By Elina Rolfe, Director, Reporting and Assessment
Fourteen years ago, 20 active and advanced signatories launched the Principles for Responsible Investment. As you are reading a PRI blog, you don’t need me to tell you that a lot has changed since 2006. We now have almost 3,000 signatories from all corners of the world across the investment chain, and they are all at different levels of implementing responsible investment. What’s important for us as we look to the future is that we continue to encourage signatories to be better at responsible investment. From the laggards to the leaders – and all those in between – we aim to truly move the needle on what it means to have PRI membership. We believe that part of this is holding signatories to a greater level of accountability.
To do this, 2020 will be the first year we delist signatories not meeting the minimum requirements of PRI membership after two years of engagement with the PRI. The baseline we expect of our signatories is that they have a policy covering their responsible investment approach for the majority of their assets, a staff member to implement it and someone senior to oversee it. These requirements are not particularly challenging. They are applicable to everyone and not prescriptive.
Engaging with signatories
Since 2018 we have been engaging extensively with 152 signatories at risk of delisting to ensure that they make the necessary changes by 2020. That’s because our main aim has always been to raise standards across all our signatories and drive the market in a positive direction. Our aim has never been to leave anyone behind, and we never set out to delist for delisting sake. However, where signatories aren’t willing to engage and make the changes needed, we are prepared to part ways.
Our aim has never been to leave anyone behind, and we never set out to delist for delisting sake. However, where signatories aren’t willing to engage and make the changes, we are prepared to part ways
So, what will happen? We have always been clear about the approach we will take. Signatories that have not met the minimum requirements in 2020, following two years of engagement with the PRI, will have their names submitted to the PRI Board for the approval of delisting. They will be notified of the board’s decision in early May and will have a month to appeal. Appeals will be reviewed by a sub-board committee and a final decision will be made by the PRI Board by mid-July. Signatories will be notified of the final decision by the end of July.
The names of delisted signatories will be published in August 2020. Signatories will not be able to re-join the PRI for a year, at which point they would need to prove that they are meeting the minimum requirements.
In order to support signatories further during engagement, we were able to show “what good looks like” through our first Leaders’ Group in 2019. This initiative showcases signatories at the cutting edge of responsible investment, and highlights trends in what leading signatories are doing. Each year, there is a focus on a particular theme: this year, it’s climate reporting. In order to identify leadership, we will be using the wealth of data we collect annually and the assessment scores on all applicable modules in the Reporting Framework. Speaking of which, we are currently running a consultation on the framework, more details of which can be found here.
We intend for the Leaders’ Group to inspire those who need it most, to give ideas to those who have been struggling to make a difference in their organisation. We also believe that this will give a much-needed recognition to those who have been pushing the RI agenda for a while and motivation to push further.
We will also continue to celebrate leading signatories via the PRI Awards, where we recognise individually excellent projects conducted by signatories of all sizes, specialisms and levels of development.
We believe that together these initiatives will help make a better PRI, not just for us, but for our signatories – bringing them together to work towards sustainable markets that contribute to a more prosperous world for all.
This blog is written by PRI staff members and guest contributors. Our goal is to contribute to the broader debate around topical issues and to help showcase some of our research and other work that we undertake in support of our signatories.
Please note that although you can expect to find some posts here that broadly accord with the PRI’s official views, the blog authors write in their individual capacity and there is no “house view”. Nor do the views and opinions expressed on this blog constitute financial or other professional advice.
If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected].