On Wednesday, 12 February, the PRI London Forum was hosted by Aviva at their City of London Offices. The event brought together representatives from the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and UN PRI signatories as well as government officials, NGOs, and other members of the responsible business and investment community to discuss and debate how to move forward as a community to address issues such as climate change. As DDCAP Limited is a service provider signatory to the UN PRI, Associate Director and Head of Corporate Responsibility, Jennifer Schwalbenberg, attended on behalf of the DDCAP Group.
Informed by the UN Sustainable Development Goals and supported by the United Nations, the UN PRI is an investor initiative in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN Global Compact. The UN PRI began in early 2005 when the then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan invited a group of the world’s largest institutional investors to join a process to develop the Principles for Responsible Investment. The UN PRI works with its international network of signatories to put the 6 Principles into practice. Its goals are to understand the investment implications of environmental, social and governance issues and to support signatories in integrating these issues into investment and ownership decisions.
The key theme of the day was a call to action to the investment industry to act ahead of a governmental regulatory response. As regulators have signalled that there is a readiness and capacity problem to prepare for the potential impact of climate change, the industry was urged to collaborate to find ways to connect the financial system to the means of prosperity and to finance innovative technologies to meet future challenges. If markets can find a way to promote a green and sustainable agenda, by allocating capital to innovative technologies and projects to meet future challenges, then it was argued the industry may be able to avoid highly intrusive regulatory intervention. Of course, it was agreed that some level of regulation would be welcomed if it would promote clarity and increase the quality of data which are often used as an excuse for a lack of engagement in responsible and sustainable investment.