From PRI Chair Martin Skancke
During the past year, we have needed to respond to the global challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic, while also maintaining our focus on signatories and the promotion of responsible investment practices.
We have worked closely with signatories to develop our 2021-24 strategy, grounding it in the perspective of the investor, drawing on our distinctive strengths and determining where we are best placed to deploy our efforts.
ESG incorporation and stewardship are our core business and remain a major focus of our work. Increasingly however, our signatories are recognising that the real-world sustainability outcomes they contribute to shaping through their investment activities feed back into the financial risks they face.
Therefore, our strategy also aims to build bridges between financial risk, opportunities, and real-world outcomes. In the next three years, we will help signatories understand what this looks like in practice.
The last 12 months have also seen us pilot a new Reporting Framework. Based on extensive signatory consultation, it aimed to pose more challenging questions, such as asking signatories to report on how they measure the real-world outcomes of their investments, while being more consistent in structure.
The development and launch of a new and complex system has been a significant undertaking. Even though we worked incredibly hard to achieve this, I recognise that many of our signatories have experienced difficulties during the reporting period.
Overall, while most signatories signalled that the content better captures their responsible investment activities compared to previous reporting frameworks, the feedback varied between modules and signatory types.
Many also found that the time and resources required to complete the reporting was too high. This was compounded by issues with the navigation and functionality of the new online reporting tool and created problems for signatories trying to review their answers before submission.
We fell short in our preparedness to deal with these problems. We acknowledge the frustration that many of you felt and take responsibility for these issues, which we are now working to resolve. To ensure we have enough time to implement the changes needed, we have decided to delay opening the next reporting period until 2023.
We will also move into a new phase of leadership, following the decision of our CEO Fiona Reynolds to stand down from her position, but our work and priorities will remain the same. Signatories can be assured that we, alongside Fiona and the PRI team, will ensure a seamless transition.