2014 and 2016. ESG factors and metrics can
provide valuable insight into possible
ESG has clearly crossed over to the
In April 2019, BNP Paribas Securities
current and future ESG risks that may have
mainstream, with increasing adoption
Services published The ESG Global Survey
the potential to directly or indirectly impact
by asset owners, asset managers, and
2019 examining 350 asset owners and
profits and returns. The early-warning
pension funds, but there is more to come.
managers and their attitudes toward ESG
nature of ESG factors can also contribute
Greater ESG integration depends on
issues and strategies. The survey found that
to long-term financial performance.
market participants finding solutions to the
ESG factors are increasingly embedded in
challenges outlined above, which will bring
asset owner and manager activities due to
The report considers that while ESG
a broader and deeper understanding of
the benefits of effective ESG performance,
implementation is strong, further academic
data trends, and allow better analysis of
such as increased returns and better risk
research is required to confirm definitive
risk going forward.
CORPORATE FRAUD AND AUDITING CHALLENGES
LESSONS By Robert Lewenson, Head of ESG Engagement, Old Mutual Investment Group
At the very core of King IV is the principle of ethical leadership of the governing body. This highlights the critical role that a board plays in interrogating financial statements and the correct use of the different audit functions and resources.
C O R P O R ATE GOV E R NANCE
Combatting corruption lies in sound ethics, governance and authentic leadership LESSON #1:
their attention and earn their respect.
COMPLIANCE; IT IS A MIND-SET
brimming with charm and goodwill.
Most organisations extol the virtues
world has borne witness to many brutal
ABOUT FINANCIAL AND REGULATORY
of strong governance, as evidenced
STICKING TO A STRATEGIC VISION Strategy theory suggests that strategy
accountable executive team and board.
making wise choices initially and deepening one’s competitive position than going too broad and trying to be all things to everyone. Although the diversity of businesses might give some people the impression that the company lacks a core identity and has chased acquisitions, the company’s long-term vision should be to control its various value chains, thereby moderating costs, keeping competitors at bay and striving for ever-higher levels of
transparent reporting, and an engaged and However, all too often compliance ends up being a box-ticking exercise, with the goal being to meet minimum standards, mostly only to satisfy the relevant authorities. Basic compliance may satisfy shareholders on an elementary level but can lead to operational mediocrity if not backed up by committed management, which is key to sustainable profits and a satisfactory return on investment.
efficiency and market share.
An important dimension of sound
This is an important element in
business practices that are based on
fundamental strategy in sourcing and manufacturing goods in low-cost countries and selling them to value-conscious buyers in more lucrative markets.
LESSON #2: GROWTH DOES NOT ALWAYS
EQUATE TO PROFIT OR SUCCESS Organisations that deliver consistently strong performance over extended
management is a commitment to ethical values, not just rules. Values should be entrenched in the moral fiber of any business, helping people to distinguish between right and wrong and therefore, regulating their behaviour. Rules provide behavioural guidelines but are susceptible to being challenged, manipulated or ignored. Strong governance in an organisation is heavily dependent on an accountable and capable board to exercise rigorous oversight while also motivating the executive team to follow their vision.
periods of time, invariably practice a
controlled growth strategy in which future expansion and investments are carefully planned and executed. The hallmark of truly great companies is that they have the discipline to hold back and moderate their growth plans to avoid experiencing resource constraints and fatigue, or end up in financial difficulties during lean times when the cash they accumulated during bumper years is depleted.
at all levels, speak their language, keep
STRONG GOVERNANCE IS NOT JUST
in prudent financial management,
development over time is more about
Charismatic leaders can engage people
Yet charismatic leaders are not always They are also capable of extortion. The dictators that have kept populations under control by projecting a charisma that is laced with menace. Charismatic leadership is often viewed as ambiguous because the extraordinary power and influence that go with it can be used in either a positive or a destructive way.
LESSON #5: EVEN ETHICAL BUSINESS PEOPLE ARE CORRUPTIBLE
Human morality is fragile, notwithstanding most people’s good intentions. Deep-seated stirrings of envy, greed, self-absorption, arrogance or a sense of entitlement could infiltrate people’s moral fibre at any stage – even those who appear to have strong value systems and are the least likely to be swayed. To be human is to continually wrestle with one’s conscience when presented with opportunities to win friends, favours or influence without putting in the usual slog. It is, as Freud described it, a “tragic fate of humanity”. No skimping Of course, this does not mean that wrongdoing should simply be pardoned – particularly when, in an organisational sense, the culpable
A CHARISMATIC LEADER CAN EITHER
parties are savvy or senior enough to
no organisation can afford to skimp
There is a general belief that if an
and balances, particularly where
BE VERY GOOD OR VERY BAD FOR A
organisation is fortunate enough to have a charismatic leader, its chances of
know better. What it does mean is that on introducing the appropriate checks organisational finances are at stake.
success improve dramatically.
