Driving sustainable development in line with the UN SDGs will create a more prosperous world, to live in today and to pass on tomorrow

10-year Blueprint commitments:

  • work with our UN partners to deliver the SDGs;
  • set out steps and develop tools for investors to align their investment activities with the SDGs;
  • encourage investors to seek corporate responsibility enhancements that advance the SDGs;
  • encourage capital towards projects with positive, real-world impact;
  • introduce the SDGs into the PRI Reporting Framework;
  • map our work against the SDGs, and report on our contribution towards them; and
  • engage policy makers to encourage public policy that supports the SDGs.

Sustainable Development Goals

Building on the launch of our major report, Investing with SDG outcomes: A five-part framework, which provides a high-level framework for investors looking to shape real-world outcomes in line with the Sustainable Development Goals, we have started publishing a series of case studies exploring how institutional investors understand and shape these outcomes in their investments.

We also explored the role that infrastructure investors can play in meeting the SDGs, publishing two reports:

Sustainability outcomes in the Reporting Framework

We introduced mandatory questions in the new Reporting Framework, focusing on the organisation-wide guidelines and processes that signatories have in place to identify and set policies on sustainability outcomes. These are aligned with the first two steps of our SDG outcomes framework (see below), while signatories can answer additional voluntary questions aligned with steps two to five, focusing on how they set and track progress against sustainability outcomes targets, use asset allocation or engagement to advance these outcomes, individually or in collaboration with other investors.

Five-part SDG outcomes framework for investors

SDGs outcomes framework

Human rights

Investors are increasingly expected to address human rights, driven not only by growing visibility and urgency around many human rights issues, but also by a better understanding of investors’ role in shaping real-world outcomes, and of their responsibility to do so.

To help signatories to meet this responsibility, we published Why and how investors should act on human rights. This will provide the foundation for a multi-year agenda to promote the understanding of human rights in investment processes and the broader financial system. We will:

  • support institutional investors with their implementation of the UNGPs through knowledge-sharing, examples, and other practical materials;
  • increase accountability among signatories, by introducing human rights questions into the PRI Reporting Framework – initially on a voluntary basis;
  • facilitate investor collaboration to address industry challenges to implementing respect for human rights;
  • promote policy measures that enable investors and investees to manage human rights issues; and
  • drive meaningful data that allows investors to manage risks to people.

In 2021/22, we will take this work forward through a series of case studies and a collaborative engagement on human rights.

Priority ESG issues

We undertook work on several ESG issues that are linked to the SDGs, including biodiversity (see below), human rights (see above), and issues linked to COVID-19 (see section on COVID-19).


Biodiversity loss is a systemic risk. As part of our broader environmental issues work, we published a discussion paper, based on investor research and interviews, to outline some emerging approaches for integrating biodiversity into investment policies and strategies and encourage further discussion on developing these practices further.

Real-world outcomes’ role in our 2021–24 strategy

Increasingly, our signatories are recognising that the real-world sustainability outcomes they contribute to shaping through their investment activities will feed back into the financial risks they face. For this reason, building a bridge between financial risk, opportunities, and real-world outcomes is a key element of our 2021-24 strategy.

This year, we identified the priority ESG issues we will work on over the next three years, with an overarching focus on helping signatories understand how to integrate and measure outcomes, while remaining grounded in fiduciary duty and the broader role of investors in society. Among others, these include:

  • Climate change mitigation
  • Sustainable commodities
  • Tax fairness
  • Human rights
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Decent work

We prioritised these issues based on their significance and scale, the scope for institutional investors to make a difference and the opportunity for the PRI to add value, including through partnerships with other organisations. See the PRI 2021-24 Strategy for more detail.

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