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In September 2021, Just Share invited 33 of South Africa’s largest and most prominent asset managers to participate in our 2021 South African Asset Manager Climate Risk Survey. The asset managers included the top 20 managers by size as per the Alexander Forbes Manager Watch Survey of 2020 and the top 12 managers by size as reported in the 27Four BEE Survey of 2021.

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For the first time in South Africa, this report provides retail investors, pension fund trustees, philanthropic foundations, university endowments, and civil society organisations with assessment of the extent to which the local asset management community is meeting best practice standards in integrating climate risk into investment decision-making.

The survey findings reveal that while there are encouraging signs of local asset managers adopting the necessary approaches to successful, effective climate risk integration, relatively few of them demonstrate excellence when assessed against international best practice standards. Those that do align with international best practice do so in some areas, but not in all.

We hope that this report will contribute to a better understanding of the status of climate risk integration in the local asset management industry, and also assist in identifying areas for improvement and enhancement of climate change-related decision-making, in order to accelerate South Africa’s transition to a low-carbon economy.

While overall there is much work to be done by local managers to meet international best practice, we have attempted to shine a light on those that are leading the way, in the hope that this will spur faster and more coordinated action to align investment decision-making with the goals of the Paris Agreement, and the country’s just transition to a more sustainable and inclusive economy.