What is the difference between PRI and CRISA?

Both the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and the Code for Responsible Investment in South Africa (CRISA) offer a set of principles according to which investors are encouraged to make investment decisions and based on which they are encouraged to communicate with their clients and the public regarding these decisions.

The PRI is an international Non -Profit Organisation to which asset owners, investment managers and service providers in the investment industry become signatories. Signatories are expected to pay an annual signatory fee and to report annually to PRI on their ESG integration activities, which are assessed and scored according to international best practice standards.

In this way, to be a PRI signatory means a public, paid and monitored commitment to the implementation of the Principles for Responsible Investment. The PRI provides guidance and tools to investors that reflects international best practice standards of ESG integration – applicable across all asset classes and all markets. 

To this end, the PRI is less nuanced in the guidance it provides than would be the case of CRISA, which is regionally focused. At present, CRISA exists as a standalone code with voluntary implementation of the principles on an apply or explain basis. CRISA is however, currently under review and is expected to be broadened in terms of its reach across asset classes and geography.

As such, for investors looking to enhance their responsible investment capacity and activities, there is no reason why supporting one of these initiatives would preclude support of the other, with PRI and CRISA existing as separate, but entirely complementary initiatives.

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