Robeco offers SDG data to clients and academics

Firm hopes open access to intellectual property will lead to new insights

Robeco is making its Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) data publicly available in the hope of improving industry standards.

The Sustainable Investing Open Access Initiative will give clients and a group of academics free access via a portal to the SDG scores of companies generated using Robeco’s proprietary SDG framework, which was developed in 2017.

“Traditionally asset managers tend to protect intellectual property and use it to add value to their proprietary investment processes,” said Victor Verberk, Robeco’s chief investment officer for fixed income and sustainability.

“Yet the massive challenges our planet is facing require a different approach.”

The asset manager currently engages with 60 companies in Asia Pacific as part of the framework, and 10 clients are pilot users of the initiative.

“We need to join forces to address these challenges properly. By opening up our SDG data to a broader audience we aim to contribute to improving quality and standards setting across the industry,” Verberk added.

Robeco will seek feedback from stakeholders on the data, in the hope that this initiative will further enhance the robustness of the data and its methodology.

“By publishing our SDG scores, we aim to enable academics to develop new insights,” said Carola van Lamoen, the firm’s head of sustainable investing.

“We therefore invite them to actively share their feedback on our SDG data and methodology.”

At a later stage, the firm will make other sustainable investing data and IP available to more stakeholders, according to a statement by the firm.

A version of this article was first published in ESG Clarity sister title Fund Selector Asia.