Over the past month at PRI we have been hard at work contingency planning, reshaping our organisational strategy and ways of working in response to the Covid-19 crisis, as I’m sure many of you have also been doing. We’ve been seeking firstly to ensure the health and safety of all our global staff, but importantly also putting plans in place to enable us to continue to deliver on our commitments to you wherever we can.

More than that, we’ve been developing materials, platforms and pathways to help enable the global investment community to lead in the recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.

Last week we published two key pieces of framing and guidance for signatories on Covid-19: a high-level blog calling investors to action as well as a more practical PRI bulletin detailing How responsible investors should respond to the Covid-19 crisis. These are the first steps in determining our response to the pandemic and include seven key actions for investors. I encourage each and every one of you to read and begin to act on this guidance.

PRI is also establishing two signatory participation groups to coordinate and develop investor responses to the Covid-19 crisis. The first group will focus on short term responses and ensuring responsible ESG approaches remain at the front of investor activities. The second will focus on a future economic recovery phase, considering how the financial system should function to ensure sustainable outcomes. These groups will encourage signatory exchange at first and then support action on the highest priority ask for investors, companies and governments.

You can join either of these two groups on the PRI Collaboration Platform. If you have not visited the Platform before, please visit this page for everything you need to know about using it for the first time. If you have any log-in issues or trouble accessing the groups, please contact collaborations@unpri.org.

Yesterday, in light of Covid-19, the decision was taken to postpone the COP26 UN climate change conference, which was due to take place in Glasgow in November. At PRI we fully support this decision; it’s paramount for the conference to have the full focus of global governments, corporations and investors, which of course now needs to be on tackling Covid-19. However, climate change remains the biggest long-term threat we are facing and must be foremost in shaping the economic recovery from this crisis. At PRI we will work closely with the investment community and the COP26 team to ensure the success of the conference in delivering on the ambition required to tackle climate change.

My sincere thanks to the majority of you who successfully completed your submissions for the 2020 reporting cycle on time, despite the extremely challenging circumstances. I also recognise that for others this simply wasn’t a possibility and we have extended the deadline for submissions until 8 April. Please, if you’ve experienced difficulties in meeting this deadline, reach out to PRI’s Reporting and Assessment team on reporting@unpri.org and we’ll be happy to discuss extensions and assistance.

From next week we will be in touch, as we are each year, to issue invoices for annual signatory fees. I fully appreciate that this timing may not be ideal for some of you. As an organisation principally funded through signatory fees, we’re working to keep on track with our invoicing calendar to ensure that we can continue our mission into the new financial year and ensure continuity for our staff. We’ve frozen our fees within each band for signatories across the board this year, so you will not see any increases unless your organisation moves into a different band. Again, if this presents hardship for you during this time, please don’t hesitate to contact our Finance team on accounts@unpri.org to discuss potential solutions.

At a time when coming together as a community is more challenging than ever, it’s important that we all stay informed and connected. We’re making full use of our online channels to help you do this. In addition to the guides and thought-leadership on our website, resources also include: our blog, podcast, social media (LinkedIn and Twitter) and Collaboration Platform.

I want to take this opportunity to thank you again for all your support and efforts during these unprecedented times. I look forward to working with you in the coming weeks and months to respond to this crisis with immediacy and help shape a recovery which prioritises environmental and social outcomes.

Source: UN PRI