UN Global Compact, PRI launch ESG investor briefing series

LONDON, 30 July 2012 – Today marked the launch of the first ESG Investor Briefing, hosted by SAP AG. SAP’s Briefing is part of a joint project of the United Nations Global Compact and the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) designed to improve company-investor communications on environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) information. The first call was highly successful, attended by 37 PRI signatories and their affiliates, including asset owners, investment managers and investment banks. Senior executives from SAP presented on their ESG performance using a common ESG Value Driver Framework developed in collaboration with a group of Global Compact LEAD companies and PRI investors.

In consultation with investors and companies, the PRI and Global Compact created the ESG Investor Briefing Project with the goal of improving the ability of financial markets to properly value sustainability performance. Much of the dialogue between companies and investors on ESG issues tends to remain outside of mainstream discussions on business strategy and are often not integrated into the scope of companies’ investor relations departments. In addition, there is a need to explore how companies’ ESG value drivers can be communicated beyond sustainability reporting and ultimately be included in mainstream investor relations, such as quarterly analyst calls. In response to these challenges, this initiative aims to develop and test a platform for companies to provide ESG information to investors that can be included in traditional financial analysis.

The Briefings providean opportunity for investors to learn more about which ESG value drivers companies deem material to their business and to engage with the management both during and after the calls. Attendees also have an opportunity to provide crucial feedback to the company through follow-up surveys. A final publication will be produced focusing on both the content and process of the calls.

The initiative plans to pilot a series of 10-15 Briefings in the second half of 2012 and first half of 2013. In addition to SAP, four other companies – Enel, AkzoNobel, NovoNordisk and Eni – have already confirmed their participation and numerous other companies have expressed strong interest. The PRI and Global Compact would like to encourage companies to host their own ESG Investor Briefing. Investors are also asked to invite companies to participate in the project, as well as request that companies integrate ESG information into their traditional financial calls. Interested companies and investors should contact Danielle Chesebrough or Jerome Lavigne-Delville.

Upcoming ESG Investor Briefings: 

  • Enel – 24 October
  • AkzoNobel – 19 November
  • NovoNordisk- TBD
  • Eni- TBD

United Nations Global Compact

The UN Global Compact is a strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. By doing so, business, as a primary driver of globalization, can help ensure that markets, commerce, technology and finance advance in ways that benefit economies and societies everywhere.

Principles for Responsible Investment

The United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment Initiative (PRI) is a network of international investors working together to put the six Principles for Responsible Investment into practice. The Principles were devised by the investment community. They reflect the view that environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues can affect the performance of investment portfolios and therefore must be given appropriate consideration by investors if they are to fulfil their fiduciary (or equivalent) duty. The Principles provide a voluntary framework by which all investors can incorporate ESG issues into their decision-making and ownership practices and so better align their objectives with those of society at large.

Contacts:

Principles for Responsible Investment:
Danielle Chesebrough, Manager of Investor Engagement

UN Global Compact:
Jerome Lavigne-Delville, Head, Communication on Progress