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Home > By DEPARTMENTS > Finance and Financial Management for Green Business > Investment and Funding for Green and Sustainable Programs and Business Development

Property investment's new profile - UN guidelines

International institutional investors reflect on the increasing relevance of environmental, social and corporate issues to investment practices. Here are the recommendations.

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"Investors worldwide must embed environmental thinking in the heart of their property investment portfolios if the financial services sector is to play a pivotal role in halting climate change," the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Working Group warns.

Following are the key points of the signatory document. Read the expanded document at www.unpri.org/principles

The Principles for Responsible Investment

As institutional investors, we have a duty to act in the best long-term interests of our beneficiaries. In this fiduciary role, we believe that environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) issues can affect the performance of investment portfolios (to varying degrees across companies, sectors, regions, asset classes and through time). We also recognise that applying these Principles may better align investors with broader objectives of society. Therefore, where consistent with our fiduciary responsibilities, we commit to the following:

  1. We will incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes.
  2. We will be active owners and incorporate ESG issues into our ownership policies and practices.
  3. We will seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest.
  4. We will promote acceptance and implementation of the Principles within the investment industry.
  5. We will work together to enhance our effectiveness in implementing the Principles.
  6. We will each report on our activities and progress towards implementing the Principles.
Possible actions:
  • Disclose how ESG issues are integrated within investment practices
  • Disclose active ownership activities (voting, engagement, and/or policy dialogue)
  • Disclose what is required from service providers in relation to the Principles
  • Communicate with beneficiaries about ESG issues and the Principles
  • Report on progress and/or achievements relating to the Principles using a 'Comply or Explain'1 approach
  • Seek to determine the impact of the Principles
  • Make use of reporting to raise awareness among a broader group of stakeholders

1The Comply or Explain approach requires signatories to report on how they implement the Principles, or provide an explanation where they do not comply with them.

The Principles for Responsible Investment were developed by an international group of institutional investors reflecting the increasing relevance of environmental, social and corporate governance issues to investment practices. The process was convened by the United Nations Secretary-General.

In signing the Principles, we as investors publicly commit to adopt and implement them, where consistent with our fiduciary responsibilities. We also commit to evaluate the effectiveness and improve the content of the Principles over time. We believe this will improve our ability to meet commitments to beneficiaries as well as better align our investment activities with the broader interests of society.

We encourage other investors to adopt the Principles.



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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