The issue leading to this study is the purported lack of short-term consideration of climate change materiality on investment portfolios. The on-going research argument deliberates the roles and motives of institutional investors in considering environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, including climate change, in investment decisions. The purpose of this study was therefore to explore the underlying motives of South African institutional investors for the incorporation of climate change in their short-term investment decision-making. The study was conducted through a qualitative, exploratory enquiry, whereby seven semi-structured interviews were conducted with institutions in the South African asset management industry.
Participants’ views were analysed and indicated the following themes: The state of climate change awareness and the incorporation of ESG and climate change in investment decision-making; tactical valuation of assets using ESG/climate change screening and methods of monitoring ESG/climate change practices; and motives, incentives and constraints of responsible investment (RI) practices to incorporate climate change. These are supported by business conditions that enable consideration of climate change in investment analysis. Industry practitioners can lead by implementing RI to include climate change in order to attract potential clients to their portfolios.