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Ninety One becomes first SA signatory to ‘net zero’ asset managers initiative

Joins 127 others, including the world’s three largest asset managers, in supporting emissions reductions and driving investment in climate solutions.
The asset manager is on a mission to achieve low-emission investment portfolios. Image: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

JSE-listed Ninety One has become the first South African asset manager to sign onto the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative, the group announced on Tuesday.

The international initiative is aimed at supporting institutional investing aligned with the global goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner.

“This commitment underlines Ninety One’s support for the objectives of the Paris Agreement and global efforts to limit global warming to 1.5°C and aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” the group said.

Commenting on the move Hendrik du Toit, CEO of Ninety One, said: “Ninety One believes in sustainability with substance. The world needs an inclusive transition plan that works for all its 7.9 billion people.”

Read: Green economy is here to stay – Ninety One CEO Hendrik du Toit

He stressed that the drive to net zero carbon must include the entire world.

“The carbon-intensive emerging market economies need time, encouragement and resources to adjust,” says Du Toit.

“Ninety One, as a company with its roots firmly in South Africa, understands this need perhaps better than most. Emerging economies, after all, are not responsible for the bulk of emissions to date.”

Ninety One believes in sustainability with substance, says CEO Hendrik du Toit. Image: Supplied

Ninety One, formerly Investec Asset Management, was unbundled from Investec plc in March last year and listed separately on the London Stock Exchange and the JSE. Dubbed an independent ‘active global asset manager’, Ninety One manages more than R2.7 trillion in assets as at March 31.


The overall assets represented in the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative comprise almost half of the entire asset management sector globally in terms of total funds managed, according to Ninety One.

“A total of 128 investors including the world’s three largest asset managers – collectively managing $43 trillion in assets – are now part of the initiative,” it said.


“Signatory asset managers commit to prioritise the achievement of real economy emissions reductions, take account of material portfolio Scope 3 emissions [resulting from activities from assets not owned or controlled by the reporting organisation], create investment products aligned with net zero emissions and facilitate increased investment in climate solutions,” the group added.

“Beyond this, it is fitting that Ninety One is the first South African signatory because of its unique position to make the case not merely for a transition to cleaner forms of energy, but a just transition that takes into account the unique socioeconomic challenges South Africa faces as it works to decarbonise the economy,” Ninety One pointed out.

Read: Ninety One voices unhappiness over Naspers/Prosus share swap

As part of its drive to achieve low-emission investment portfolios, Ninety One said that its intention is to do more than lower ‘portfolio carbon’ by simply constructing portfolios that exclude high-emitting countries and companies. Instead, the group seeks to differentiate between the reduction of ‘portfolio carbon’ and the reduction of carbon emissions across the real economy.

“Ultimately,” said Du Toit, “the drive to net zero is about the reduction over time of all the world’s carbon, not merely of ‘reported’ carbon, and true success is about bringing every country and sector along on the same journey.”


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Not a clue what this nonsense is all about but what I do know is that twice in 2 weeks their call centre promised me a callback which NEVER HAPPENED !

would be wonderful if the 91drive has any positive effect, but please, to 91 / companies / individuals / npo’s etc with arms up in the air and protesting, first come up with an economical, viable, affordable and sustainable alternatives before riding the hi-holy car especially while you yourself still utilizes the same source of energy direct or indirectly in the form of transport, electricity etc right through to the saterday night’s braai fire or fireplace.

Green-communism sponsored by unsuspecting investors.

This is another example of how the “Woke” culture has now infiltrated companies.

I am a retired electrical engineer. I believe I know and understand more about carbon based energy, renewable energy and the need for the right path to get to a sustainable energy solution than most of the people who are making a lot of noise about it. My retirement annuity is also with 91. As far as I can recall 91 did not inform me about their decision to join this initiative. I have read their statements in this article a few times, but I could find nothing more than the general sweeping statement jargon that I will find in any Greta Thunberg statement. So, Mr du Toit, if you want to make decisions on my retirement money, you better start to tell your investors exactly what you are going to do with our money. No more general publicity statements, please.

It’s mostly disclosure based. Don’t fret about your couple hundred thousand rands big man. These mostly relate to foreign assets.

Firstly, I did not mention anything sbout a couple of hundred thousand rand.
Secondly, every informed, rational person knows that coal will be part of the mix for the next 20 to 30 years, maybe more. There will be a lot of good investment opportunities in coal. People like 91, who are working with other people’s money, should not miss these opportunities just because it is the flavour of the day to be part of this “initiatve”.

End of comments.





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