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Our guide to investing in SDG credits

Our guide to investing in SDG credits

29-04-2019 | Insight

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have captured the imagination as a great way of impact investing. But many investors remain unsure of how to go about it, or what tools can be used to measure the actual impact of it. Our Introductory Guide to SDG Credits can help.

  • Victor  Verberk
    Victor
    Verberk
    Deputy Head of Investments, Robeco
  • Taeke  Wiersma
    Taeke
    Wiersma
    Co-head Credit Research

The eight-page brochure succinctly explains how the 17 SDGs have taken off since their launch in 2015, and why they are rising up the sustainable investing agenda. They aim to tackle issues ranging from the eradication of poverty (SDG1) and achieving gender equality (SDG5), to global warming issues such as promoting affordable and clean energy (SDG7) and climate action (SDG13).

Robeco’s aim has been to enable investors to monetize this opportunity, developing a proprietary model with our Swiss affiliate RobecoSAM to evaluate the contribution that companies can make to the SDGs. This is a three-step process which analyses what a company produces, how it produces it, and whether it is involved in any controversies.

Once this data is crunched, it becomes possible to decide which companies make the best contributions to one or more SDGs, along with those that detract from it. This information is then used to decide which corporate bonds to buy for three pioneering funds specializing in targeting the SDGs: Robeco Euro Sustainable Credits; Robeco Credits Income; and RobecoSAM Global SDG Credits.

Aside from directly contributing to the SDGs, this state-of-the-art screening can also help in reducing downside risks in credit portfolios, as it insulates investors companies with old school business models that are not fit for the future.

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