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Why we are a Signatory to the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investment

Sapphire Capital Partners LLP are pleased to announce that we are a signatory to the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investment(PRI). We believe that this is an important step towards our aim to positively impact the society in which we conduct business. The growth of the world population over the last number of decades has led to a cascading labyrinth of far-reaching environmental and social changes, that undoubtedly impact the way companies conduct business. Exponential population growth raises several questions not only pertaining to the sustainability of how we do business and make investment decisions, but of how we live our lives. Add to this, one of most devastating global health pandemics in the last century and it has never been clearer that we need to think differently about how we invest and conduct business. We have a duty to think more responsibly, intelligently and creatively.

What are the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)?

The UN Principles for Responsible Investing is the world’s leading proponent of responsible investment. It works to (1) understand the investment implications of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors (2) support its international network of investor signatories in incorporating these factors into their investment and ownership decisions. The PRI acts in the long-term interests of its signatories, the financial markets and economies in which they operate, and ultimately the environment and society.

The role that fund managers can play in encouraging companies to develop more sustainable practices has been long known. PRI was established in 2006 with a set of six principles designed to provide guidance as to how investment managers can maximise the utility of their practices from a global sustainability perspective. Since then, the number of signatories has grown from 100 to over 3,000. The overall goal of the PRI is to help investors incorporate due consideration of environmental sustainability goals into investment rationale and decision-making.

The six Principles for Responsible Investment are a voluntary and aspirational set of investment principles that offer a menu of possible actions for incorporating ESG issues into investment practice.

The Principles were developed by investors, for investors. In implementing them, signatories contribute to developing a more sustainable global financial system. They have attracted a global signatory base representing a majority of the world’s professionally managed investments. They are as follows:

1: Incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes.

2: Be active owners and incorporate ESG issues into our ownership policies and practices.

3: Seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest.

4: Promote acceptance and implementation of the Principles within the investment industry.

5: Work together to enhance our effectiveness in implementing the Principles.

6: Report on our activities and progress towards implementing the Principles.

The PRI’s Mission is simple:

An economically efficient, sustainable global financial system is a necessity for long-term value creation. Such a system will reward long-term, responsible investment and benefit the environment and society as a whole.

We as signatories will work to achieve this sustainable global financial system by (a) encouraging adoption of the Six Principles and collaborate on their implementation (b) by fostering good governance, integrity and accountability; (c) addressing obstacles to a sustainable financial system that lie within market practices, structures and regulation.”

At Sapphire, we fully recognise and endorse the importance of the six PRI. Providing sustainable investing opportunities enables firms to not only capture financial returns for clients, but also to realise intrinsic, intangible returns not replicated elsewhere. These intrinsic returns lead to deeper connections between the investors and their investing behaviour, creating long-term value for investors. There has never been a more crucial time to look towards sustainable investing. The best time to make this changed was yesterday. However, the next best time is today. It is true to this extent that we are the first generation to feel the effect of climate change and the last generation who can do something about it.

Andrew Drylie
Andrew Drylie
Andrew is interested in the incubation of start-up companies and the assistance of setting up SEIS/EIS investment funds and LPGP structures. Andrew graduated from the University of Nottingham with LLB Honours in Law. Andrew is a member of Green shoots (EISA) and currently sits on an advisory group to British University and College Sport (BUCS).

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