It is crucial that assessing and accounting for sustainability impact becomes a core part of investment activity. That is why UNEP FI, together with PRI and The Generation Foundation, have created the work programme “A Legal Framework for Impact.”

As the initial stage of the project, a ground-breaking legal analysis authored by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer was commissioned to determine 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 report found that while there are differences across jurisdictions and investor groups, when investing for sustainability impact approaches can be effective in achieving an investor’s financial goals, the investor will likely be required to consider using them and act accordingly.

It also provides an extensive suite of options for policymakers wishing to facilitate investing for sustainability impact, including changing investors’ legal duties and discretions, such as allowing the pursuit of sustainability goals as long as financial return goals are prioritised, and a presumption in favour of investor collaboration in tackling sustainability challenges.


Options for reform presented in the report will now form the basis of a multi-year work programme with PRI, UNEP FI, and The Generation Foundation that will include policymaker engagement and support for investors via workshops and tools to advance their practice initially in five of the markets studied: the EU, Australia, Canada, Japan and the UK.

If you would like to know more, please contact Jes Andrews, Investment lead at UNEP FI, and Margarita Pirovska, Director of Policy at PRI.