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.
Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General
“I call on all Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net-Zero (GFANZ) members to align as soon as possible behind the gold standard on credibility and ambition established by the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance."
Christiana Figueres, Mission 2020 Convener
"By committing to align their portfolios with net-zero emissions by 2050 and working together to tackle shared challenges, investors who have joined the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance are poised to drive changes in the real economy toward clean energy, transport and other investments that will facilitate human health and wellbeing."
David Blood, co-founder and senior partner, Generation Investment Management
“All investment, all business has impact... [the Legal Framework for Impact] initiative is among the most important pieces of work we’ve ever been involved in and I think will fundamentally reshape the way finance and business is operated.”
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.