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RobecoSAM publishes annual Sustainability Yearbook

Which companies made it to the top?

21-01-2014 | Press release
  • Yearbook commemorates companies with the best sustainability practices
  • For investors Yearbook signals which companies are positioned to create shareholder value
  • RobecoSAM’s CEO encourages the CEOs of the yearbook’s 59 Industry Leaders to talk to their pension fund managers and help them embrace sustainability 

RobecoSAM, the investment specialist focused exclusively on Sustainability Investing, today announced the publication of its annual Sustainability Yearbook. The yearbook looks back at companies’ sustainability performance in 2013 and ranks them as Gold, Silver or Bronze. The top performing company from each of the 59 industries is awarded RobecoSAM Industry Leader. Since 1999, RobecoSAM has been assessing and documenting the sustainability performance of over 2,000 corporations on a yearly basis and has a sophisticated proprietary database.

Corporate participation at an all-time high
A record number of companies participated in RobecoSAM’s Corporate Sustainability Assessment. Out of the largest 3,000 companies that are invited, 818 companies from 39 different countries participated with a 31% increase in participation from companies in emerging markets. RobecoSAM views this as a positive development in corporate sustainability and therefore recognizes the top industries by participation rate.

Ranking: The Top 3 Industries by Participation Rate

  1. Household Products
  2. Professional Services
  3. Computers & Peripherals and Office Electronics

RobecoSAM raises the bar: Which companies make the cut?
This year, RobecoSAM made it more challenging to be a yearbook member. Now not only do companies need to be in the top 15% of their industry but they must also achieve a score within 30% of their Industry Leader’s score to make the cut. This effectively makes being a yearbook member a more exclusive acknowledgement of a company’s sustainability practices.

Sustainability impacts the bottom line
For investors, the Sustainability Yearbook identifies companies that are strongly positioned to create long-term shareholder value. RobecoSAM’s annual Corporate Sustainability Assessment focuses on examining financially material factors that impact a company’s core business value drivers. Factors such as a company’s ability to innovate, attract and retain talent or increase resource efficiency matter from an investor’s point of view because they impact a company’s competitive position and long-term financial performance.

Michael Baldinger, CEO, RobecoSAM said: “Companies still face the challenge of convincing investors to embrace sustainability as a means of generating shareholder value.” Baldinger is confident that this can change: “Starting with their own corporate pension funds, industry leaders are in an ideal position to encourage investors to integrate sustainability into their investment strategies.”

With the publication of the Sustainability Yearbook Baldinger encourages the CEO’s of the RobecoSAM Industry Leadersto talk to their pension fund managers. He said: “Help them understand the financial and competitive benefits of corporate sustainability strategies and how these translate into shareholder value.”

Each year RobecoSAM picks out the most prominent sustainability topics and shares its expertise through white papers in the prelude to the Sustainability Yearbook. The trending topics this year are:

  • Focus on Financial Materiality of Sustainability
  • Sustainability Leaders in the Emerging Markets – Myth or Reality?
  • Local Stakeholders, Global Impact
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