The Investment Leadership Programme (ILP) is a joint initiative from UNEP FI and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) created to accelerate the pace of collaboration amongst leading investors and boost action on achieving key global sustainability objectives such as the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Bringing together ambitious investors to accelerate change across the finance sector

The ILP provides a platform that brings together small groups of leading responsible investors to work on initiatives that are considered leading best-practice, but to-date remain too ambitious for mainstream investment adoption. The ILP will incubate and then bring these initiatives to a point where they can be taken forward by the wider investment community.

Uniting PRI and UNEP FI investment leadership initiatives consolidates action by the investment industry and builds on a 15-year history of collaboration. Investors joining these leading initiatives will gain access to the convening power of the United Nations, the insight and resources of the UN Environment Programme, and the PRI’s extensive track record of actively engaging investors on a wide range of Environmental, Social and Governance considerations.

“This new programme is our response to the urgent need for stronger, collaborative and accelerated action on sustainable development” said Eric Usher, UNEP FI Head. “We are taking our close relationship with PRI a step further and together providing the platform for leading responsible investors to move faster than the mainstream on delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement.” – Eric Usher, Head, UNEP FI

Leading investors can better effect change if they speak to policymakers and their investee companies with one powerful voice. The ILP will enable a collaborative, ambitious style of engagement from responsible investors and, by developing guidance and thought leadership on policy and regulatory change, it will inform investor action to help realise a truly sustainable global economy.” – Fiona Reynolds, former CEO, PRI

Investors can take part in game-changing initiatives

PRI and UNEP FI have agreed criteria that initiatives within the programme will have to meet ensuring each one exemplifies responsible investment leadership and best practice. The UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance and the project jointly convened by The Generation Foundation, PRI and UNEP FI, A Legal Framework for Impact are the first two initiatives to be part of the Programme.

Delivering real world impact across the finance industry

Every initiative will be required to deliver real world sustainability outcomes, for example by engaging regulators to strengthen environmental, social and governance (ESG) regulation or reimagining business practices that prioritise sustainable impact. Working with UNEP FI’s network of banks and insurers through collaborative working groups or developing joint tools, will enable leading investors to work with others to catalyse change across the entire finance industry. Investors will be able to draw on UNEP FI’s work helping financial institutions address the SDG financing gap and manage sustainability impacts.

Providing resources and guidance to help investors drive sustainability action

The ILP is also developing thought leadership pieces and tools that will support responsible investment leadership and demonstrate best practice. It aims to make connections between leading practice and other areas of work and connect investors with policymakers.


About UNEP FI and PRI

The ILP builds on a 15-year history of close collaboration and advocacy for responsible investment. UNEP FI convenes the global financial sector (working with more than 450 banks, investors and insurers) to mobilise private sector finance for sustainable development. PRI is the world’s leading proponent of responsible investment with over 4,000 signatories representing in excess of US$100 trillion in assets under management. With deep and intertwined roots, UNEP FI and PRI have launched the ILP to deepen their relationship and to enable accelerated collaboration. The ILP will facilitate opportunities for the finance sector to work in concert to achieve crucial climate and social targets such as the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Climate Agreement.

In January 2022, UNEP FI and PRI merged their investment memberships to accelerate leadership in sustainable and responsible investment and better serve the investment community and the financial system at large. Investors now have access to leadership projects and initiatives which are part of the ILP, through their membership of the PRI.

For more information please contact UNEP FI Investment Lead, and Director of the PRI-UNEP FI Investment Leadership Programme, Jesica Andrews.



12 January 2022

Investor Agenda highlights best practices from leading global investors

  To generate worldwide momentum that will lead to more institutional investors implementing bold climate action plans, the Investor Agenda published today a set of case studies highlighting the leading best practices for Investor Climate Action Plans (ICAPs). The ten investors featured in the case studies are from 5 continents and include Allianz (Germany), Aware…

17 December 2021

Blog – Legal Framework for Impact: embedding climate action in financial regulation

By Laxmi Aeshwarya Kumar, Project Specialist, UNEP FI, and Freya Bannochie, Policy Analyst, UK, PRI The COP26 summit in Glasgow has brought the climate crisis sharply into focus. In order to deliver on the Paris Agreement, all factions of industry and society must work together to sufficiently limit global warming to 1.5°C. This year’s COP has…

11 November 2021

Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance reacts to the draft COP 26 decision text

Upon the release of the draft COP26 decision, Guenther Thallinger, Chair of the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, made the following statement: “COP26 can be the start of a multi-year platform for accelerating policy action. The new Glasgow pledges and initiatives do represent progress, yet these are not sufficient to avoid dangerous climate change. Asset…

2 November 2021

Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance responds to Reclaim Finance report

In response to the Reclaim Finance report, “It’s Not What You Say, It’s What you Do”, the Chair of the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance Günther Thallinger says: “The Alliance is looking for active and constructive dialogue with civil society so that its members can enable the implementation of the crucial transition to a 1.5°C…

29 October 2021

BLOG: Eric Usher discusses what makes a credible net zero commitment

In the first two blogs in this series, I wrote about the UN Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB) and the ongoing dance between the private and public sector that is ratcheting up sustainability ambitions. Today, I finish up this pre-COP series by considering how significant the net-zero objective has become for the finance industry, and…

20 October 2021

Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance members to cut portfolio emissions 25-30% by 2025