C ONCLUS ION
THE FUTURE OF
SUSTAINABILIT Y IS CIRCULAR By Reinhardt Arp and Zaynab Sadan
The Anthropocene – or the age of humans – is underpinned by the pursuit of perpetual economic growth and characterised by environmental degradation on numerous fronts. According to conventional wisdom, economic growth is supposed to deliver prosperity, higher incomes and improved quality of life for all of us. However, this certainly isn’t the case in reality. Economic growth has, at best, delivered these benefits unequally and at the expense of the natural environment upon which economic growth itself depends. To continue on this business-as-usual pathway, paved with climate change, ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss, is simply inconceivable. fu t u re of su sta i n a b i l i ty.c o .za
The world is in desperate need of some
World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) 2018
kind of “green stimulus”, something that is
Living Planet Report, we have wiped out
increasingly being referred to as the ‘Green
60% of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles
New Deal’ in the USA and the ‘Green
since 1970, and human activity is said to
Deal’ in Europe. We need a complete
directly affect over 70% of global ice-free
refurbishment of the global economy – one
land surface2. These pressures are pushing
that creates jobs and improves livelihoods
the integrity of our biosphere beyond its
in the short-term; provides equitable food,
planetary boundary and into the high risk,
energy, water and economic security in
red zone. Our fossil fuel addiction has
the medium-term; and crafts a sustainable
increased global greenhouse gas (GHG)
future for all in the long-term. Transitioning
emissions by 41%3 over the last 30 years,
to a just, low-carbon and circular economy
pushing climate change beyond its safe
provides a promising roadmap for building
planetary boundary. The global agricultural
a sustainable macroeconomic policy and
system, which, in its current form, fails
garnering such a green stimulus.
to provide adequate nutrition for all and
Refurbishing our economic model for circular sustainability
generates vast amounts of food waste, has pushed both the global land-system and biochemical flows beyond their planetary boundaries as well. Continued
Since the industrial revolution the global
and unrestrained pressure on the planetary
economy has expanded exponentially,
system from anthropogenic activities is
often at the cost of significant ecological
dangerous and risks pushing the global
resource degradation. In 2009 the
system into uncharted territory.
planetary boundaries concept was proposed as a means of understanding
The structure of the global economy
and measuring our impact on the planet.
needs a drastic refurbishment. Call it
Nine planetary boundaries define
a green new deal, a just transition, a
the environmental limits within which
green stimulus, whatever we choose to
humanity can safely operate and provide
call it, it needs to improve resource use
science-based analyses of anthropogenic
efficiency, decouple material use from
pressures on Earth’s ecological system1.
economic growth, promote sustainable production and consumption, address
Driven by uncensored consumerism, our
persistent inequities, and eliminate
continuing quest for economic growth has
waste and pollution. To sum it up, it
pushed four of Earth’s critical ecological
needs to deliver on both socio-economic
processes beyond their safe planetary
and environmental agendas of the
boundaries (Figure 1). According to the
Sustainable Development Goals.
