switzerlanden
Robeco publishes Stewardship Report 2019

Robeco publishes Stewardship Report 2019

16-04-2020 | Active Ownership Report
Active Ownership has always been an important part of Robeco’s sustainable investing capability. As part of this market-leading position, it is important to demonstrate how sustainability enhances the investment process on all fronts. Robeco is therefore delighted to collect the highlights of our 2019 sustainability achievements in a new Stewardship Report.
  • Peter  Ferket
    Peter
    Ferket
    CIO Equity & Co-head investment products
  • Carola van Lamoen
    Carola
    van Lamoen
    Head SI Center of Expertise

Speed read

  • AuM in sustainable strategies reached record levels in 2019
  • Engagement targets responsible consumption, production and IT
  • Climate change continues to lead agenda as businesses rethink roles

The year saw a record level of sustainable assets under management recorded in 2019, with some notable milestones and achievements. It marked the 20th anniversary of launching our first sustainable equities fund in 1999. A lot has changed since then, and as the sustainable investing capabilities of Robeco have grown exponentially, we decided to reclassify our range of strategies to give clients a clearer choice in the level of sustainability they prefer to adopt.

This led to the creation of three categories of fund: Sustainability Inside, Sustainability Focused, and Impact Investing. Assets under management in SI Inside strategies grew to EUR 132 billion, while Sustainability Focus and Impact Investing strategy assets reached EUR 16.5 billion. Net inflows from clients for whom sustainability is deemed to be important in their manager selection criteria increased by 50% between 2018 and 2019.

“These are encouraging numbers, as in the journey towards more sustainable global markets, the reallocation of assets towards more sustainable strategies will make a difference,” says Peter Ferket, Chief Investment Officer of Robeco, in his introduction to the report.

“Our investment teams are also continuing to seek ways to show the impact that environmental, social, and governance (ESG) integration has on our investment decision making and performance, to enable us to prove that it works. For example, during the year we quantified the performance impact of ESG integration in our Global Stars fund, showing that key ESG factors explained about 20% of the fund’s outperformance over this time period.”

Stay informed on Sustainable Investing with monthly mail updates
Stay informed on Sustainable Investing with monthly mail updates
Subscribe

Being responsible stewards

“The year also marked the 15th anniversary of the founding of our Active Ownership team, and as can be seen in this extensive report, the drive for using voting and engagement to further the ESG credentials of companies has never been more powerful.”

“As the role of stewardship and what is expected of us by clients grows ever more prominent, we believe strongly in acting as responsible stewards of the assets we manage on behalf of our clients across the globe. We do this in the belief that this adds value for our clients and other stakeholders in the long term.”

For Robeco’s Active Ownership team, 2019 saw record levels of activity, along with four new engagement themes. Robeco exercised its right to vote at almost 6,000 shareholder meetings in 2019, and conducted 255 engagement cases with companies in our clients’ portfolios. New engagement themes that we started to address were single-use plastic, the social impact of artificial intelligence, digital innovation in healthcare, and unsustainable palm oil.

Combatting global warming

“Climate change will remain a core topic in our engagements,” adds Carola van Lamoen, Head of the Active Ownership team. “Continuous discussions with companies on their decarbonization efforts are vital to combat global warming.

“We also embraced a game-changing innovation in our new theme aiming to stop unsustainable palm oil production by partnering with Satelligence, a satellite imagery data company that monitors deforestation and other impacts of land use.”

“Meanwhile, it is important to stay abreast of newly emerging sustainability priorities. Recent wildfires have thrust the protection of biodiversity into focus globally. Increasing plastic pollution is equally a cause for concern, and is the subject of a new engagement theme launched last year.”

“Businesses are also beginning to rethink their overall place in society, and the ever clearer need for them to contribute to socioeconomic improvement, alongside the generation of financial returns.”

Logo

Important legal information

The content displayed on this website is exclusively directed at qualified investors, as defined in the swiss collective investment schemes act of 23 june 2006 ("cisa") and its implementing ordinance, or at “independent asset managers” which meet additional requirements as set out below. Qualified investors are in particular regulated financial intermediaries such as banks, securities dealers, fund management companies and asset managers of collective investment schemes and central banks, regulated insurance companies, public entities and retirement benefits institutions with professional treasury or companies with professional treasury.

The contents, however, are not intended for non-qualified investors. By clicking "I agree" below, you confirm and acknowledge that you act in your capacity as qualified investor pursuant to CISA or as an “independent asset manager” who meets the additional requirements set out hereafter. In the event that you are an "independent asset manager" who meets all the requirements set out in Art. 3 para. 2 let. c) CISA in conjunction with Art. 3 CISO, by clicking "I Agree" below you confirm that you will use the content of this website only for those of your clients which are qualified investors pursuant to CISA.

Representative in Switzerland of the foreign funds registered with the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority ("FINMA") for distribution in or from Switzerland to non-qualified investors is ACOLIN Fund Services AG, Affolternstrasse 56, 8050 Zürich, and the paying agent is UBS Switzerland AG, Bahnhofstrasse 45, 8001 Zürich. Please consult www.finma.ch for a list of FINMA registered funds.

Neither information nor any opinion expressed on the website constitutes a solicitation, an offer or a recommendation to buy, sell or dispose of any investment, to engage in any other transaction or to provide any investment advice or service. An investment in a Robeco/RobecoSAM AG product should only be made after reading the related legal documents such as management regulations, articles of association, prospectuses, key investor information documents and annual and semi-annual reports, which can be all be obtained free of charge at this website, at the registered seat of the representative in Switzerland, as well as at the Robeco/RobecoSAM AG offices in each country where Robeco has a presence. In respect of the funds distributed in Switzerland, the place of performance and jurisdiction is the registered office of the representative in Switzerland.

This website is not directed to any person in any jurisdiction where, by reason of that person's nationality, residence or otherwise, the publication or availability of this website is prohibited. Persons in respect of whom such prohibitions apply must not access this website.

I Disagree