PRI sets out Sustainable Financial System programme

The PRI set out its Sustainable Financial System (SFS) programme to US signatories at an event hosted by IEX in New York on 29 March. The SFS programme has been established with a long-term view – to better align the financial system with sustainable and equitable economies. In doing so, the aim is to reinforce ESG integration and responsible investment approaches. IEX was chosen for the event because of its commitment to a fair, simple, transparent listed equities market.

The event is the first in a series that will be led by the PRI to look at the key barriers in the market that can limit investors’ efforts to address sustainability considerations and integrate ESG factors at scale.

The PR’s Nathan Fabian, Director of Policy and Research said, "Sustainability is fundamental to future economic and investment value. It is relevant to the whole financial system. We've learned that many in the financial markets are still not on board. There are blockages and enablers we need to address.

"We want to create demand for ESG issues and sustainable investment products developed by investment managers. Likewise, forward thinking asset owners want to know that incorporating ESG factors into their investment approaches is going to be supported by the market. Despite progress, we are seeing many blockages in the financial system. Today we have set out the first four projects we are undertaking to remove these blockages".

The four projects address

  • investment trustee readiness for a sustainable system;
  • asset consulting services;
  • macro-economic risks;
  • industry dialogue about the outcomes the financial system as a whole should be contributing to in society.

The PRI was joined by William Burckart and Steve Lydenberg from The Investment Integration Project (TIIP) and Bank of America's Anna Snider at the event, which included a Q&A session with the audience. TIIP outlined its approach to encouraging systems level approaches by investors. Anna Snider outlined the accelerating growth in the sustainable investment market and likely future trends. The Q&A discussion addressed the take-up of sustainable investment products in the market, the role of ESG data and analysis and the future for the sell side company research.

Click for the event presentation and speech.

More information on the SFS programme is available at www.unpri.org/sfs.