Sustainable Investing Glossary

Corporate controversies

Corporate controversies occur when a company becomes embroiled in a scandal that is directly or indirectly of its own making.

Typically it is when the company’s business practices are dangerously negligent, causing a major accident or human rights breach. Controversies can also occur when a company – sometimes unintentionally – is caught up in allegations of corruption, breach of privacy, unfit products or misleading marketing. They span the entire spectrum of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, and inevitably lead to prosecutions, civil lawsuits or regulatory sanctions. All imply reputational damage which would lower the value of the company’s equities or bonds, making it important for investors to factor them into their ESG analysis. 

The two biggest corporate controversies in recent years outside of criminal frauds or the 2008 financial crisis were both based on negligence. The Deepwater Horizon oil platform explosion in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 killed eleven people, caused a massive oil spill, and resulted in USD 40 billion in reparations. The death toll in the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh in 2013 was far higher, as 1,134 workers died, and the repercussions were more far-reaching. Most of those who died were low-income workers making clothing for Western fashion chains, causing some high street names to reevaluate the human rights credentials of their entire supply chains.

Générer des performances qui profiteront à tous
Générer des performances qui profiteront à tous
Investissement durable

A common controversary in the modern era has been falling victim to cybersecurity breaches through hacking, negligent loss of personal data, or criminal activity such as ‘phishing’ for bank account details. Robeco sets great store in checking the cybersecurity preparedness of the companies in which it wants to invest as a routine part of ESG analysis, involving a cyber expert in its investment process since 2017. This ‘white hat hacker’ investigates the degree to which potential investee companies might appeal to hackers, and which business units are at risk. Cybersecurity was one of five engagement themes in 2018. 

Specifically looking for corporate controversies forms part of a three-point process for selecting companies for Robeco’s Sustainable Development Goals strategies. If a company has experienced some sort of scandal, it makes it less likely to be included in an SDG credits or equities fund, although many other criteria are also evaluated.

See also: Corporate governanceSustainable Development Goals

Opportunité : identifier les investissements favorables au climat
Opportunité : identifier les investissements favorables au climat
Les efforts mondiaux de décarbonation feront clairement émerger des gagnants et des perdants, ainsi qu’un contexte favorable pour les gérants actifs.
06-05-2021 | Vision
Impact investing : une voie à suivre pour les assureurs
Impact investing : une voie à suivre pour les assureurs
L’investissement durable est devenu une priorité pour les assureurs, mais comment l’utiliser pour générer de l’impact ?
05-05-2021 | Vision
Sustainability Report 2020: ‘There is no recovery without sustainability’
Sustainability Report 2020: ‘There is no recovery without sustainability’
A commitment to sustainable investing that has become stronger than ever in the era of Covid-19 is highlighted in Robeco’s Sustainability Report 2020.
04-05-2021 | Vision

Décharge légale Agree

Les informations présentes sur ce site Web sont destinées exclusivement aux professionnels. Un investisseur professionnel est : un investisseur qui, à titre professionnel, dispose d'assez de connaissances et d'une expertise et d'une expérience suffisantes pour pouvoir évaluer de manière adéquate les risques financiers liés aux décisions d'investissement prises par lui-même.

Les visiteurs de ce site Web doivent être conscients du fait qu’ils sont eux-mêmes tenus de respecter toutes les lois et règlements en vigueur dans leur pays.

En cliquant sur J'accepte, vous confirmez que vous êtes un investisseur professionnel. Si vous cliquez sur Je n'accepte pas, vous êtes orienté vers la partie réservée aux particuliers.

Je n’accepte pas