SHARE signs global responsible investment principles

By August 18, 2006News

SHARE is joining more than a hundred other institutional investors, asset managers and service providers that are backing the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). The group, which together owns or manages assets worth $5 trillion, aims to improve the way social, environmental and governance issues are taken into account when investment decisions are made.

The Principles were launched by Kofi Annan in April, 2006, at a ceremony held on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

“If implemented, they have tremendous potential to more closely align investment practices with the goals of the United Nations, thereby contributing to a more stable and inclusive global economy,” said Annan at the launch.

“SHARE has signed the Principles because we are committed to investment practices that serve working Canadians’ best interests,” explains Peter Chapman, SHARE’s Executive Director. “The groundbreaking work of the PRI helps ensure that key social, environmental and governance drivers are considered appropriately by pension funds and others entrusted with workers’ retirement savings.”

“This is truly global and these are sophisticated organisations that do not take this lightly,” said Jane Ambachtsheer, of Mercer Consulting, as quoted in the Financial Times.

The principles were developed at Annan’s behest by an international group of investors, non-profit organizations, academics, researchers and policy makers. They are designed to help institutional investors and associated organizations address environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues in order to improve long-term returns, and include integrating ESG issues into investment analysis; promoting good corporate ESG practice; and to reporting on progress.

Tom Powdrill of the British Trades Union Congress and Pierre Habbard of the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD represented labour at meetings of the Expert Group that developed the Principles.