By Palle Ellemann, Senior Consultant at GES
PRI Chair Wolfgang Engschuber opened the PRI in Person conference with a “status of the nation”. He claimed that it was not just an excuse to go the beach that the meeting is in Rio. The timing was designed as a follow up on the Rio+20 events – we would be able to build the discussions and strategies based on the declaration from Rio+20. So, what are we following up on? Mr Engschuber was actually asked in a high level meeting following the declaration a few days ago, what the investor feedback was on the declaration. He shared that his immediate response was that no investors would invest in a project with so many disclaimers like the Rio+20 declaration – we encourage you to consider, if appropriate… The politicians kept a moment of silence to swallow that message, but responded that many important commitments are made on the local level and THIS is where we can make a difference – on the ground level, working with companies on markets, where countries take the lead.
Pavan Sukhdev, Founder and CEO of TIST Advisory Services, made a call for pricing externalities, in particular water, and stressed that we know we have to do it. It is just a question, if we do it gradually and phase it in or we do it with our backs against the wall, when the world’s limited resources force us to do it.
ESG integration is dead! Says Bill Hartnett, Head of Sustainability at the Australian Local Government Superannuation Scheme and stressed that is was replaced with ESG incorporation, which essentially means that ESG truly becomes part of business assessment and just one part of a range of tools to drive business – together with proxy voting and engagement.
The PRI in Person conference is an excellent opportunity to be re-energised with new input and ideas and, not the least, connect with interesting people from all around the world. Let’s see what the second day will bring.