“We believe that an economically efficient, sustainable global financial system is a necessity for long-term value creation. Such a system will reward long-term, responsible investment and benefit the environment and society as a whole.” This statement by the PRI gets to the heart of its mission.
What are the PRI?
The Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) are a UN financial initiative launched with the aim of developing principles for sustainable investments and therefore fostering a sustainable financial system. They reflect the increasing importance of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues for investment decisions.
The PRI make it easier for investors to understand sustainable investing and how to make responsible decisions. The principles encourage investors on a voluntary basis to use responsible investing as a means for better risk management and higher returns, while engaging with global policymakers. According to the PRI, the success of the principles is reflected in 5,179 signatories (as of Oct. 2022), with an estimated total of assets under management (AUM) of US$121.3 trillion, that have joined the initiative since its launch in 2006.
The association between the PRI and the UN goes back to 2005 when the then Secretary-General Kofi Annan fostered the creation of the working group developing the principles. As of today, the UN PRI are part of the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative and UN Global Compact.
The six principles of the PRI
The jointly adopted six sustainability principles for investors are:
We will incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes
We will be active owners and incorporate ESG issues into our ownership policies and practices
We will seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest
We will promote acceptance and implementation of the Principles within the investment industry
We will work together to enhance our effectiveness in implementing the Principles
We will each report on our activities and progress toward implementing the Principles
Three key takeaways from the UN Principles for Responsible Investment
The UN PRI are an organization dedicated to promoting environmental, social, and governance issues in investor decision-making worldwide
The UN PRI rely on voluntary disclosure by participating members (signatories)
More than 5,000 UN PRI signatories are responsible for over US$121 trillion in assets under management worldwide (as of Oct. 2022)