Original Signatory of UNPRI
Our Role in the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Investment
In 2005, at the invitation of United Nations' Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, an international group of institutional investors (in which we participated) created the Principles for Responsible Investment. The Principles assert the importance of environmental, social and governance issues in investment decision making, and call on signatories to actively "promote acceptance and implementation of the Principles within the investment industry." The Principles, developed under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and the United Nations Global Compact, provide, according to Kofi Annan, "a framework for achieving better long-term investment returns and more sustainable markets."
Wespath Benefits and Investments was instrumental in developing the Principles and was among the 25 original signatories. Since then, more than 1,300 institutions from more than 50 countries, representing approximately US $59 trillion in assets under management, have become signatories. These signatories join Wespath in recognizing the major impact that environmental, social and governance factors have on human life, our planet’s health and sustainable portfolio performance.
Creating a Guide for Values-Driven Investors
The Principles represent a commitment on the part of investors, asset managers and financial professionals to incorporate ESG issues into their investment decision-making and ownership processes. The Principles are:
- We will incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes.
- We will be active owners and incorporate ESG issues into our ownership policies and practices.
- We will seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest.
- We will promote acceptance and implementation of the Principles within the investment industry.
- We will work together to enhance our effectiveness in implementing the Principles.
- We will each report on our activities and progress towards implementing the Principles.
The document Wespath Benefits and Investments and the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Investment outlines the six Principles and the ways in which wespath applies them through its Wespath Investment Management division.
The Principles help us fulfill our fiduciary responsibilities as well as our values-based investment mandate, and reflect our firmly-held belief that ESG is a positive driver of financial performance. Our investments, clearly aligned with the six Principles for Responsible Investment, will continue to perpetuate good world citizenship and promote positive corporate behavior.