A race to the top and a clear rulebook improve results
Ensuring that signatories are held accountable empowers us to recognise the leaders, and support those that are lagging.
The Leaders’ Group
The Leaders’ Group showcases signatories at the most advanced stages of responsible investment, and highlights trends in their practices. We use signatories’ reporting responses and assessment data to identify those that are doing great work in responsible investment across their organisation, focused on a given theme each year.
In 2020, the theme was climate reporting, with 16 asset owner and 20 investment manager signatories demonstrating leading climate reporting practices, aligned with the FSB’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), across governance, strategy, risk management, metrics and targets.
Read the Leaders’ Group 2020 report here.
The PRI awards
Where the Leaders’ Group assesses the breadth of signatories’ excellence, the PRI Awards recognise achievement in specific projects, conducted by signatories of all sizes, specialisms, and levels of development.
For the PRI Awards 2020, we received 119 entries from signatories headquartered in 25 countries, with 20 judges selecting winners and shortlisted nominees across the following categories:
- ESG incorporation initiative of the year
- Stewardship project of the year
- ESG research report of the year
- Real-world impact initiative of the year
- Emerging markets initiative of the year
These were announced at the PRI Digital Forum: EMEA – the winning and shortlisted case studies can be found on the PRI website.
We have received 110 entries from signatories headquartered in 26 countries for the PRI Awards 2021. The winners will be announced at the PRI Digital Conference in October.
New reporting framework pilot
This year we piloted the new Reporting Framework, following extensive signatory consultation. It aimed to pose more challenging questions – for example, asking signatories to report on how they measure the real-world outcomes of their investments, aligned with the Blueprint aim to enable real-world impact in line with the SDGs (see Enable real-world impact).
We have received feedback on the pilot Reporting Framework from more than 1,700 signatories, including comments on its structure and content and on the online reporting tool user experience.
Overall, while most signatories indicated that the content better captures their responsible investment activities compared to previous Reporting Frameworks, many also found that the time and resources required to complete the reporting was too high. Issues with the navigation and functionality of the new online reporting tool contributed to this and created problems for signatories trying to review their answers before submission.
This has also affected the accuracy of the data captured this year. We are working with an external consultant to ensure that all errors are identified before we release signatories’ Transparency Reports and Assessment Reports to them privately. Signatories will then be able to review and, where errors are identified, request amendments to these reports before they are finalised and made public.
The Transparency Reports and Assessment Reports will look different from those released in previous reporting cycles, reflecting the changes made to the Reporting Framework, and so we will also gather signatory feedback on these once released.
In order to incorporate all feedback received on the Reporting Framework content and transparency and assessment reports, and to significantly improve the overall user experience, we have delayed the opening of the next reporting period until early 2023.
This will also postpone the announcement and implementation of the strengthened minimum requirements (see below), and engagement with signatories identified as not meeting the minimum requirements in 2021.
For more information on the delayed opening of the next reporting period, read the announcement here.
The minimum requirements for PRI signatory membership have been in place since 2018, and the 2020 reporting cycle saw the first cohort of signatories delisted for failing to meet these following a two-year engagement period.
Our engagement with signatories identified as not meeting the minimum requirements has continued to be successful. Over the last year, we engaged with 67 signatories, of which 92% met the minimum requirements in the 2021 reporting cycle.
This follows our engagement with 123 signatories in 2019, 83% of which met the minimum requirements in 2020, and with 121 signatories in 2018, of which 69% went on to meet the minimum requirements in 2019.
Like last year, we also exceeded our key target to engage with more than 90% of each cohort over the two-year engagement period. Of the 152 signatories identified in 2018, we had engaged with more than 94% by 2020, and 92% of those (132) went on to meet the minimum requirements in the 2020 reporting cycle. We engaged with 97% of the signatories identified in 2019 (141), with 94% then meeting the minimum requirements in the 2021 reporting cycle.
Minimum requirements review
We have been reviewing the minimum requirements over the last 12 months with the aim of strengthening them, to ensure they remain fit for purpose and continue to increase accountability. As part of our consultation with signatories on the 2021-24 strategy, we proposed several potential new minimum requirements and an amendment to the timeline to meet these.
We have been analysing signatory feedback on these and using data from the 2021 reporting cycle to assess the suitability of each proposal. Due to the next reporting cycle being delayed until 2023 (see Reporting Framework pilot above) this has now been postponed.
Further information on the minimum requirements review can be found here.