Initiatives related to the environment were supported by 31% of companies and received an average of 3% CSI spend in 2022. Support for, and spend on, environment through CSI has decreased over time, most likely as core business focuses more on mitigating its environmental impact.
In 2010 almost half of companies (49%) supported environmental initiatives, which received an average of 7% of CSI spend. This has fallen to 31% of companies and 3% of spend in 2022. Wildlife conservation has always received one of the largest portions of environment CSI spend (18% in 2010 and 14% in 2022), with spend on wetlands and water conservation, as well as waste management, increasing over time.
- The average environment spend on water conservation and wetlands management was 22% in 2022, up from 13% in 2021, and accounting for the largest average share of CSI environment spend.
- Funding for waste management and recycling as well as for climate change increased slightly in 2022, while the share of environment expenditure directed to awareness programmes and wildlife conservation decreased.
The changing environment landscape in South Africa
– The National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (Act No. 107 of 1998) (NEMA) superseded the Environmental Conservation Act. Among other things, it aimed to coordinate environmental functions exercised by organs of state and provide for certain aspects of the administration and enforcement of other environmental management laws.
– The Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002 (Act No. 28 of 2002) made provision for equitable access to and sustainable development of the nation’s mineral and petroleum resources.
– The United Nations declared 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity (IYB) to raise awareness about the crucial importance of biodiversity, to communicate the 2015 human costs of biodiversity loss, and to engage people throughout the world, particularly youth, in the fight to protect all life on Earth.
– South Africa is one of 17 mega-diverse countries, according to the World Conservation Monitoring Centre 2019 (WCMC) of the United Nations Environment Program.
– The National Climate Change Response Policy was approved by Cabinet. It is a comprehensive plan to address both mitigation and adaptation in the short, medium and long term (up to 2050).
– The National Waste Management Strategy 2011 set out to systematically improve waste management in South Africa.
– The Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP) was introduced to stimulate the renewable industry in South Africa while encouraging foreign investment in the sector and developing socioeconomic and environmentally sustainable growth.
– In December, 195 nations reached a historic agreement at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) held in Paris under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), now known popularly as the Paris Agreement.
– The Carbon Tax Act, 2019 (Act No. 15 of 2019) came into effect in June 2019 and is administered and collected by the South African Revenue Service (SARS). It gives effect to the polluter-pays-principle for large emitters.
– The National Environmental Management Laws Amendment Bill (NEMLA Bill) proposed various amendments to the NEMA-, the National Environmental Management Amendment Act, 2008 (Act No. 62 of 2008), and various scientific environmental management acts.
– In September 2021, South Africa released its latest national climate commitment under the Paris Agreement. The new greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions targets will see South Africa’s emissions decline in absolute terms from 2025, a decade earlier than planned. – As of 2021, a total of 117 projects that will generate over 8 800 MW of renewable power had been awarded to the private sector under the REIPPP.
– The NEMLA Bill became an Act on 24 June 2022 and will introduce a major shift in South Africa’s environmental legislation on a date to be fixed and proclaimed by the president.
– The WHO’s scorecard on the environment notes that South Africa’s air quality is six times higher than the guideline value for particulate matter.
– According to Climate Action Tracker, South Africa’s targets and policies towards lowering GHG emissions are rated as ‘insufficient’ and need substantial improvements to align with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5 ̊C temperature limit.
– The Climate Change Bill 2022 was tabled in parliament and is currently under review. If the Bill becomes law, it will form the first legal framework in South Africa to respond to the impacts of climate change.