by Justin Standfield
Earlier in 2018, Incendo started working with the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) with a focus on developing their board; since then, we have launched a leadership programme with the PRI, which is still ongoing.
If you haven’t heard of the PRI, they’re an organisation that was formed in 2005 as a result of the then United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, inviting a group of the world’s largest institutional investors to join a process to develop the Principles for Responsible Investment. A 20-person investor group drawn from institutions in 12 countries was supported by 70 experts from the investment industry, intergovernmental organisations and civil society. The Principles are based on the notion that environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues – such as climate change and human rights – can affect the performance of investment portfolios and should therefore be considered alongside more traditional financial factors if investors are to properly fulfill their fiduciary duty. The six Principles provide a global framework for mainstream investors to consider these ESG issues and the PRI was created alongside these Principles to help put the framework into practice.
As part of our learning and development programmes with the PRI, we have been introduced to a range of people in the organisation who are doing fascinating work that impacts on some important aspects of the world we live in. As a result of talking to individuals at the PRI and finding out more about their projects, we’ve become more aware of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are a call for action by all countries – poor, rich and middle-income – to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They recognise that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and addresses a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and environmental protection. Through the work of the PRI, the SDGs can support investors in understanding the sustainability trends relevant to investment activity and their fiduciary duties.
The full set of 17 SDGs are shown in the image above. Here at Incendo, we are working to increase our own contribution to the achievement of these goals, by 2020 and 2030 as appropriate. In particular, we’ve used the detail that sits behind some of the SDGs to review our existing policies on anti-slavery, equality and inclusion, health and wellbeing, and environmental issues. No matter what size of business you’re in, it’s possible to make a difference; by taking frequent action and seeking opportunities to raise awareness (our own and others’) of issues relating to the SDGs, we believe that by 2030 our world will be a better place to live and learn in.
For more information about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), please click here to visit the United Nations website that covers the SDGs in detail.