Turning intention into real, sustainable change
Sanlam Investments’ Critical Conversations: Action for impact webinar delved into the evolving landscape of ESG impact and sustainable investing
How can investment be leveraged to create a legacy that makes SA and the world a better place for the generations that come after us?
In the landscape of impact and sustainable investing, innovators in capital allocation are forging a path towards tangible benefits for people, communities and the planet.
Sanlam Investments recently held its Critical Conversations: Action for impact webinar with an in-house panel of experts.
Pawan Singh, portfolio manager of Sanlam Investments’ Sustainable Infrastructure Fund; Teboho Makhabane, head of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) & impact; Gift Pule, principle of private equity; and Vukile Themba-Mketo, senior portfolio manager of private debt, discussed the importance of business taking action and turning intention into real, sustainable change.
The panel explored this journey, delving into the evolving landscape of ESG impact and sustainable investing, challenging the traditional triple bottom-line methodology.
The consensus was that impact investing raises the stakes by requiring intentional pursuit of both social and financial returns from a project's inception — projects that make a meaningful impact where it is needed most.
The UN sustainable development goals were emphasised as a compass for potential environmental and social focuses. Success, the panel asserted, demands an intentional approach from private sector allocators, supported by development funders and government collaboration.
An audience poll revealed a resounding alignment with sustainable investing as a personal value (more than two-thirds), with job creation recognised as the most impactful focus area for SA.
Education and infrastructure development followed closely, indicating a collective recognition of the interconnectedness between economic activities and societal wellbeing.
The consensus was that impact investing raises the stakes by requiring intentional pursuit of both social and financial returns from a project's inception
Three pivotal themes emerged:
Inclusivity: Uplifting lives through equal opportunities
In the realm of impact and sustainability, inclusivity emerges as a guiding principle.
The focus is on breaking down historical barriers and providing opportunities to those traditionally excluded.
The goal is to level the playing field, particularly in the context of SA's complex history, ensuring equal access to opportunities for personal growth and improvement.
Legacy building: Steering capital for lasting community benefits
Legacy, as emphasised in Critical Conversations, is not solely about financial gains but about creating a sustainable difference that endures across generations.
Allocators of capital are encouraged to direct funds towards projects that yield lasting benefits for communities.
The emphasis is on ensuring the impact is tangible, whether through improved access to goods and services or the creation of decent jobs.
Economic impact through intentional investment:
The discussion highlighted the pivotal role of intentional investments in addressing societal challenges.
The economic impact, particularly in the context of rising unemployment, becomes a driving force for positive change. By creating decent jobs, impact can filter into communities and the broader ecosystem, fostering a ripple effect with tangible benefits resonating in each household.
Sanlam Investments is committed to the transformative potential of impact and sustainable investing.
Critical Conversations highlighted that every action, whether from an investment or community perspective, has a meaningful impact on the next person — a powerful reminder of our collective responsibility for a better future.
Sanlam Investments is a purpose-driven business with ambitions to become the continent's leader in sustainable investing.
This article was sponsored by Sanlam Investments.