Decusatio, a prominent consulting company in South Africa, has been at the forefront of driving change and creating sustainable solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In a recent interview, we had the opportunity to sit down with Marc Ashton, CEO of Decusatio, to delve into the world of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) initiatives. Marc shared insights into the work Decusatio does, the challenges faced by corporate entities in the ESG space, and the importance of these initiatives in the South African context.

Decusatio’s Journey:

Decusatio’s journey began with Marc’s background in financial journalism. He spent two decades in the media industry before transitioning to start a consulting firm aimed at assisting SMEs in overcoming financial challenges. As the company evolved, it became deeply involved in projects related to youth employment, enterprise and supply development, and socioeconomic development. These initiatives began to intertwine, creating projects that made a real difference in the lives of South Africans.

Over the past two years, Decusatio has been involved in various projects, ranging from solar energy and beauty spas to sanitary pad manufacturing and water supply, showing the diversity and commitment to creating lasting impacts.

Challenges and Corporate Engagement:

When asked about the challenges in the ESG landscape, Marc emphasized the fragmented nature of many initiatives, often stemming from enterprise and supply development budgets. Projects tend to be short-term, and sustainability often takes a back seat. The prevalent mindset is to secure grant funding, make a brief impact, and move on. This approach, according to Marc, fails to address the long-term challenges South Africa faces.

In terms of corporate engagement, Marc highlighted a key issue – donor fatigue. Corporate entities are taxed heavily, with a significant portion of their profits going back into the ecosystem through initiatives like enterprise and supplier development, socioeconomic development, and skills development. Despite these efforts, there remains a critical gap in the skills market, highlighting the need for a more effective use of these funds.

The Importance of ESG Initiatives:

Marc’s passion for creating sustainable change in South Africa was evident throughout the interview. He emphasized the urgency of addressing pressing issues such as limited resources, shrinking tax bases, and the need for economic growth. Projects related to healthcare, education, and water supply are vital in a country facing numerous challenges. Marc stressed the importance of bringing together limited resources to maximize their impact and create a sustainable future for all South Africans.

Working with Optimistic Partners:

One of the most inspiring aspects of Decusatio’s work is its commitment to partnering with like-minded individuals and organizations who are optimistic about creating a better future. Marc expressed his desire to work with individuals and entities that see a future in South Africa, believe in creating sustainable businesses, and are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of the country’s citizens.

Challenges and Gaps in the ESG Market:

While ESG initiatives are gaining popularity, they face significant challenges and gaps. The financialization of ESG often results in projects that are driven by profit rather than impact. There is a need to better measure the success and impact of these initiatives. While the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals provide a framework for measuring success, there is a lack of standardized metrics within ESG, making it challenging to evaluate and compare different projects.

How to Connect with Decusatio:

The interview concluded with a call to action for those interested in collaborating with Decusatio. Marc encouraged potential partners to reach out via email or through social media platforms such as LinkedIn or Twitter. Decusatio’s team is actively engaging with projects and is particularly interested in opportunities in KwaZulu-Natal and the Northern Cape.

Decusatio’s ESG workshop provides valuable insights into the world of Corporate Social Responsibility and ESG initiatives. Their commitment to creating lasting change and working with optimistic partners exemplifies their dedication to a better future for South Africa. By addressing the challenges and gaps in the ESG market, Decusatio is poised to make a meaningful impact and inspire others to join them in their mission for positive change.

If you would like to engage with Marc, you can reach out to him at