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First PRI signatories start to publish reports under new reporting framework

Heralded as bringing greater transparency to responsible investment

The first reports under the Principles for Responsible Investment’s (PRI) new reporting framework are going live today (March 11) in the culmination of a process that aims to bring greater transparency to responsible investment.

Signatories from France, Australia, the US and the UK are among those to upload the first reports, the PRI said, ahead of the reporting period which closes at the end of this month.

The rate of submissions the PRI is receiving is broadly in line with previous years and once the reporting period closes, the PRI will begin analysing what it claims will be the world’s largest data set of global responsible investment activity.

“This captures for the first time a global view of the responsible investment practices of its signatory base, which collectively manages some US$34trn in assets,” PRI officials said. It comes as the PRI Advisory Council is meeting today and tomorrow in London.

The development of the new reporting framework followed a wide and sometimes difficult consultation process, in which the new framework was seen by some as too burdensome. But it represents a milestone for the initiative, which late last year was stung by the departure of eight major Danish pension funds upset over what they claimed was poor governance at the membership organisation.Already, over 550 signatories are reporting in the PRI’s online reporting tool, out of the 800 organisations that are required to report each year as part of their membership of the PRI. Those that fail to do so will be delisted.

The PRI recommends that signatories start to report early to better understand what data they need to collect. While new signatories can choose whether or not to report in their first year, many are voluntarily choosing to do so. Signatories will receive a Transparency Report, a public document that can be used to ‘tell their story’ to their beneficiaries and other stakeholders. It contains the signatory’s mandatory responses to the Framework, as well as any additional voluntary responses they have chosen to make public.

“A great deal of energy will go into analysing the data set to highlight good responsible investment practices across the industry as well as those unique to various asset classes, geographies or other peer categories,” the PRI says. This will be made public in various publications, including the annual Report on Progress. But signatories – which now include the UK’s Green Investment Bank – will also be provided with confidential Assessment Reports, tied to the PRI’s analysis.

Meanwhile, the PRI’s Academic Network has issued a call for papers for its annual academic conference in Canada in September. The PRI is also calling for applicants who want to join a revamped steering committee.