Recently U.S. Trust signed the United Nations–supported Principles for Responsible Investment.1 The PRI initiative is considered the leading global network for investors and members of the financial community who are committed to considering environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) factors in their investment practices.
How large is the PRI community?
In 2006, when the initiative was launched, there were six signatories worldwide; today there are more than 1,300, with a combined $45 trillion in assets under management.2
Who created the Principles?
An international group of financial institutions and experts designed them to help develop a more sustainable global financial system.
What does being a signatory entail?
Signatories agree to consider ESG factors in their investment analysis and ownership policies. They agree to ask the companies they invest in to disclose any ESG-related issues they may be facing. And they promote acceptance of PRI within the investment industry.
An ESG investor might seek to monitor a company’s carbon footprint.
What is ESG?
They are factors that investors and companies can emphasize when seeking to promote better corporate policies and practices. When focused on the environmental aspect, for example, an ESG investor might seek to monitor a company’s carbon footprint or whether it uses raw materials from sustainable sources. A social focus could include tracking a company’s employee diversity or its respect for human or animal rights. Incorporating ESG factors may have the potential to add shareholder value.
“More and more U.S. Trust clients tell us they are motivated to invest in ways that reflect their personal values and their desire to benefit society and the environment,” says Chris Hyzy, chief investment officer at U.S. Trust. “In addition to offering an expanding range of innovative financial solutions that support responsible investment, U.S. Trust’s membership in the PRI initiative reflects a continued commitment to our clients’ deeply held values and concerns.”
To learn more about U.S. Trust and PRI, please contact your advisor.
1The PRI was signed in November 2014 by Bank of America’s Global Wealth Management businesses, which include U.S. Trust.
2“About the PRI Initiative,” unpri.org, February 2015.
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