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We independently evaluated the PRI’s achievements and challenges on their 10th anniversary

The assignment

The global investment sector has an important role in our economy; it is a channel for finding good investments for households’ savings and securing the effective management of assets through stewardship. The Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) initiative was founded based on the notion that investment decision-making did not sufficiently reflect the tenets of sustainable development. Over time, it brought together over 1500 investors and industry experts from all over the world, aiming to contribute to the development of a more sustainable global financial system.

Based on over 40 interviews, a survey filled out by over 450 stakeholders and extensive desk research, we have evaluated the impact of the PRI over the last decade and worked out recommendations for the years to come.

The independent report

Our research applauds the PRI for putting responsible investment on the agenda of investors and policy makers and becoming the leading global investors’ platform for learning, engagement and the sharing of best practices on responsible investment. In addition, PRI is appreciated for being a ‘big tent’ organisation that helps new signatories embrace the basics of responsible investment on the one hand and facilitates a ‘race to the top’ amongst signatories on the other. This is a remarkable achievement in only 10 years.

However, while there is now significant awareness about responsible investment, implementation stills lacks depth: genuine integration of the Principles will require additional efforts.

For the PRI to progress responsible investment practices and support real  world change, the report has three recommendations. We recommend the PRI to create more clarity and consensus about the purpose and ambition, to enhance focus and value added, and to improve the accountability process. In view of the global challenges we face 10 years on, and their impact on societies and the investment world, we argue that putting the Principles into practice is no longer something to aspire to, but now the only ‘rational’ choice facing investors.

What’s next

The findings from the impact evaluation are used by the PRI to inform a broader signatory and stakeholder consultation exercise that the PRI runs from April – September 2016 about the future of the responsible investment industry, the impact it should seek to have over the coming decade, and the role the PRI should play in supporting this.

For the report, click here.  For more information on PRI’s 10 years anniversary, click here.  

At the time of our 10 year anniversary we asked Steward Redqueen to independently evaluate the performance of our organisation. We wanted additional input for broader stakeholder discussions as for the PRI’s strategic direction and priorities for the next years. Steward Redqueen managed to deliver a solid report that reflects on the PRI’s successes but also gives useful recommendations for future improvements. It’s quite a challenge to capture the essence of the progress the PRI has made in only 30 pages. We appreciated working with the Steward Redqueen team.
Matthew McAdam
Head of Communication
Matthew McAdam