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Peoples Company Welcomed as Signatory to UN’s Principles for Responsible Investing

August 28, 2015 - Peoples Company

On May 11, 2015, Peoples Company was officially welcomed as the latest signatory to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) by PRI Secretariat Charles Hocking. We are proud to be the only U.S.-based farmland brokerage, management, appraisal and investment-services company among the nearly 1,400 signatories worldwide.

About PRI
PRI is an investor-led coalition in partnership with the United Nations Environmental Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). This United Nations-supported initiative is an international network of investors and service providers working collaboratively to implement the six Principles for Responsible Investment. The PRI Initiative has quickly become the leading global network for investors to publicly demonstrate their commitment to responsible investment, to collaborate and learn with their peers about the financial and investment implications of these issues, and to incorporate these factors into their investment decision making and operational practices.

Peoples Company: Commitment & Approach
The leaders and owners of Peoples Company have made the commitment to govern and operate the business in a socially responsible manner. This initiative of social responsibility will guide strategic planning and be a factor in allocation of our resources in achieving company goals.

Today’s landowners and farm operators, and those of us in a service-providing role, are being challenged with the staggering and complex global issues. (Related: “Socially Responsible Land Investing.)

  1. How to feed nine billion people by the year 2050?
  2. How to feed nine billion people in a manner that protects or minimizes the environmental damage?
  3. How to feed nine billion peoples while accounting for the impact on local producers, land owners and laborers?
  4. And, how to feed nine billion people at an affordable price?

Demographics and economics, social initiatives and new technologies form a complex array of competing issues, competing goals, competing solutions and competing outcomes.

In our effort to make sense of these challenges, to stakeout our role as a contributor in addressing these issues in a socially responsible manner, and to publicly demonstrate our commitment to issues of responsibility and sustainability, Peoples Company applied to the United Nations to became a signatory to PRI.

The primary objective of the Principles for Responsible Investment is to better align investors with broader objectives of society. This organization is not specific to farmland, but does have a farmland subgroup. Of the nearly 1,400 current signatories worldwide, Peoples Company is the only service-provider member providing farmland management, brokerage, appraisal and land investment services in the United States.

As a service provider, though we are not in a position to directly act on each of the Principles, we are in a strong position to educate, guide and influence the farmland owners and farm operators to make decisions promoting conservation and sustainability while demonstrating how socially responsible decisions can enhance income and appreciation.

The six guiding Principles for Responsible Investment, which Peoples Company has adopted and initiated actions, are:

Principle 1: We will incorporate Environmental-Social-Governance (ESG) issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes.

Principle 2: We will be active owners and incorporate ESG issues into our ownership policies and practices.

Principle 3: We will seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest.

Principle 4: We will promote acceptance and implementation of the Principles within the investment industry.

Principle 5: We will work together to enhance our effectiveness in implementing the Principles.

Principle 6: We will each report on our activities and progress towards implementing the Principles.

Peoples Company believes that the principles of socially responsible investing are good for the individual landowner, good for the farm operator, and good for society. By working together – landowner, farmer and society – we can produce more food and conserve more land as we meet the challenge of feeding nine billion people, in an environmentally and socially responsible manner, while meeting the needs of the relevant stakeholders, and all at an affordable price for the food.