T H E F U T U R E O F S U S TAI N AB I LITY IS CIR CULAR
These green economic transitions are not to be confused as new, additional green sectors to those that already exist today. Rather, these are cross-cutting macroeconomic policy initiatives that take advantage of technological developments and seek to transition our existing economy to one that is more sustainable – a green metamorphosis if you will – and the circular economy model provides a promising concept from which to design such a green metamorphosis.2
A circular model also improves natural resource use efficiency, enhances the value of natural capital and avoids unnecessary waste and pollution. In doing so, the circular economy model reduces anthropogenic impacts on the environment and our planetary boundaries. Furthermore, secondary material use lowers the carbon intensity of the system and if (ideally) powered by renewable energy, the circular economy can help realise a low-carbon economy. In fact, according to an EMF study6,
Figure 1: Planetary boundaries
transitioning to a circular economy is
critical for achieving deep emissions 1: Planetary boundaries From: Steffen, Figure W., Richardson, K., Rockström, J., Cornell, S.E., Fetzer, I., Bennett, E.M., Biggs, R., Carpenter, S.R., de Vries, reductions and transitioning to a lowW., de Wit, C.A.,From: Folke,Steffen, C., Gerten, D., Heinke, J., Mace, G.M., Persson, L.M., Ramanathan, V., Reyers, B. AND Sörlin, S. 2015. W., Richardson, K., Rockström, J., Cornell, S.E., Fetzer, I., Bennett, E.M., Planetary boundaries: Guiding human development on a changing planet. Science, 347 (6223). DOI: 10.1126/science. carbon economy. Biggs, R., Carpenter, 1259855. S.R., de Reprinted Vries, W.,with de Wit, C.A., Folke, C., Gerten, D., Heinke, J., permission from AAAS. Mace, G.M., Persson, L.M., Ramanathan, V., Reyers, B. AND Sörlin, S. 2015. Planetary 4 addition to environmental benefits, boundaries: humanfor development on athat changing planet. Science, 347 (6223).by design”In The circular economy is aGuiding “framework an economy is restorative and regenerative . This DOI: 1259855. with permission from AAAS. thefrom circular economy carries several concept is rooted in10.1126/science. the functioning of nature,Reprinted which is itself built on a circular model. Plants take nutrients the soil, energy from the sun and provide food for other animals. When they die, they decompose and replace potential socio-economic benefits. those nutrients back into the soil. Despite having biological examples of regenerative, sustainable and circular The repurposing of waste into systems, we The havecircular not yeteconomy replicated how nature functions into our systems. Instead we have embedded the take, is a “framework The circular economic model counters the secondary resources can provide make and dispose model within many, if not all, of our systems. for an economy that is restorative and
current linear economy model and aims
cost savings, create new markets for
and replace those nutrients back into the
is prevented/minimised/eliminated or can
management sectors respectively 7. These
4 The circularregenerative economic model counters current lineartoeconomy model and aims toand limit of new by design” . This the concept limit the use of new resources the the use secondary resources and generate resources and the amount waste produced by the system, while of accounting for allbyflows of materials within it. opportunities. According to an is rooted in the of functioning of nature, amount waste produced the system, new job The circular which economy achieves this by re-engineering or redesigning the system and its components so thatInternational waste is itself built on a circular model. while accounting for all flows of materials Labour Organisation (ILO) is prevented/minimised/eliminated or can become a “secondary resources” or input. The expansion of a domestic3 Plants take nutrients from the soil, energy within it. The circular economy achieves report, the circular economy model could secondary resource market has the benefit of reducing reliance on critical primary/virgin material inputs that are from the sun and provide food for other this by re-engineering or redesigning the create approximately 50 and 45 million often imported and, therefore, can improve supply chain resilience to future climate disasters or geopolitical animals. When they die, they decompose system and its components so that waste jobs globally in the services and waste shocks5.
A circular model also improves natural resource use efficiency, enhances the value of natural capital and avoids soil. Despite having biological examples become a “secondary resources” or input. benefits are derived from new activities unnecessary waste and pollution. In doing so, the circular economy model reduces anthropogenic impacts on the of regenerative, sustainable and circular The expansion of a domestic secondary born from redesigning the system and environment and our planetary boundaries. Furthermore, secondary material use lowers the carbon intensity of systems, we have not yet replicated resource market has the benefit of reducing reskilling workers from carbon intensive the system and if (ideally) powered by renewable energy, the circular economy can help realize a low-carbon 6 functions our study systems. reliance on criticaleconomy primary/virgin material industries, which could provide a buffer economy. Inhow fact,nature according to aninto EMF , transitioning to a circular is critical for achieving deep emissions reductions and transitioning low-carbon economy. Instead we have embedded to thea take, inputs that are often imported and, therefore, against potential negative implications
make and dispose model within many, improve supply chain resilience to future from the contraction of unsustainable or In addition to environmental benefits, the circular economycan carries several potential socio-economic benefits. The 5 if not all, of our systems. climate disasters or geopolitical shocks . carbon-intensive activities. repurposing of waste into secondary resources can provide cost savings, create new markets for secondary resources and generate new job opportunities. According to an International Labour Organisation (ILO) report, 87 4
EMF. 2017. Concept: What is a circular economy? A framework for an economy that is restorative and regenerative by design. Ellen MacArthur Foundation. [Online]. Available: https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/circular-economy/concept.
