By Elina Rolfe (@elinarolfe), Director, Reporting and Assessment, PRI

Elina Rolfe

Reporting and assessment touches all PRI signatories – no matter how advanced they are in their responsible investment journey, no matter how big or small or where they’re based. Indeed, when an organisation becomes a PRI signatory, they sign up to six principles and to annual mandatory reporting to the PRI on their responsible investment activities.

The reporting process has come a long way from a simple self-assessment survey developed in 2006, when we only had about 100 signatories, to a full reporting and assessment framework launched in 2012 that captures most ESG practices from our signatories. As the depth and breadth of ESG practices has grown, so too has the framework we use to capture those activities.

Accountability has always been at the core of the PRI and with such a large signatory base – now made up of over 3,000 signatories managing more than US$103 trn in assets – we need to ensure that being a PRI signatory remains meaningful for the industry. We are not here to be a rubber stamp. That is why we decided to review the reporting process and our framework to ensure it remains relevant in a continuously evolving market.

So, I am delighted that today the PRI is launching the new, redesigned Reporting Framework for investors.

We have to be able to help and answer signatories’ questions like “are there new practices we should be adopting?”, ”are we doing enough?”, “are we making the progress that we committed to in Principle six?”

Brian Minns, Vice-President, Sustainable Investing, Addenda Capital Ltd.


We use it [the Reporting Framework] quite extensively in the selection, appointment and monitoring of managers, so I needed it to be more demanding and stretching so I can delineate between what managers are actually doing in reality

Faith Ward, CRIO, Brunel Pension Partnership

The future of PRI reporting

We’ve been working hard over the last two years to develop a framework that not only has more challenging reporting requirements, but is also simpler for signatories to report on, shorter and more consistent in its structure; and one that delivers more flexible and meaningful reporting outputs.

We set an ambitious goal at the beginning of the review journey: to cut the total number of questions by half. I am sure that you will be pleased to know we have done just that.

We also wanted to simplify the structure of the framework – we therefore introduced “core” and “plus” questions. Most of the questions in the framework are “core” – this means they are mandatory to report on and are publicly disclosed and assessed. More responsible investment practices are also now captured in the “core” questions.

The “plus” questions are voluntary to report on and disclose and are not assessed. They are often open questions to give signatories an opportunity to demonstrate more advanced practices that might not as yet be widely adopted.

There are more scored questions and they tend to focus on the extent to which a practice has been implemented.

We are also for the first time asking signatories to report on how they measure the real-world outcomes of their investments. We believe that all these updates have led to a more ambitious and challenging reporting process.

Bringing the Blueprint to life

The evolution of the reporting process was laid out in our 10-year plan – the Blueprint for responsible investment – whereby we committed to showcasing signatory leadership and increasing accountability.

The new questions on sustainability outcomes align with the Blueprint aim to enable real-world impact in line with the SDGs. Assessment and public disclosure of climate change questions will help the PRI champion climate action – another Blueprint focus.

We do acknowledge that this [capturing sustainability outcomes of investment decisions] is actually quite challenging because it is newer to our reporting, but certainly in line with what I’m being asked to do by my beneficiaries, so completely in line with where the direction of travel is from society. And I think what the PRI is trying to achieve here is to make sure that the framework is future proof, that it actually captures where we need to be, not just where we are now

Faith Ward, CRIO, Brunel Pension Partnership


The outcomes piece is so vitally important. The decisions that we make in finance really do make a difference and have real-world impacts. I think it’s an important message that the PRI is sending: that sustainability, the actual real-world outcomes matter, and that we should actually take the time and spend the effort to try to capture them in what we are doing

Brian Minns, Vice-President, Sustainable Investing, Addenda Capital Ltd.

Engaging with signatories

We believe that consulting with our signatories before making any decisions about major pieces of work is essential. That is why we engaged with them extensively over the past two years through 17 workshops and two formal consultations. Signatories also tested the content of the new framework and the reporting tool itself, so I’d like to take this opportunity to thank those signatories who helped shape this vital piece of work.

Next steps

We will keep welcoming signatories’ feedback throughout the 2021 reporting cycle to ensure that the reporting framework remains fit for purpose. But the journey will not stop in 2021.

We’ll look to improve the content, the tool and the assessment methodology for the 2022 reporting cycle by taking that feedback onboard.

Stepping back, as markets continue to develop, the depth and breadth of ESG adoption increases across the investment chain, and as our signatory base grows, the PRI is committed to evolving its reporting and assessment framework to align with these changes.

Find out more about the reporting and assessment review.



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].