Less than two weeks away from COP26, the UN-Convened Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance launches its inaugural, biennial Progress Report, highlighting that 29 of its member investors have committed to reducing portfolio emissions by 25-30% by 2025 across three asset classes. This range is higher than the targets set by the inaugural Target Setting Protocol,…

15 October 2021

Japanese insurers join UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance; adding $1.4 trillion to AUM

Three Japanese insurance companies joined the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, adding a combined US$1.4 trillion to total assets under management (AUM) and total membership of 53. Japan’s Nippon Life, Sumitomo Life, and Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance announced their membership, committing to net-zero portfolios by 2050 and establishing interim targets every five years in line…

30 September 2021

Swiss and French insurance associations become Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance supporters

The UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance today welcomed the French and Swiss insurance associations as supporting partners. The Swiss Insurance Association (SIA) said in a statement that the long-term orientation of their members’ business models makes it virtually incumbent on insurers to help drive forward sustainability. In their investment policy in particular, the SIA’s member…

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25 January 2022 | Webinar

Increasing ambition and expanding scope: NZAOA Target Setting Protocol V.2

This webinar, co-hosted by UNEP FI and PRI, will bring together leading actors from the U.N.-Convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance to present the second edition of the Alliance Target Setting Protocol (TSP2). The authors of the Protocol will discuss key adjustments to the first edition, including: Expansion of asset classes (target setting on infrastructure) More…

23 March 2022

Private equity, Net-Zero target setting & climate action plans

This Investor Agenda webinar in partnership with Initiative Climat Internationale (ICi), will assess how asset owner capital allocated to private markets can align with Net-Zero goals. With global assets under management in private equity now standing at around $3 trillion, this capital has an essential role to play in achieving climate goals this decade.

26 January 2022 | Webinar

A Legal Framework for Impact – Investing for Sustainability Impact in the UK

The session will begin with an overview of the report “A Legal Framework for Impact” authored by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, and commissioned by The Generation Foundation, PRI and UNEP FI. A presentation of key findings from the legal analysis of UK investment regulation will follow.

10 November 2021 | Hybrid

Driving Net-Zero Finance Integrity

This COP26 side event will bring together leading experts in the net zero and sustainable finance space to discuss what is needed to align all finance flows with Paris Agreement goals and ensure impact in the real economy.

28 October 2021 | Podcast

Podcast: Shaping a low carbon future – CEO dialogue

In this episode, Charles Emond, CEO of CDPQ and Guy Cormier, CEO of Desjardins address net zero targets, climate risks, greenwashing, systemic change, business opportunities and the energy transition with Nili Gilbert, Chair of the Investment Committee at the David Rockefeller Fund

20 October 2021 | Virtual

Net-Zero Future: Credible Ambition and Pioneering Solutions

Ahead of the G20 Summit and COP26, hear from some of the most important net-zero pioneers who are acting now to decarbonize their portfolios and speaking out about the imperatives, challenges, opportunities and feasibility of doing so.

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Climate Risk and Commercial Property Values

This report provides real estate practitioners and investors support in understanding the physical risks arising from climate change with a specific focus on how these risks affect commercial real estate asset values and prices. It also offers recommendations for next steps by market actors, policy makers and researchers connected with commercial real estate to guide future cross-sector engagement and research.

A Legal Framework for Impact: sustainability impact in investor decision-making

The report, authored by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and commissioned by PRI, UNEP FI and The Generation Foundation, provides ground-breaking legal analysis on the extent to which legal frameworks enable investors to consider impact in their activities across 11 jurisdictions: the EU, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Japan, South Africa, the Netherlands, UK and the US.

The Climate Risk Landscape: Mapping Climate-related Financial Risk Assessment Methodologies

The Climate Risk Landscape: Mapping Climate-related Financial Risk Assessment Methodologies provides a summary of the key developments across third party climate risk assessment providers since May 2019, including new and updated scenarios, methodological tools, key guidelines, as well as an overview of the changing regulatory landscape and potential developments into 2021. This report covers both…

Fiduciary Duty in the 21st Century programme: Final Activity Report 2015-2019

This report summarises the research and outreach activities carried out under the Fiduciary Duty in the 21st Century programme, convened by UNEP FI and the PRI, with the generous financial support of The Generation Foundation. The final report on Fiduciary Duty in the 21st Century presents the conclusions of the 4-year research and detailed analysis…

Changing Course: Real Estate – TCFD pilot project report and investor guide to scenario-based climate risk assessment in Real Estate Portfolios

Twelve institutional investors from eight countries, convened by UNEP FI and supported by Carbon Delta, have worked throughout 2018–2019 to analyse, evaluate, and test, state-of-the- art methodologies to enable 1.5°C, 2°C, and 3°C scenario-based analysis of their direct property investment portfolios in line with the recommendations of the FSB’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures…

Fiduciary Duty in the 21st Century Final Report

A new report from UNEP FI and the PRI launched in New York on Monday 21 October 2019 at an investor roundtable. This latest report, which affirms that fiduciary duty requires the incorporation of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes, is the final installment of the four-year Fiduciary Duty…

ESG data in China: recommendations for primary ESG indicators

    A new joint report by UNEP FI, PRI and SynTao Green Finance, launched in Shanghai on June 5, 2019, provides recommendations for China’s ESG disclosure framework, prepared by its financial regulators. This report is a follow-up from the Investor Duties and ESG Integration in China, and part of the Fiduciary Duty in the…

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