UN PRI publishes series of briefs on responsible investment

The United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI) has published five environmental, social and governance (ESG) briefing notes aimed at providing an introduction to some of the key terms and debates in the area of responsible investment. The five short briefs are on the following subjects and provide useful links to literature on each of them:

1. What is responsible investment?

This brief defines the responsible investment approach and differentiates it from standard investing practices. It also discusses the key debate whether it is profitable in the long or short term to align societal and investment values.

2. Responsible investment and public policy

Highlights the motive for investors to engage in public policy debates since it decisively influences their long-term financial interests.

3. Responsible investment and fiduciary duty

Discusses imminent shifts in the interpretation of fiduciary duties imposed on trustees and other fiduciaries away from being solely focused on maximizing return on investment in the short term.

4. Why be an active owner

Elaborates on the rationale for being an active owner and debates the effectiveness of active ownership.

5. Responsible investment and investment performance

The last brief focuses on the critical question whether ESG issues are relevant for investors, i.e. whether they are financially significant.