Investors managing US$ 3 trillion encourage participation in the UN Global Compact

LONDON, 27 March 2013 (company list updated 9 April 2013)

A coalition of 34 institutional investors managing approximately US$3.3 trillion in assets are encouraging 1900 companies, located in 44 countries, to consider joining the United Nations Global Compact as part of the “PRI for Rio” collaborative engagement. Enhancing corporate sustainability was high on the agenda of the 193 Member States that attended the UN’s Rio+20 conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June 2012. Following the Rio+20 event, a group of PRI signatories launched this engagement to further support the call for an increased focus on strategic sustainability among companies globally, calling it PRI for Rio.

The investors supporting this engagement, who are all signatories to the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), are based in Australia, Europe, North and South America and include BNP Paribas Investment Partners, Boston Common Asset Management, Calvert Investments, Highclere International Investors, PGGM, Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, Sparinvest Holdings SE, Threadneedle Investments, Trillium Asset Management and Walden Asset Management.

Investors across the globe are increasingly evaluating companies’ ability to address environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) opportunities and challenges. A company’s ability to identify and manage ESG issues has become a significant factor in shaping its financial performance. As a strategic initiative for businesses committed to integrating and disclosing a business strategy that takes into account the UN Global Compact’s 10 principles in areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, participation sends a signal to investors that a company is alert to the business implications of ESG issues. To date, approximately 7,000 corporate signatories in 135 countries have committed to the implementation, disclosure and promotion of the 10 Global Compact principles, making it the largest voluntary corporate responsibility initiative.

“Signing the UN Global Compact is, for the investors, an important proof of companies’ commitment to meet and enact the values the UN Global Compact represents. At BNP Paribas Investment Partners we have established the UN Global Compact as the shared framework on ESG standards for all corporate holdings. We thus welcome this PRI engagement as a force for expanding these standards across companies” 

Christian Dargnat, Global CIO, BNP Paribas Investment Partners.

“Calvert Investments regularly engages with companies and encourages them to join the UN Global Compact to further transparency and disclosure of their environmental, social and governance (ESG) impacts. As both a longtime UN Global Compact member and founding member of PRI, Calvert is pleased to participate in this broad initiative of institutional investors to encourage companies worldwide to join the UN Global Compact and begin incorporating the Ten Principles into their business practices.”

Bennett Freeman, Senior Vice President, Sustainability Research and Policy at Calvert Investments, a UNGC participant and PRI signatory

“Becoming a member of the UN-supported PRI has made us think differently about the way we invest on behalf of our clients, excluding numerous companies from our portfolios that have little regard for environmental, social or governance issues” said Ed Makin, CEO, Highclere International Investors.

Ed Makin, CEO, Highclere International Investors.

“Company transparency and disclosure of ESG risks are vital for our ability to assess these in our investment decision-making process. Companies signing up to the UN Global Compact display a commitment to disclosing and addressing ESG risks in their business, which is definitely in our interest as a long-term asset manager.”

Per Noesgaard, Group CEO, Sparinvest Holdings SE

“Pirelli has been an active member of the UN Global Compact since 2004. By adopting its principles as the foundation for our environmental, social and governance policies and making these the framework within which we develop our business strategy, we have found that we are making a profound, positive impact not only on all our stakeholders, but on our bottom line as well”

Marco Tronchetti Provera, Chairman and CEO, Pirelli & C. SpA

The companies being invited to join the UN Global Compact were selected based on their inclusion in the FTSE All World Index. 

For more information, contact:

Matthew McAdam
Head of Communications, PRI
+44 (0) 207 749 5141
Matthew.McAdam@unpri.org