By David Atkin, CEO, Principles for Responsible Investment


As many of you will recall, in late 2022 we ran a global signatory consultation titled ‘PRI in a Changing World’. As a backdrop to that consultation, we reflected on the progress the PRI has made since its founding in 2006. Through our work with signatories, responsible investment (RI) has become part of mainstream financial practices and a critical feature of investors’ strategies all around the world. 

But the external landscape for RI continues to evolve. Despite significant progress in the industry, climate change and the degradation of our natural environment remain large and growing material risks, and increasing inequality of economic outcomes is driving social and political instability worldwide. 

Over the past 18 months, based on the views shared with us in the consultation and the external context, the PRI has been working on a new organisational strategy. The strategy has two overarching objectives: to maximise the value we deliver to signatories in a rapidly evolving environment and to deliver on the PRI’s mission – which is to create a sustainable financial system that benefits the environment and society as a whole. 

The new strategy will shift the PRI’s programme priorities to focus on four specific areas.  

The first is around signatory progression, a new stream of work for the PRI.  

It will involve tailoring our guidance, reporting and assessment to signatories to progress their RI practices. In addition, we will streamline PRI reporting to enable implementation of the six principles. I believe this has the potential to truly advance responsible investment, and drive accountability to the six principles. You can find out more about our Progression Pathways work here, and a dedicated blog with further details about this new workstream will be published soon. 

For our longer-tenured signatories, I think the remaining three focus areas will be very familiar.  

We will continue building our presence in mature regions and extend our reach in developing markets, with the aim of strengthening local RI ecosystems.  

We know that signatories value locally-based contact points with specific regional expertise, working within your ecosystems. In particular, we will strategically increase our presence in emerging markets and developing economies, aiming to improve global investor understanding of the challenges faced in those markets. And we will introduce agreements with network partners to improve coordination between the PRI and partner groups, reducing duplication of effort. This will foster a larger, stronger and more diverse global RI ecosystem.  

We’ll offer more convening opportunities, and amplify the impact of collaborative investor initiatives. 

This will bring opportunities for you to collaborate through both established and new PRI-convened and supported initiatives, spanning subjects including stewardship, target setting and peer learning. This will help drive collaborative action to address barriers to a sustainable financial system.  

And we’ll work with governments and relevant actors to deliver more effective engagement and shape key RI policy and regulatory developments. 
There has already been substantial progress on this front. But we will use our experience with signatories to inform our work with policy makers, regulators and other system actors to advance further. A renewed focus on the enabling environment will help align policy and financial market structures with sustainability outcomes, and drive system change.  

As a next step, we invite feedback from signatories on our proposed strategic direction. As a PRI signatory, your perspectives are essential for helping us understand how best to support you to advance responsible investment on both an individual and collaborative basis. Find the strategy consultation document on our Formal Consultations page.

Personally, I’m incredibly enthusiastic about our new strategy. I hope you will also find that it responds directly to your needs and the changing world around us, and in aggregate will better equip us to deliver the mission – to maximise the value we deliver to you, to accelerate progress towards a sustainable global financial system, and ultimately contribute to a more sustainable world.   

We welcome your views, and I look forward to engaging with you further to advance our shared goals.