Signatories to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) reached 2,232 in 2018, a 21% increase on the previous calendar year.
Despite concerns over loss of momentum around issues such as climate change—as noted in the recent Global Risks Report by the World Economic Forum—investors are becoming aware of the risks and the opportunities around ESG factors. Continued growth in demand from global investors, their clients and beneficiaries for investment products and solutions that consider ESG issues, as well as stronger regulatory guidance on responsible investment in many countries, especially within the EU, is also fuelling signatory momentum.
Growth in the PRI’s signatory base was especially strong across North America (US and Canada), as well as in the UK and Ireland. Southern Europe, France, DACH (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) and Asia also saw solid increases in signatory numbers.
New PRI signatories included corporate pension funds Novartis (Switzerland); National Grid (UK); the Minnesota State Board of Investment, Office of the Illinois State Treasurer, the City of ChicagoTreasurer’s office, the Employees’ Retirement System of the State of Hawaii, the University of New Hampshire Foundation (US); the Government Pension Fund of Thailand; and insurance groups AG2R (France) and Swiss Life (Switzerland).
“Investors worldwide are increasingly concerned about issues such as climate change, modern slavery and tax avoidance,” said PRI CEO Fiona Reynolds.
“They also see the benefits of collaborating under the PRI umbrella and using their collective voices to effect change relating to ESG issues. However, while it is very gratifying to see this growth, the PRI is not just focused on numbers. We are keenly aware that there is a great deal of work to be done to make more investors aware of the importance of looking at ESG considerations, especially in both developed and emerging markets.”