Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business


PruPIM puts CSR ball in senior executives’ court

October 2005

One of the UK’s largest property investment management companies has asked senior executives to lead progress on eight different aspects of corporate responsibility.

Prudential Property Investment Managers (PruPIM), which is part of M&G, Prudential’s UK and Europe investment management arm, has appointed the executives as ‘sponsors’ for business conduct, procurement, construction, investment, property management, community investment, communication and corporate culture. Each will have overall responsibility for one area.

They will be expected to take an active role in ‘advocating, promoting and participating in CSR activities’ to ‘ensure that their particular CSR initiative is on the agenda when business policy is being formulated’ and to make sure targets are met.

Among their tasks will be to:
set up and implement supplier audits (procurement)
include environmental considerations in investment appraisals as a matter of routine (construction)
educate property occupiers about the financial benefit of treating property assets in a responsible manner (investment)
integrate employee volunteering programmes with business, team and personal development objectives (community investment)
incorporate CSR into assessments of what employees contribute to the business (corporate culture).

The sponsors are all from the company’s senior executive management team and include human resources director Sanjeev Sharma and managing director Martin Moore.

PruPIM’s assistant director of corporate responsibility, Siobhan Hewitt-Devine, told EP the appointments were ‘to demonstrate that there is leadership on CSR from the very top of the business rather than it just being something done to the company by us on the CSR team’. She said: ‘It means the senior management team buys into CSR and ensures it takes place.’

Hewitt-Devine said the company did not intend to link corporate responsibility performance to senior executive pay at this stage, although that could eventually happen.

The identification of eight areas with sponsors is part of PruPIM’s new corporate responsibility strategy for the years 2005-08. The policy has been finalized after an in-depth re-evaluation of its CSR approach.

The internal review concluded that the establishment in 2003 of a corporate responsibility operations committee with members from across the company had helped to embed CSR in the business, but that most attention has since been on short-term ‘tactical initiatives’ rather than long-term strategic goals. The new strategy is aimed at remedying this.

PruPIM, which manages nearly 1000 properties, said headline objectives will be fleshed out over time. ‘The nature of some of these initiatives is such that measurement is often difficult and intrinsically subjective,’ it said. However, the company intends to find ways of measuring its performance more accurately.

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