The UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) has moved forward in its mission to help fund the green and sustainable economy, after becoming a signatory to the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).
GIB, which was officially launched by the business secretary Vince Cable in November 2012, has £3.8 billion of funding from the government. It is headquartered in Edinburgh with an office in London.
Its investments so far have ranged from onshore wind and energy efficiency projects, to a recovered wood gasification plant and a waste-to-energy scheme. It recently announced a major £461m investment in offshore wind.
Its signing of the PRI – a network of over 1,200 financial institutions who pledge to adhere to a set of six responsible investment principles – follows its adoption of the Equator Principles in December last year. Set up in 2005, the PRI has signatories with $34 trillion (£20.3 trillion) in assets under management.
Shaun Kingsbury, chief executive of GIB, said, “As the first institution of our kind globally, GIB has a responsibility to ensure that our investments meet the very highest standards of sustainability and responsibility.
“Most of the PRI obligations are already part of our investment policies, but we are keen to see what we can do to go beyond this, and share best practice with other responsible investors around the world.”
The six responsible investment principles that underpin the PRI cover a range of areas, including the integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues into investment analysis, as well as pledges relating to transparency, ownership and reporting.
Managing director Fiona Reynolds said, “The UK Green Investment Bank is at the forefront of investing in solutions that support the transition to a resilient, low-carbon economy, and we’re pleased to welcome them to the PRI.
“GIB’s public commitment to deploying its capital and expertise in a responsible, sustainable manner to respond to the sustainability challenges that define our era provides a model for other green infrastructure-focused banks being launched by governments around the world.”
GIB becomes the second high-profile institution to become a signatory of the PRI, after Harvard University adopted the principles earlier this week.