C ONCLUS ION
Case study: Imagining a Circular Plastics Economy
in recycling processes; economic
interventions could be to shift towards
and market structures; poor or limited
manufacturing and recycling system
waste collection, sorting and recycling
that uses renewable energy in order to
The plastics sector provides a
infrastructure; and legislative barriers. As
decouple from fossil fuels entirely.
timely case study for illustrating the
a result, this linear model has generated
opportunities presented by the transition
and leaked large volumes of plastic
However, kick-starting the transition to
to a circular economy. Plastics are
pollution in our natural environment.
a circular economic model will require
used across multiple industries and
a number of additional supporting
sectors, including packaging, fast-
This problem will only worsen if we fail
interventions. Firstly, the circular
moving consumer goods, textiles,
to shift to a circular plastics economy.
economy needs to be institutionalized
the automotive industry, as well as
With a growing global population, there
by establishing voluntary Extended
building and construction. Plastic
will be an increase in the demand and
Producer Responsibility (EPR) initiatives
waste, however, is polluting terrestrial,
consumption of plastics. With current
or through an enabling regulatory
freshwater and marine ecosystems in
trends, the plastics sector is projected
environment to ensure accountability
large volumes, which not only pose a
to account for 20% of global fossil fuels
among stakeholders throughout the
threat to biodiversity, ecotourism and
consumption by 2050, amounting to
plastics value chain. For example,
livelihoods in affected areas, but also
15% of the global carbon budget4.
primary plastic producers and packaging
induce knock-on effects on other distant
users (such as retailers and brand
geographical areas that depend on the
A circular plastics economy (Figure 2)
owners) should bear the bulk of the cost
well-being of the affected areas.
would be one that first and foremost
of end-of-life material management,
limits the amount of virgin material
brand-owners and retailers must
Under the current linear model, plastic
entering the system by redesigning
redesign their products to be 100%
products are primarily made from virgin,
products to use less virgin material
recyclable and use as much recycled
fossil fuel feedstocks, which accounts for
and more recycled material. It also
content as possible; consumers
6% of global fossil fuel consumption8. Not
encourages the use of more sustainable
must take responsibility for reducing
all plastic products are designed to be
feedstocks, such as renewable plant-
consumption, reusing and/or recycling
reused by the consumer, particularly food
based and waste material-based
their plastic, and waste collectors must
and beverage packaging, and while some
feedstocks rather than fossil fuel-based
ensure that all recyclable plastic finds its
products are designed to be recycled,
feedstocks. Redesigning products to be
way back to recycling plants instead of
only a small percentage of plastics are
reused/refilled, and/or easily recycled
landfill. If any of these stakeholders do
actually recycled in practice. This is due
and remanufactured into new products,
not fulfil their role in the circular system
to a number of reasons, including product
will also reduce the generation of
then it is at risk of failure.
design and the use of multi-layer materials
plastic waste and it’s leakage into the
and additives causing technical difficulties
environment. An additional layer to these
Interventions to achieve this include, amongst others: establishing a global agreement on plastics pollution and a circular plastics economy; promoting EPR schemes; introducing pricing mechanisms that increase the price competitiveness and creation of end-use markets for secondary resources (reused or recycled material) relative to virgin or primary resources; product standards and certification and the phasing out of unnecessary and problematic plastic products. The OECD RE-CIRCLE project provides guidance materials on a suit of interventions, regulations and policies for transitioning to a circular economy.
fu t u re of su sta i n a b i l i ty.c o .za
T H E F U T U R E O F S U S TAI N AB I LITY IS CIR CULAR Sources: 1. Steffen, W., Richardson, K., Rockström, J., Cornell, S.E., Fetzer, I., Bennett, E.M., Biggs, R., Carpenter, S.R., de Vries, W., de Wit, C.A., Folke, C., Gerten, D., Heinke, J., Mace, G.M., Persson, L.M., Ramanathan, V., Reyers, B. and Sörlin, S. 2015. Planetary boundaries: Guiding human development on a changing planet. Science, 347(6223): 736. 2. IPCC. 2019. Climate Change and Land: an IPCC special report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems. Summary for Policymakers. [Online]. Available: https://www. ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/sites/4/2019/12/02_ Summary-for-Policymakers_SPM.pdf. Accessed 18 December 2019. 3. NOAA. 2019. NOAA’s greenhouse gas index
Figure 2: Interventions for a circular plastics economy
Figure 2: Interventions for a circular plastics economy
Source: WWF (2019)
Source: WWF (2019)
up 41 percent since 1990. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. [Online]. Available: https://research.noaa.gov/article/ArtMID/587/ ArticleID/2359/NOAA%E2%80%99s-greenhouse-
