Welcome to the United Nations
The Principles do not have minimum entry requirements or absolute performance standards for responsible investment. PRI signatories are not necessary engaged in impact investing. However, signatories have an obligation to report on the extent to which they implement the Principles through the annual Reporting and Assessment process.
All asset owners and investment managers signed to the PRI are required to report on activities and progress towards meeting the commitments made when signing. The information from these reports are used to create a publicly available yearly Report on Progress as well as provide individual signatories with a private Assessment Report. A portion of the reports are also required to be publicly available and as of September 2016 there were more than 86,000 downloads of the publicly available information published from these individual investor reports. PRI Reporting is the largest global reporting project on responsible investment. It is important that both companies and investors report on their sustainability-related activities.
The PRI works with its international network of signatories to put the six Principles for Responsible Investment into practice. They are a voluntary and aspirational set of investment principles that offer a menu of possible actions for incorporating ESG issues into investment practice. In implementing them, signatories contribute to developing a more sustainable global financial system. The Principles complement the UN Global Compact, which asks companies to embed in their strategies and operations a set of universal principles in the areas of human rights, labour standards, the environment and anti-corruption. They are also a natural extension of the work of the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative, which has helped sensitise capital markets to the importance of environmental and social issues.
The Equator Principles
The Equator Principles (EP) is a set of 10 principles for financial institutions, for determining, assessing and managing environmental and social risk in projects. The EP apply globally, to all industry sectors and to four financial products: 1) Project Finance Advisory Services; 2) Project Finance; 3) Project-Related Corporate Loans; and 4) Bridge Loans. The Principles are intended to provide a minimum standard for due diligence to support responsible risk decision-making. Currently 92 Equator Principles Financial Institutions (EPFIs) in 37 (mostly European) countries have adopted the Principles, covering over 70 per cent of international Project Finance debt in emerging markets. In the recent years the increase of new signatories has somewhat slowed down.
Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI)
Launched at the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, the UNEP FI Principles for Sustainable Insurance serve as a global framework for the insurance industry to address environmental, social and governance risks and opportunities.
Endorsed by the UN Secretary-General, the Principles have led to the largest collaborative initiative between the UN and the insurance industry—the PSI Initiative. As of July 2015, 83 organisations have adopted the Principles, including insurers representing approximately 20 per cent of world premium volume and $14 trillion in assets under management.
The Global Compact
The United Nations Global Compact is a United Nations initiative to encourage businesses worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies, and to report on their implementation. The UN Global Compact has 2 objectives: i) to mainstream its ten principles on human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption in business activities and ii) to catalyse actions in support of broader UN goals, such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The UN Global Compact is the world's largest corporate sustainability (a.k.a. corporate social responsibility) initiative with 13000 corporate participants and other stakeholders over 170 countries. Under the Global Compact, companies are brought together with UN agencies, labour groups and civil society. Cities can join the Global Compact through the Cities Programme.
Green Bond Principles (GBP)
The Green Bond Principles (GBP) are voluntary process principles that recommend transparency and disclosure and promote integrity in the development of the green bond market by clarifying the approach for issuance of a green bond. The GBP are intended for broad use by the market: they are intended to provide issuers guidance on the key components involved in launching a credible green bond; the Principles aim to aid investors by ensuring availability of information necessary to evaluate the environmental impact of their green bond investments; and to assist underwriters by moving the market towards standard disclosures which will facilitate transactions. The GBPs are initiated by International Capital Markets Association (ICMA), which has over 530 members located in over 60 countries worldwide from both the buy side and sell side of the market. Signatory is voluntary, and as of February 2017, the list of signatories includes 39 investors, 30 issuers and 61 underwriters.