A legal framework for the consideration of sustainability impact in investor decision-making

Within the next decade, assessing and accounting for the sustainability impact of investment decision-making needs to be a core part of investment activity. Launched in January 2019, the project, A Legal Framework for Impact, supports this transition.

While the need to shift investors’ focus to sustainability impact is widely acknowledged, there is not yet a comprehensive assessment of the extent to which legal frameworks currently enable or impede investors to drive this shift. This is why The Generation Foundation, the PRI and UNEP FI commissioned Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer to conduct legal analysis to address this question in eleven jurisdictions: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Japan, South Africa, the EU, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The project final report will be released in summer 2021. The report will explain what investing for sustainability impact is, present legal analysis based on 11 distinct jurisdictions and also identify common global themes, as well as lay out next steps to align the investment sector with managing sustainability impacts.

The research will provide recommendations for policy change where legal analysis determines that legal impediments are restrictive for investors seeking to incorporate sustainability impact in their investment decision-making. The project will support wider implementation of the recommendations through investor and policy-maker outreach.

Podcast Episodes

The first episode, released 11 May 2020, features Fiona Reynolds, CEO of PRI, in conversation with David Blood, Co-Founder and Senior Partner of Generation Investment Management. They discuss the crucial role of investors in considering the real-world impacts of their investments and how our joint project addresses this important issue. Listen here.


The second episode, released 13 July 2020, features Martin Jonasson, General Counsel of AP2, and Elodie Feller, former Investment Lead at UNEP FI hosted by PRI’s Olivia Mooney. They discuss what investing for sustainability impact means, why it is important, what it looks like in practice, and balancing the appropriate level of returns and real-world impact. Listen to the episode here.


For more project details, visit About.