New Initiatives Launched at PRI Conference

(Paris) – The UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment today convened the second day of its fifth annual conference – an event that featured the launch of several new initiatives designed to advance the nexus between the UN Global Compact and the responsible investment movement.

Speaking during the opening plenary session, Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, Chair of the Foundation for the Global Compact, emphasized the need for major institutional investors and companies to improve their dialogue and communication, while developing overarching industry-specific value drivers of sustainability. These can then be complemented by more detailed metrics, Sir Mark said.

Day two of the conference featured a number of topical sessions including: senior gender equity at corporations; responsible investment as it pertains to commodities and agriculture/farmland; and the role of hedge funds with respect to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.

During the two-day event, several UN Global Compact-oriented initiatives and resources were launched, including:

  • Joint task forces of Global Compact LEAD companies and investors which will address: i) improving communication and dialogue and the company-investor interface; and ii) executive compensation and incentives in relation to ESG issues;
  • A guide to responsible investment in commodities, developed by the UNGC, the Swiss Government, PRI, and onValues; and
  • A resource, developed by Global Compact LEAD companies, focusing on how Boards can more effectively integrate sustainability issues.

More than 500 institutional investors and other stakeholders attended the conference.

Closing the event, Gavin Power, Deputy Director of the UN Global Compact, stressed the importance of the evolving relationship between PRI signatories and the United Nations, and called for even greater collaboration. Mr. Power cited the Rio+20 Earth Summit in 2012 as an important opportunity for investors to showcase their contributions to the broad sustainability agenda with public policy leaders, while also providing a platform for investors to encourage governments to develop better frameworks and incentives to further advance responsible investment and sustainable finance.

Gavin Power
Deputy Director
UN Global Compact