Speaking at the Midwest Conference on Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability in Chicago, Gavin Power of the UN Global Compact announced that the Global Compact’s Principles for Responsible Investment have been endorsed by institutional investors representing $5 trillion in investments. The principles set forth core values to be followed by businesses in the areas of human rights, labor standards, the environment, and anti-corruption.
According to Mr. Power, “This is not an ethical investing initiative. Rather these mainstream funds recognize that environmental, social and governance issues can be material to long-term corporate performance and therefore can affect investment returns. They have pledged to actively engage with the companies they invest in, using the Global Compact as one of the key reference points.”
With the investment community increasingly looking beyond financial results in their evaluation of corporate performance, companies will need to measure up in their non-financial performance as well. Investor expectations, particularly from institutional investors, could become the primary motivator for businesses to report on all performance factors—economic, social and environmental.