On October 26, 2023, Compli-Serve hosted an insightful webinar titled ‘Navigating the ESG Landscape: Evolving Practices & Investment Management Insights’. The event featured a balanced panel of experts, including Johan Loubser and Cheri Young from ENSafrica, and Emma Leigh, each providing unique perspectives on the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) practices in investment management. This article aims to encapsulate the key insights shared during the webinar, offering a balanced view of ESG’s complexities, its current state, and future directions.

ENSafrica’s Contribution: Clarifying ESG Terminology and Practices

ENSafrica’s Johan Loubser and Cheri Young played a crucial role in demystifying ESG terminology, helping attendees navigate through its intricate landscape. They emphasized the importance of understanding the three pillars of ESG:

  1. Environmental: Focuses on a company’s ecological impact, assessing energy use, waste management, pollution, and efforts to combat climate change.
  2. Social: Evaluates how a company manages relationships with employees, suppliers, customers, and communities, addressing issues like labor standards, diversity, and human rights.
  3. Governance: Looks at a company’s internal practices, governance structure, executive compensation, and ensures compliance with laws and regulations.

They also highlighted the drivers of ESG, including mandatory legal requirements, industry standards, and voluntary initiatives, showcasing how these factors collectively push companies towards adopting sustainable practices.

Emma Leigh’s Perspective: ESG Regulations and Current Practices in South Africa

Emma Leigh provided a comprehensive overview of the current ESG regulatory landscape in South Africa, emphasizing the fragmented nature of ESG regulations, spread across various sectoral and industry-specific requirements. She highlighted the role of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in promoting ESG transparency and accountability, discussing the voluntary nature of many ESG disclosures.

Leigh pointed out the recent initiatives by the JSE, including the publication of The Sustainability Disclosure Guidance and The Climate Change Disclosure Guidance, aimed at assisting listed companies in integrating climate-related information into their reporting practices. She stressed the importance of these guidelines in setting the stage for more standardized and transparent ESG reporting in South Africa.

Balancing Perspectives: The Role of ESG in Investment Management

The webinar provided a balanced perspective on the role of ESG in investment management, discussing various investment strategies that incorporate ESG considerations. The speakers highlighted the importance of aligning investment strategies with ESG principles, ensuring that investments contribute positively to societal and environmental outcomes while generating financial returns.

They also touched upon the various ESG standards and frameworks available globally, including the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment, the Code for Responsible Investing in South Africa, and others, showcasing the plethora of resources available for companies looking to adopt ESG practices.

The Future of ESG: Trends and Developments

The panelists discussed the future trends and developments in ESG, emphasizing the increasing importance of ESG considerations in investment decisions. They highlighted the growing demand from investors for transparent and accountable ESG practices, predicting that this trend will continue to shape the investment landscape in the coming years.


Compli-Serve’s ‘Navigating the ESG Landscape’ webinar provided a balanced and comprehensive overview of ESG practices in investment management, offering valuable insights from both legal and regulatory perspectives. The contributions from ENSafrica and Emma Leigh highlighted the complexities of ESG, the current state of regulations in South Africa, and the future directions of ESG in investment management. As the world continues to shift towards sustainable and ethical practices, understanding and navigating the ESG landscape becomes imperative for businesses, investors, and stakeholders alike.