Outstanding Industry Contribution 2017


Guiding Light

The idea behind the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) dates back to 2005. At that time, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan brought together some of the world’s largest institutional investors to ask them to develop voluntary guidelines to help investors incorporate environmental, social and governance factors into their long-term portfolios to stimulate the evolution of an institutional investment industry making increasing use of sustainability concepts.
This first forum consisted of a 20-strong investor group from institutions from 12 countries supported by 70 experts from the investment industry, intergovernmental organisations and civil society. This led to the formal launch of the PRI in 2006.
The number of signatories has since risen from 100 to over 1,750 and the PRI is now widely accepted as the world’s leading proponent of responsible investment and ESG ethics. The signatories are based in over 50 countries and their combined assets exceed €60trn.
The PRI’s remit extends beyond the long-term interests of its signatories to include the financial markets and economies in which they operate and ultimately the environment and society itself. It encourages investors to use responsible investment practices to enhance returns and better manage their risks.
The PRI is an independent body and does not operate for its own profit. While it engages with global policymakers, it is not associated with or dependent on any government. PRI is supported by the United Nations but not a formal UN entity. Currently there are six concise but meaningful principles. These are:
  • The signatories will commit to incorporating ESG issues into their investment analysis and decision-making processes.
  • They will become active owners and therefore incorporate ESG issues into their ownership policies and practices.
  • They will seek the appropriate disclosure concerning ESG issues from the entities in which they invest.
  • They will commit to promote the acceptance and implementation of the principles within the wider investment industry.
  • The signatories agree to work together to enhance their effectiveness in implementing the principles.
  • They will each report on the activities and progress they have each made towards implementing the principles.
Financially, the organisation is supported by the annual membership fee paid by the signatories. Further support comes from grants from governments, foundations and other international organisations.
The PRI celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2016 and marked this milestone by carrying out a number of initiatives designed to review its progress in bringing responsible investing into the mainstream, as well as how far it has come in shaping the future direction of the industry and the organisation itself. This included global signatory and stakeholder surveys, publishing an independent evaluation of the PRI’s impact and implementing two major consultations on the accountability of signatories, challenges surrounding sustainability and any revisions it made need to make to the six principles.
The occasion also included a number of special events such as anniversary conferences in London, New York and Singapore and more than 20 regional workshops, roundtables and webinars to gather feedback from the consultations.
The findings from these events and consultations formed the outline of an ambitious publication released in 2017 setting the agenda for the coming decade for further action for the PRI and the wider responsible investment community to take.
Judge's comment:
"There can be no question over PRI’s outstanding contribution. It has truly influenced the pension fund 
industry on a global level by
driving the integration of ESG"
  • ​World’s foremost ESG and socially responsible investment body
  • Set of six overarching principles written by investors for investors
  • Over 1,750 signatories worth collectively in excess of €60trn
  • Large-scale consultation process in 2016​