The Department of Finance at the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS) held a guest lecture online on Wednesday, August 31st, 2022 on the theme: “Sustainability and Responsible Investment." The Guest Lecturer was Ms. Adiki Ofeibea Ayitevie, Vice President, Sustainability & External Relations- Newmont Africa.
In her lecture, Ms. Ayitevie defined sustainability as the practice of using natural resources responsibly today so they are available for future generations tomorrow. She stated that the depletion of forests, precious metals, and other natural resources must be reduced and used conservatively and wisely for future generations because resources are limited; notwithstanding the fact, that the world's population is projected to increase from 7.6 to 9.8 billion people. She mentioned that some socio-economic trends, such as farming practices, energy used for air, road, and water transportation, urbanisation, foreign direct investments, and the use of water, among many others, are the things driving the pressure on the earth's systems. Ms. Ayitevie made a point about the need to consider how we develop sustainably. An integrated strategy that considers both environmental issues and economic development is required for sustainable development.
Next, she discussed the growth of responsible investing, which, according to her, is frequently used to mean impact, ethical, sustainable, and socially responsible investing. They all consider governance, social, and environmental issues. However, she pointed out that with responsible investing, one establishes a moral or ethical goal as the main reason for investing.
She went into detail about how responsible investment has changed from 1971 to 2015, and how the factors that have influenced this change over the years have included, among others, more aggressive and strategic sustainability goals, customer pressure, regulatory pressure, and employee pressure. Some of the driving forces behind responsible investment include materiality, client demand, and regulation. She added that each of these factors also takes into account the environmental, social, and governance aspects.
When choosing where to invest in a business, Ms. Ayitevie discussed the three Ps of business sustainability: profit, the planet, and people. She asserted that when making investment decisions, it's critical for the investor to check that the investment has strong earning potential, positive cash flow, and a sustainable business model, as well as that the needs of the workforce are taken care of. She also advised that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) could be used as a compass.
Ms. Ayitevie is an accomplished and well-respected sustainability professional with in-depth knowledge and expertise in social performance, strategic communications, crisis and issues management, brand positioning, and reputation management.
Her experience prior to Newmont includes roles at the Volta River Authority, Société Générale Ghana Bank, and Public Agenda Newspaper. She also holds an Executive MA degree in Communications from IE School of Human Sciences & Technology, Spain; a Post Grad Diploma in Communications from the University of Ghana; and a BA in English; as well as a Diploma in Education from the University of Cape Coast. She has also worked as a private consultant for various non-government and private organizations in Ghana.
For the full lecture, follow the link below.
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