Agreement between PRI and Danish Government to promote academic research on responsible investment

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COPENHAGEN, 14 May 2009 - An agreement between the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment and Danish Government was signed today to promote and support applied academic research within the field of responsible investment.

A joint venture is to be established that aims to generate innovative and practically applicable knowledge on the business case for responsible investment.

A key part of this mission will be to consolidate and develop the PRI Academic Network, created in September 2008, as a unique web-based platform for exchange of knowledge between academics and investment analysts.

The joint venture will also promote relevant academic research by offering one or more prizes for papers of excellence improving the methodological basis for responsible investment practices; highlight academic work through a special edition of a selected academic journal; and jointly organise the PRI Academic Network annual conference in 2010.

Donald MacDonald, Chair of the PRI Initiative said,

“On behalf of the PRI Initiative I’d like to express my appreciation for the innovative work being done in the area of responsible investment and corporate responsibility by the Danish Government. This is an exciting joint venture that I hope will enable responsible investors and academics in the field to work closer together and perhaps make a breakthrough in the task to create sustainable global financial markets.

“Today’s agreement is a shining example of a how governments and the responsible investment community can work together to achieve mutual goals. I hope it acts as a catalyst for much more cooperation between the two entities.”

For more information visit: http://academic.unpri.org/

The Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)

The Principles for Responsible Investment, convened by UNEP FI and the UN Global Compact, was established as a framework to help investors achieve better long-term investment returns and sustainable markets through better analysis of environmental, social and governance issues in investment process and the exercise of responsible ownership practices. The Principles themselves, a full list of signatories and more information can be found at www.unpri.org.

Danish Government Centre for CSR

The Danish Centre for CSR is a unit under the Danish Ministry for Economic and Business Affairs. The centre is responsible for implementing the Danish Governments policy for CSR. In May 2008 the Danish Government adopted an Action Plan on Corporate Social Responsibility with 30 initiatives to help promote CSR among Danish Businesses. Among the initiatives is a CSR law which was adopted by Parliament in December 2008. As of today the 1100 biggest companies in Denmark must report on their work with corporate social responsibility (CSR). The Danish Government action plan brings Denmark in the lead concerning CSR. More information at www.csr-gov.dk.

UN Global Compact

Launched in 2000, the UN Global Compact brings business together with UN agencies, labour, civil society and governments to advance ten universal principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Through the power of collective action, the Global Compact seeks to mainstream these ten principles in business activities around the world and to catalyze actions in support of broader UN goals. With more than 5000 participating businesses from over 130 countries, it is the world’s largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative. More at: www.unglobalcompact.org

United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI)

UNEP FI is a unique public-private partnership between UNEP and the global financial sector. UNEP works with over 170 banks, insurers and investment firms, and a range of partner organisations, to develop and promote linkages between sustainability and financial performance. Through its comprehensive work programme encompassing research, training, events and regional activities, UNEP FI carries out its mission to identify, promote and realise the adoption of best environmental and sustainability practice at all levels of financial institution operations. More information: www.unepfi.org