The United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) Initiative is an international network of investors working together to put the six Principles for Responsible Investment into practice. Its goal is to understand the implications of sustainability for investors and support signatories to incorporate these issues into their investment decision making and ownership practices. In implementing the Principles, signatories contribute to the development of a more sustainable global financial system.
The Initiative has quickly become the leading global network for investors to learn about responsible investment and collaborate with their peers, companies and policymakers to generate sustainable, long-term investment returns for their clients and beneficiaries.
In early 2005, the then UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, invited a group of the world’s largest institutional investors to join a process to develop the PRI. A 20-person Investor Group drawn from institutions in 12 countries was supported by a 70-person group of experts from the investment industry, intergovernmental organisations and civil society. The Principles were launched in April 2006 at the New York Stock Exchange.
The Principles are voluntary and aspirational. They offer a menu of possible actions for incorporating ESG issues into investment practices across asset classes. Responsible investment is a process that must be tailored to fit each organisation’s investment strategy, approach and resources. The Principles are designed to be compatible with the investment styles of large, diversified, institutional investors that operate within a traditional fiduciary framework.
The PRI does not advocate or require specific approaches to positive or negative screening based on ESG criteria – though some signatories might find these appropriate. PRI’s approach
to responsible ownership focuses on engagement with companies to encourage improved management of ESG issues that are important for long-term value creation.
Unveiling of the PRI at the New York Stock Exchange in 2006, attended by founding PRI signatories and the former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.