Investors seek SDG alignment in reporting framework

PRI members have asked the organisation to draw up a reporting template that aligns with the UN's sustainable development goals

Investors have urged Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) to create a reporting framework that explicitly meets the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

In its 2019 ‘Signatory General Meeting Board Report’, the PRI said some signatories are looking for the organisation to develop an SDG relevant framework – calling for one comprehensive framework, rather than multiple versions.

The calls follow the PRI’s commitment to a reporting framework review in its 2018 to 2021 strategy program.

“The reporting framework could evolve to capture both responsible investment processes as well as impact,” the board report stated.

Martin Skancke, chair of the PRI, said: “[Over] 580 signatories (24 per cent) participated in the review consultation, and the results indicate that signatories receive significant value from undertaking the reporting framework.

“It is valuable for learning and literally provides a framework for reflecting upon, structuring and reporting on responsible investment activities.

“Signatories also recognised the need for accountability for their responsible investment actions to the PRI and other stakeholders. Signatory feedback was constructive, identifying many ways in which reporting, assessment and the various outputs could be improved,” Skancke added.

The board is due to discuss the proposed reporting framework reform at its September and December meetings.

The report also revealed the PRI remains focused on realising its Blueprint for Responsible Investment and will undertake a ‘high-level agenda’ for the 2018-21 strategy cycle.

The blueprint sets out a number of priorities, including driving meaningful data throughout markets, showcasing leadership and increasing accountability, empowering asset owners, and enable real-world impact aligned with the SDGs.

The UN-backed PRI has over 2,300 investor signatories, and works to understand the investment implications of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors.

An independent review of the PRI’s Board found the company has ‘a well-functioning board with committed and engaged board members’.

However, board members felt that they could perform better as PRI ambassadors and increase engagement with signatories and board members

“To maintain engagement and quality of discussion the board agreed to meet more frequently, raising the commitment from three to four in person meetings annually. The review also identified recommendations on how the board committees and executive can more effectively support the board,” Shancke said.

The report also named ‘Brexit implications’ as one of the top three operational risks currently facing the PRI, along with signatory experience, and talent and capability.