Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and U.S. Trust have signed the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), Bank of America’s Global Wealth and Investment Management announced Tuesday.

The Global Wealth and Investment Management unit is made up primarily of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and U.S. Trust, which are discretionary asset management businesses.

The PRI initiative is recognized as a leading global network for investors and financial industry participants who are committed to integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations into their investment practices and ownership policies.

“We are seeing increasing demand from our clients to ensure that their investments express their personal values and have a positive impact on society,” says Andy Sieg, head of Global Wealth and Retirement Solutions for Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

“To meet that demand, we are committed to offering broad access to innovative financial solutions related to responsible investment. The PRI initiative represents another important step in this direction and in the evolution of our ESG and impact investment platform,” he adds.

Recent research by U.S. Trust found that one-half of high-net-worth investors consider social and environmental impact an important part of investment decision-making, an increase from 45 percent who felt that way last year.

The addition of the two firms shows that ESG considerations have moved into the mainstream of investors, says Fiona Reynolds, managing director of the PRI.