By Fiona Reynolds, CEO, PRI

Fiona Reynolds

Our signatories are, and always have been, core to the PRI. Recognising signatory best practices and highlighting those that are doing great work in responsible investment around the world is extremely important to raising standards and ambition among signatories.

In 2016, a PRI signatory consultation on accountability showed strong support for recognising leadership within the signatory base. Signatories felt that their advanced RI efforts could be better recognised and communicated to encourage others to raise the bar in RI practices.

And we listened. As part of our Blueprint for responsible investment we committed to showcasing leadership and increasing accountability. We set out to do this through two initiatives: the PRI Awards and the PRI Leaders’ Group.

Where the Leaders’ Group assesses the breadth of signatories’ excellence, the PRI Awards recognises individually excellent projects across our signatory base.

The PRI Awards: celebrating innovation

The aim of these independently-judged awards is to highlight innovation and impact among our signatory base – and they have certainly done that.

We received 140 entries from 21 countries around the world and the judges shortlisted 24 projects from 11 countries. I was thrilled to see the quality of these entries to our inaugural PRI Awards – they have set a very high benchmark for the coming years. The innovation shown in the entries is a true testament to our diverse signatory base and shows that no matter where a signatory is located, no matter the size, responsible investment can be done.

I am delighted to announce the winners below:

  • Active ownership project of the year – WINNER: Platform Living Wage Financials, MN, Netherlands
  • ESG incorporation initiative of the year – WINNER: The Systematic Investing Multi-Factor Opportunities Strategy (SIMON) – Integrating ESG, First State Super, Australia
  • ESG research report of the year – WINNER: UNEP FI Investor Case Study: Applying scenario analysis to actively managed strategies, Rockefeller Asset Management, USA
  • Real world impact investment initiative of the year – WINNER: Planet Emerging Green One, Amundi, France
  • Emerging markets initiative of the year – WINNER: Green FoF: Innovative ESG Strategy with China Characteristics, Starquest Capital, China

All winning and shortlisted case studies can be found here. We would like to thank our independent panel of nine judges.

The PRI Leaders’ Group: at the cutting edge of RI

We have also produced our very first PRI Leaders’ Group this year. The group consists of 47 asset owners who have been identified based on their impressive work in selecting, appointing and monitoring investment managers in listed and private equity. As part of our Blueprint priorities, it is particularly important for the PRI to empower asset owners to ensure that they drive the market forward. Asset owners have the unique ability to do so, with their position at the top of the investment chain. I sincerely hope that the Leaders’ Group can be an inspiration and a source of knowledge for other asset owners wishing to learn more about how they can ensure that their external investment managers align with their RI beliefs. I also hope that investment managers will take this opportunity to study what their potential clients are seeking in a manager.

It is noteworthy that 36% of the signatories in the Leaders’ Group signed up to the PRI back in 2006 when the initiative was founded. The PRI can’t take credit for the achievements of these signatories, but to me, this is a sign that long-standing involvement with the PRI and deep interests in RI will equip signatories to progress and be leaders over time.

Thirty-six percent of the signatories in the Leaders’ Group signed up to the PRI back in 2006 when the initiative was founded

Finally, I would like to say thank you to our signatories for their contribution to these projects and the leadership they continue to show in the responsible investment community – let’s continue moving forwards together.