Accessed ndly, substantial investment into physical, digital and logistical network infrastructure is required gas-index-up-41-percent-since-1990. to enable 26 November 2019 Secondly, substantial investment intotransportation, materials to stimulate circular material of materials, such as tive and efficient identification, collection, sorting and reuse/recycling EMF. 2017. physical, digital andThis logistical networkintegrating flow. Consumer awareness also critical -back schemes, for example. includes informal waste pickersis into the plastics 4. economy as Concept: What is a circular economy? A framework for an economy that is infrastructure is required enable effective promoting behaviour - from needs to be lowplay a critical role in the circularto model, particularlyinin South sustainable Africa. Such investment restorative and regenerative by design. Ellen efficient identification, collection, thoseand whoelectric buy the product rightItup to the on, relying onand new technologies, such as renewable energy vehicles. also has the added benefit MacArthur Foundation. [Online]. Available: https:// transportation, sorting and reuse/recycling brandthe owner packages the product. roviding a much needed stimulus to the economy,ofkey being jobwho creation potential that comes with it. www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/circular-
materials, such as take-back schemes, for
Accessed 18 December 2019. dly, capacity building, skills development, education and awareness are critical in activatingeconomy/concept. digital, example. This includes integrating informal Conclusion 5. McCarthy, A., Dellink, R. and Bibas, R. 2018. nological and logistics infrastructure within the circular economy model, from collection to remanufacturing. waste pickers into the plastics economy as We urgently need sustainable The Macroeconomics of the Circular Economy cies, regulations and incentives are needed to encourage stakeholders along the value chain to build core they play a critical role in the circular model, macroeconomic policy if we are to reduce Transition: A Critical Review of Modelling petencies in circular and multi-life cycle design, including expertise required to redesign products and their particularly in South Africa. Such investment our anthropogenic impact on the planet Approaches. OECD Environment Working ponents, rationalise materials, and create markets for secondary resource materials to stimulate circular needs to be low-carbon, relying on new and ensure a sustainable future. The Papers, No. 130, OECD Publishing, Paris. erial flow. Consumer awareness is also critical in promoting sustainable behaviour - from those who buy the [Online]. Available: https://doi.org/10.1787/ technologies, such as renewable energy circular economy model provides us with duct right up to the brand owner who packages the product.
and electric vehicles. It also has the added
a promising roadmap for developing
benefit of providing a much needed stimulus
sustainable macroeconomic policies
to the economy, key being the job creation
and measures for transition to a just,
af983f9a-en. Accessed 17 December 2019.
6. EMF. 2019. Completing the picture: How the circular economy tackles climate change. Ellen MacArthur
Foundation. urgently need potential sustainable macroeconomic policy if we are to reduce our anthropogenic impact on the planet[Online]. Available:https://www. that comes with it. sustainable and low-carbon economy. It not ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/assets/downloads/ ensure a sustainable future. The circular economy only model provides us with a promising roadmap for improves resource use efficiency but Completing_The_Picture_How_The_Circular_ loping sustainable macroeconomic policies and measures for transition to a just, sustainable and low-carbon Thirdly, capacity building, skills development, also limits waste generation and pollution. Economy-_Tackles_Climate_Change_V3_26_ omy. It not only improves resource use efficiency but also limits waste generation and pollution. Improving education and awareness are critical in Improving and expanding secondary expanding secondary resource supply and decouplingresource from primary resource requirements, theSeptember.pdf. circular Accessed 17 December 2019. activating digital, technological and logistics supply and decoupling from 7. ILO, 2018. World employment and social outlook omy enhances supply chain resilience to unexpected primary climate or geopolitical shocks. Finally, the circular infrastructure within the circular economy resource requirements, the circular 2018: Greening with jobs. International Labour omy providesmodel, opportunities to address additional climate and socio-economic challenges, develop new skills from collection to remanufacturing. economy enhances supply chain resilience Organisation. [Online]. Available: https://www.ilo. create jobs. This circular future is sustainable and the future of sustainability is circular. Policies, regulations and incentives are to unexpected climate or geopolitical
needed to encourage stakeholders along the
shocks. Finally, the circular economy
value chain to build core competencies in
provides opportunities to address additional
circular and multi-life cycle design, including
climate and socio-economic challenges,
expertise required to redesign products and
develop new skills and create jobs. This
their components, rationalise materials, and
circular future is sustainable and the future
create markets for secondary resource
of sustainability is circular.
EN_web2.pdf. Accessed 15 January 2020. 8. WEF. 2016. The New Plastics Economy — Rethinking the future of plastics. World Economic Forum, Ellen MacArthur Foundation and McKinsey & Company. [Online]. Available: http:// www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/publications. Accessed 10 December 2019
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