PRI signs up 4,000th member after EMs boost

There has been a significant uplift in signatories from emerging market companies and insurers.

Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) has welcomed it’s 4,000th signatory as emerging market firms and companies in the insurance sector boosted the number of members.

In a statement, the PRI said it had seen global growth in terms of the number of companies committing to its framework, and highlighted that it took less than one year for the last 1,000 signatories to join the PRI compared with six years for the first 1,000.

Taikang Insurance Group was the 4,000th signatory sitting in both insurance and EMs categories as the largest life insurance and asset management business in China. A statement from the firm said: “Taikang Insurance Group has led various initiatives promoting innovative business models and fulfilling social responsibilities. We are therefore thrilled to join the PRI as its 4,000th signatory. It is an important step for Taikang to practice responsible investment, reflecting the company’s development philosophy of persistence, perpetual innovation and good business.”  

Meanwhile, the PRI said as it is a global network where best practices are shared across borders, three of the four fastest growing regions in terms of signatories were in EMs: Latin America, CEE & CIS and China.  

The PRI said it is working to address the shortfall of capital inflows intro developing countries – a World Investment Report by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) estimated $5-7trn would be needed globally every year from 2015-2030 to finance progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals and out of this, $3.5-4.5trn is needed in developing countries. However, there is an annual shortfall of $2.5–3trn. The network is also trying to raise awareness among developed market investors of the opportunities in exposure to EMs and how they are key in bridging the gap and working on a discussion paper about lowering the barriers to responsible investment in emerging markets.   

Furthermore, it is also educating local investors in EMs about investing responsibly.

Looking at insurers, the PRI said the sector can “lead the charge on sustainability across public and private markets” and “is in a unique position to help finance the transition to carbon-neutral, resource-efficient and more sustainable economies.”

There are currently 132 insurance sector asset owner PRI signatories, mostly based in Europe.

“The increasing scale and diversity of our signatory base presents a huge opportunity to increase our impact,” the statement said. “But it also challenges us to ensure that signatories continue to get full value from their membership and that we continue to increase collaboration between responsible investors, encourage work towards sustainable markets and contribute to a more prosperous world for all.”