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UN Principles for Responsible Investment: 800 Signatories, $20 Trillion
By Steve Schueth

According to newly updated information on the UNPRI website, there are now 803 signatories to the global Principles for Responsible Investment.  Of these, 208 are asset owners, 440 are investment managers, and 155 are service providers.

The Principles were launched in April 2006 by then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan at the New York Stock Exchange.  First Affirmative signed on in June of 2006.

“Reaching 800 signatories with more than 20 trillion dollars in assets after four years is a great achievement for the PRI,” UNPRI Executive Director James Gifford told Responsible Investor.

The Principles are designed to encourage the investment community to incorporate ESG issues into their investment framework.  Members declare:  “As institutional investors, we have a duty to act in the best long-term interests of our beneficiaries.  In this fiduciary role, we believe that ESG issues can affect the performance of investment portfolios (to varying degrees across companies, sectors, regions, asset classes and through time).  We also recognise that applying these principles may better align investors with broader objectives of society.”

With the growth the UNPRI has experienced in recent months, it is very possible that ESG / sustainable investing can grow to become the single biggest influence upon investment approaches and stock selection analysis in the 21st Century.

The UN Principles for Responsible Investment are pragmatic, voluntary, and aspirational.

Steve Schueth

Posted: September 1, 2010