Superior Strategy - Sustainable World Equity Fund of Funds launching in South Africa

Blue Chip speaks to Brendan de Jongh, Head of Research at PortfolioMetrix, about their Sustainable World Equity Fund of Funds launching in South Africa.

Let’s step away from ESG investing as a topic and ignore the warm, fuzzy feeling one gets from “doing the right thing”. For some perspective, it is proposed that a new epoch in geological time is created called the Anthropocene, meaning a period where changes to the earth’s climate, geological processes, biodiversity and species extinction are primarily driven through activities of humans. This impact will ultimately, if unchecked, have a devastating, interconnected impact on human society. Civilisation as we know it today is significantly more fragile than our current response to global challenges suggest.

If we consider sustainability through the lens of how much one earth can provide, we are currently consuming 1.5 earths, meaning we are not heading into enemy territory, but are already far behind enemy lines. We have no time left to dither in our response. What you are seeing with the ESG groundswell is simply a rapid catch-up on the realisation that market forces have failed to factor in the “external costs” of our industrialised society. We need to be far more assertively pro-active in our response and, as allocators of capital and overseers of governance, investors can be a powerful force for change.


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