ESG statement

Robeco

Robeco adopts a holistic approach to integrating sustainability into investment decisions. Sustainability is a long-term driver for change in markets, countries and companies which in turn can impact future performance. Based on this belief, we consider sustainability as one of the value drivers in our investment process, similar to the way we look at financials or market momentum. In our fixed income investment processes, sustainability is seen as a good indicator to protect the downside risk. In our equity investment processes, we also see it also as a driver for outperformance.

This integrated approach to sustainable investing recognizes the importance of ESG integration across asset classes. From an investment perspective, considering material ESG factors strengthens our investment process and ultimately leads to a better-informed investment decision. Robeco has incorporated ESG criteria as part of the investment process since 1999.

Our integrated sustainability approach is based on three key elements – Leading sustainability research, ESG integration and Active ownership. Sustainability investing specialist RobecoSAM, through its Corporate Sustainability Assessment and Country Sustainability Ranking, focuses on industry and country -specific issues that drive the long-term growth and profitability. Robeco incorporates these insights into most investment strategies in a tailored way to generate better risk-adjusted returns. With our active ownership approach, we work with our companies to improve their performance on ESG and enrich our ongoing research.

In implementing these elements, Robeco works closely together with and benefits from the expertise of our sister company and sustainability specialist RobecoSAM.

ESG credentials
  • Robeco has incorporated ESG criteria as part of the investment process since 1999
  • Top A+ / A  scores in 2014-2017 UN PRI assessments
  • At the forefront of a growing movement: EUR 102 bln in ESG integrated assets (March 2018)

 


ESG DDQ

Does the investment manager have a policy addressing its approach to the incorporation of ESG factors within the investment process? If there is no policy, please explain why.

Yes, please refer to our Sustainability Policy:

https://www.robeco.com/docm/docu-robecos-sustainabiltity-policy.pdf

Please explain what steps have been taken to ensure ESG specialists have authority in the portfolio management process?

The way in which we incorporate extra-financial factors into our investment processes is tailored to the characteristics of each individual investment strategy. Consistent application of sustainability requires rigorous frameworks and analysts with the right mindset, who can cross the cultural barriers between traditional investing and sustainability investing. After many years of working on ESG integration, most behavioral barriers have been cleared: our analysts are now well aware of the materiality of the various sustainability factors and the way they affect business models of companies. Moreover, they are in dialogue with the dedicated Sustainability analysts at RobecoSAM in their respective sectors, which results in high-quality analysis. Their consistent application of proprietary frameworks ensures that the most important factors are taken into account into our investment cases and investment decisions, which seriously reduces the risk of blind spots. In Global Equity, our analysts even go one step further and by quantifying the value of sustainability factors in their valuation models, which means that sustainability conviction directly affects target prices and recommendations.

Please explain how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are integrated in the investment policy and decisions, if applicable.

As a signatory of the Dutch SDG Investing Agenda since 2016, Robeco continued its commitment to contribute to the SDGs. Robeco is also involved in various initiatives that investigate how the investment industry can contribute to the realization of SDGs. The following articles elaborate on how Robeco and RobecoSAM are promoting the SDGs:

https://www.robeco.com/en/insights/2017/11/investing-to-advance-sustainable-development-goals.html

https://www.robeco.com/en/insights/2017/12/impact-investing-and-sustainable-development-goals.html?cmp=dp-935

How do you collaborate with other investors to achieve successful engagement outcomes?

Robeco chooses to collaborate with other, like-minded institutional investors on a case by case basis. Such collaboration can occur in executing votes at meetings of shareholders, in constructive dialogues with companies, and in making collective approaches to policy makers, legislators and regulators. The advantages of collaboration are efficiency gains through the spread of work load, more effectiveness through bundled powers and a more balanced, international view on the engagement objectives.

Our cooperation with other investors takes place under the banner of the Principles for Responsible Investment.; Principle 5 is explicitly devoted to collaboration. We cooperate within the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN), Eumedion and international or Dutch institutional investor platforms for good corporate governance. Another example is the Carbon Disclosure Project, a joint initiative promoting transparency with regard to CO2 emissions generated by companies, and the PRI CEO Water Mandate, which encourages companies to practice good water management. Robeco is also a member of the International Investor Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) and participates in its recently formed engagement work group. Finally, Robeco is a member of Eurosif, a European platform that focuses on responsible investing. Besides these structural networks, collaboration is also formed on an ad hoc basis with both national and international institutional investors.