Principles for Responsible Investment

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Principles for Responsible Investment

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The Principles for Responsible Investment was facilitated by the United Nations. At the moment, there are six of them which were developed by an international group of institutional investors. These principles provide a global standard for responsible investing. Organizations are expected to follow them in the course of their business operations. These six principles include the following:

  • 1st Principle: We will incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes.
  • 2nd Principle: We will be active owners and incorporate ESG issues into our ownership policies and practices.
  • 3rd Principle: We will seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest.
  • 4th Principle: We will promote acceptance and implementation of the Principles within the investment industry.
  • 5th Principle: We will work together to enhance our effectiveness in implementing the Principles.
  • 6th Principle: We will each report on our activities and progress towards implementing the Principles.

These principles are a voluntary and inspirational set of investment principles that were developed by investors for investors. They offer a list of options of possible actions for incorporating ESG issues into investment practice. The aim of these principles is to align investors with contemporary societal objectives. 

Benefits Of The Principles of Responsible Investment

Some of the benefits of the Principles of Responsible Investments include the following:

  • Organizational legitimacy is the organization’s level of credibility in the market. This can be determined by the claim which the organization has on the target company. For example, the size of its holdings. Or a high-risk stake. The consistency and uniformity of communication from different parts of the organization are also important. This is because of the shared interests of the company and the shareholder increase organizational legitimacy.
  • Societal legitimacy is the level of support the community expresses for the subject of the engagement. This case means of expression are codes of conduct, supportive policies, and political environment, or simply broad acceptance of the position in society, for example, consumer movements or NGO activities.
  • Pragmatic legitimacy: In the early stages of the PRI, lots of signatories joined for the sake of it. With increased awareness, there has been a sharp rise in signings. Most organizations recognize the pragmatic legitimacy it offers. They also want to access the trends, expertise, best practices, and research that the PRI framework provides. Signatories enjoy the credibility of the PRI within the investment community, and with the companies, they engage with. However, this is more common among investment managers than asset owners. It is also more of motivation among public pension funds than those in the corporate world.

Importance of ESG: ESG funds account for only $20.9 billion in ETF assets under management. Better put, it is about 0.4% of the roughly $4.5 trillion the entire industry controls.

However, with the growing significance of ESG, that figure will increase dramatically in the near future. Given that there are issues with scaling ESG, ESG providers are expected to be articulate in their definitions of ESG.

  • Thematic ETFs: Thematic investing will lead the way.
  • Reduction in Fees: The race to zero fees that started in 2019 will continue in the near future. Lots of ETF providers are expected to cut fees to the bone.
  • Consolidations: There are a few ETF providers that will make the most of the market realities. Consolidation among the top ETF providers (Blackrock, Vanguard, State Street, Invesco, and Schwab) is expected.


When signatories sign the six Principles for Responsible Investment, they express a commitment to becoming responsible investors.

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What is Principles for Responsible Investment?


There are six principles which were developed by an international group of institutional investors. These principles provide a global standard for responsible investing. Organizations are expected to follow them in the course of their business operations

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