During a recent FM dialogue about the green economy, industry experts discussed how SA needed R250bn to put sustainable infrastructure in place for a just transition
The UN Environment Programme defines a green economy as low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive. It says in a green economy, growth in employment and income is driven by:
- Public and private investment in economic activities;
- Infrastructure and assets that allow reduced carbon emissions and pollution;
- Enhanced energy; and
- Resource efficiency and prevention of the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
As environmental, social and governance (ESG) imperatives place an increased focus on sustainability and drive a transition towards a green economy, the impact will be felt in the labour market.
A recent FM green economy dialogue focused on understanding how an energy transition will cause shifts in the volume, type and quality of employment opportunities and whether the green economy will create more and better jobs.
The dialogue was in partnership with Sanlam Investment, Wits Business School’s African Energy Leadership Centre (AELC), Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) and moderated by Andile Khumalo.
Mervyn Shanmugam, CEO of alternatives at Sanlam Investments, said the company’s aim is to invest both for returns and sustainable impact, and its investments provide access to a range of alternative investment strategies. Shanmugam said investors want a commercial and social return on their investments and that both are possible.