UK ICMIF member Royal London says the new commitment to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) is part of the mutual provider’s responsible investment commitment as an asset owner to generate good returns while also making a positive contribution to society and the environment.
The six Principles for Responsible Investment are a voluntary and aspirational set of investment principles that offer a menu of possible actions for incorporating environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues into investment practice for asset managers and asset owners. The Principles were developed by investors, for investors. In implementing them, signatories contribute to developing a more sustainable global financial system. Royal London’s primary asset manager, Royal London Asset Management, has been a signatory since 2008.
The six principles are:
- We will incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes.
- We will be active owners and incorporate ESG issues into our ownership policies and practices.
- We will seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest.
- We will promote acceptance and implementation of the principles within the investment industry.
- We will work together to enhance our effectiveness in implementing the principles.
- We will each report on our activities and progress towards implementing the principles.
Signing up as an asset owner means Royal London will ensure all asset managers it engages with are committed to integrating ESG factors into investment decisions.
Royal London says it will also expect its asset managers to fulfil stewardship responsibilities by working with the companies they invest in to improve the way they are run by voting shares, meeting with company management, or pushing for higher industry standards.
Isobel Langton, CEO at Royal London Intermediary, said:
“Royal London is committed to being a responsible investor. This means being a good steward of our customers’ assets and promoting responsible investment and good governance across all asset classes. Signing the UN Principles of Responsible Investment and reporting against their framework demonstrates our commitment towards a more sustainable global financial system.”
Other ICMIF members which have also signed up to the PRI include The Co-operators (Canada), Folksam (Sweden), MAIF (France), LocalTapiola (Finland), Vaudoise (Switzerland), Unipol (Italy) and Aviva Investors (UK).