17 July 2006

Investing: U.N. Launches Principles for Responsible Investment

"With only rare exceptions, the financial community has not sufficiently recognized or rewarded corporate efforts to respond to environmental, labor or human rights challenges, even though such factors can be directly material to corporate performance," U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said when he announced the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment, according to GreenBiz.com.

The heads of leading institutions from 16 countries, representing more than $4 trillion in assets owned, have signed the Principles.

The Principles recognize that environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues can affect business profits and portfolio performance. Six overarching principles, underpinned by 35 possible actions, guide institutional investors and asset managers in practicing responsible investment. The Principles are designed to encourage the integration of ESG issues into investment analysis, stimulate active ownership and proxy voting, and improve ESG disclosure by companies.

The Principles were developed during a nearly year-long process convened by the U.N. Secretary-General and coordinated by the U.N. Environment Program Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and the U.N. Global Compact.

Read the full story: Principles

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