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PRI launches workstream for 'sustainable infrastructure solutions'

The Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) has launched an infrastructure workstream to be overseen by institutional investors such as Australia’s QIC, British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (bcIMC) and Sweden’s AMF Pension.

The PRI said the workstream was launched in response to growing demand for “sustainable infrastructure solutions” in the developed and emerging markets.

The workstream will focus mainly on private debt and equity investments in infrastructure, both direct and via funds.

The PRI said it will also “ensure consideration of material [environmental, social and governance] factors in investment decision-making, and provide guidance on integrating responsible investment throughout the investment process from origination to exit”.

An expert advisory committee of institutional investors and fund managers* from nine countries will share expertise and guide the new infrastructure strategy.

The PRI said sustainable and climate-resilient infrastructure projects were needed to achieve the goals of the climate change agreement reached at the UN COP21 conference in Paris in December 2015.

The G20 and the OECD are exploring how to direct more institutional investment into infrastructure, it added. It also noted that the new US administration has committed to investing heavily in renewing the country’s infrastructure, and the UK has made infrastructure “a key pillar of its post-Brexit plans”.

Fiona Reynolds, managing director of the PRI, said: “Long-term investors with lots of patient capital need a home for those funds and infrastructure and long-term sustainable investing are like a marriage made in heaven.”

Chris Newton, executive director, responsible investment at IFM Investors and a member of the PRI infrastructure advisory committee, said: “By its very nature infrastructure investment is for the long term – and integrating ESG issues into all of its aspects will lead to long term value for investors and society.”

 

*Current members of the Infrastructure Advisory Committee are:

Adrian Best, Victoria Funds Management Corporation (Australia)

Vikram Bhaskar, GCM Grosvenor (USA)

Millie Chow, British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (Canada)

Zaman Velji, British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (Canada)

Isabelle Combarel, SWEN Capital Partners (France)

Martin Ewald, Allianz Global Investors (Germany)

Kristian Fok, CBUS Superannuation Fund (Australia)

Adam Heltzer, Partners Group (Switzerland)

René Kassis, La Banque Postale Asset Management (France)

Veronique Leroy, Aviva Investors (UK)

Andrew Major, HESTA Super Fund (Australia)

Vhahangwele Manavhela, Public Investment Corporation (South Africa)

Leisel Moorhead, QIC (Australia)

Chris Newton, IFM Investors (Australia)

Katarina Romberg, AMF Pension (Sweden)

David Scaysbrook, Quinbrook (Australia)

Carl Tishler, Beshertine (UK)

Mark Wayment, InfraRed Capital Partners (UK)

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