SIF Ireland, the national Sustainable and Responsible Investment Forum, has welcomed the announcement that University College Cork (UCC) has become the first Irish university to officially become a signatory to the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) as further evidence of growing awareness in Ireland of the responsible and sustainable investment agenda.
According to the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance, nearly $23 trillion of all globally professionally managed assets are invested in responsible investment strategies.
In signing the Principles for Responsible Investment, UCC joins an existing group of Irish signatories, among them Irish Life Investment Managers, KBI Global Investors, the NTMA, Davy’s, Atlantic Bridge and NTR PLC.
Welcoming the move, SIF Ireland pointed to significant momentum behind the responsible investment agenda in Ireland.
In 2018 alone, we have seen:
- In July, the State deciding to divest out of fossil fuels, becoming the first country in the world to do so.
- In June, Ireland became only the 10th country in the world to publish recommendations embracing responsible investment as part of a Fiduciary Duty in the 21st Century – Ireland Roadmap report co-developed by SIF Ireland and the PRI.
- In February, Ireland’s sovereign wealth fund ISIF highlighted that it was integrating Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors of investment across all its Irish transactions.
- In January, the Central Bank awarded a €240m investment mandate to French asset giant Amundi after specifying that the winning tender must be a signatory to the UN’s Principles of Responsible Investment programme.
- In January, the launch of the government’s updated IFS 2020 Action Plan 2018 highlighting the responsible investment agenda.
Terence O’Rourke, Chairman SIF Ireland, said: “UCC’s decision is the latest positive news from Ireland relating to the responsible investment agenda, pointing to a significant upward tick in political and capital market embrace of this agenda. Building on UCC’s existing world-class credentials in sustainability, this is a tremendous boost to the mainstreaming of the responsible investment agenda within Ireland. At Sustainable & Responsible Investment Forum Ireland (SIF Ireland), we are delighted with this ongoing positive trend towards the mainstreaming of responsible investment.”
PRI CEO Fiona Reynolds, said: “We are delighted to welcome University College Cork to the PRI and commend their commitment to responsible investment practices. We hope that other institutions in Ireland will follow their lead and see the value that can be created through sustainable investing.”
UCC’s Deputy President and Registrar, Professor John O’Halloran, said: “UCC is committed to supporting and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals and this is another step in that direction.”
Photo (L to R): Patrick Burke, Managing Director Irish Life Investment Managers; Anastasia Guha, Head of UK and Ireland PRI; Sandra Rockett, Director Irish Life Investment Managers; and Stephen Nolan, SIF Ireland.