Responsible investment’s rapid growth is reflected in PRI signatory numbers, which were less than 2,000 five years ago and are well clear of 5,000 today. This increase in signatories has, in turn, driven growth of the PRI as an organisation: a larger, and more diverse, signatory base is being served by a larger, more global PRI.
This growth is a success story, and with it come increased expectations of what we deliver to our signatories.
Signatory ambition is higher, more varied and more complex, and our signatories expect the PRI to respond accordingly – to enable progress towards our shared mission. Growth also impacts the responsible investment landscape. More participants means an ever-broader range of practice, greater visibility means higher scrutiny and increased regulatory action makes adapting to regional markets more important than ever.
We are mission-driven and signatory-centric. This year, we have started to evolve our operating model in line with delivering the priorities that signatories have outlined.
We are mission-driven, and signatory-centric. Through the PRI in a Changing World consultation, we heard what signatories want from the PRI to support them through the responsible landscape as it stands today, and in the years ahead. Signatories want us to support progression, to play a role in creating spaces for signatories to act, to influence system change and to engage effectively with markets at a regional level.
This year, we have started to evolve our operating model in line with delivering those priorities that signatories have outlined. At the core of this, we identified three distinctive capabilities – three overarching areas where we believe the PRI is uniquely positioned to deliver value to signatories, in line with our shared mission of achieving a sustainable financial system:
- Translate thought leadership into insights and practical support tailored to what signatories need to progress their responsible investment practice.
- Convene our vast network to create opportunities for collaborative action.
- Harness our global scale to influence policy makers and regulators to effect system change.
We are now working to align our operations with those high-level goals. Tailoring our work means improving our approach to segmentation; effecting system changes means strengthening our regional engagement; ensuring the solutions that we create for investors are practical means improving our product development and management techniques. These are just some of the changes that form part of a new operating model, that we have designed and are starting to implement.
Meanwhile, core offerings for signatories – from reporting and assessment, to guidance and initiatives, to events and the PRI Academy, and beyond – will all continue, and continue to evolve to meet signatories’ changing needs.
The first step is a new internal structure – against which we have broadly mapped this report, to indicate the direction of travel.
- Responsible Investment Ecosystems – developing responsible investment ecosystems, within regions, that support local priorities and enable effective engagement (including signatory progression, collaborating on regional initiatives, local policy engagement and signatory recruitment)
- Responsible Investment Solutions – providing practical products and services for signatories to progress their responsible investment practice (including reporting and assessment, accountability, guidance and investor education)
- Investor Initiatives and Collaboration – convening signatories and stakeholders to collaborate and act collectively, to solve problems together and influence norms (including stewardship initiatives, sustainability initiatives and the PRI Collaboration Platform)
- Sustainable Systems – delivering thought leadership to drive system change and guide the signatory offering (including issues expertise, progression pathways and global policy engagement)
- Operations – providing global business support services and systems to enable delivery (including finance, technology, governance/risk, strategy, signatory experience and events)
- People and Culture – developing and enabling the global workforce (including recruitment, development, culture, diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and internal communications)
Nothing about our new approach involves a change of purpose. The PRI’s mission remains as relevant as ever, signatories are looking for leadership and our people are a truly talented and committed group. However, the world has changed, and with that, expectations of how the PRI delivers for signatories towards that purpose has changed.
We hold ourselves to the same high standards that our signatories hold us to, and we believe that the PRI of the future can deliver even more value: supporting responsible investors, shaping sustainable markets and, ultimately, helping to deliver a more prosperous world for all.