UN PRI works on 10-year plan

Signatories attending the UN Principles for Responsible Investment meeting in Paris last week, co-hosted by Ardian, discussed issues including member accountability and diversity.

Signatories attending the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) meeting in Paris this week co-hosted by Ardian discussed issues including member accountability and diversity.

During the meeting, which was part of a series of global workshops to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the global investor network and to review its progress, attendees gave feedback for the Blueprint for Responsible Investment being developed by PRI. PRI is holding workshops in 21 cities to consult signatories on the plan.

The Paris event followed the Responsible Investment Forum in London last week co-hosted by Private Equity International and PRI, and a PRI consultation on accountability and diversity held from December until March this year, which generated 500 responses, according to the PRI website.

“This direct consultation aimed to address key challenges that the PRI is facing, including but not limited to the accountability of signatories and the development of a sustainable financial system,” Ardian said. “This event was an opportunity for a lively exchange of opinions and ideas between participants and the PRI team.”

The PRI Blueprint is scheduled to be published in March 2017 and provide the foundation for PRI’s strategic direction and priorities over the next decade, it said. It will identify which recommendations to take forward from an “independent impact evaluation” and a series of consultations on “strengthening signatory accountability, systemic risks and sustainability challenges”.

The PRI will launch a second consultation focused on promoting a sustainable financial system, which will close in September.

The outcome of the meetings, including in New York in April, Paris, a conference in London later this month and the workshops, will be presented at a “PRI in Person” event in Singapore from 6-8 September. The event is being held in Asia because “PRI is working to strengthen its capacity and expertise in this crucial region where responsible investment remains nascent,” according to its website.

Ardian was one of the first signatories to the PRI – to which more than 1,500 asset owners, investment management and service providers have signed up – and has its own corporate social responsibility charter, it said.

In mid-May, the firm entered exclusive talks to buy Hypred, which makes hygiene products for dairy and food processing, cleaning and disinfection products for breeding and animal nutrition. Ardian cited an increasingly food-safety conscious market as one of the reasons for the deal.

“The company operates in a market which has grown significantly, driven by higher safety standards including epidemic prevention, strategies for reducing the use of antibiotics as well as traceability and productivity requirements,” it said at the time.