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Robeco publishes Q1 2020 Active Ownership report

Robeco publishes Q1 2020 Active Ownership report

07-05-2020 | Active Ownership Report
New engagement themes lead the coverage in Robeco’s latest Active Ownership report – a quarter that saw the first impact of Covid-19.
  • Carola van Lamoen
    Carola
    van Lamoen
    Head of Sustainable Investing

Speed read

  • Commitment to stewardship unwavering despite Covid-19
  • Voting season was far from being ‘business as usual’
  • Climate change, palm oil and Asia among topics discussed

“Despite the impact of the coronavirus, our commitment to stewardship remains unwavering,” says Carola van Lamoen, Head of Active Ownership, in the introduction to the latest report.

“The new engagement themes for this year will focus on solving several environmental challenges and contributing to improved corporate governance. One of the challenges to be addressed is biodiversity loss, which is expected to increasingly impact society in the coming decades.”

“We will also focus on the urgent need to decarbonize companies – and thereby portfolios – to meet commitments to the Paris Climate Agreement. With regards to improving corporate governance, we will employ a specialized and focused engagement approach in emerging markets.”

“Lastly, we will engage on executive remuneration, with the aim of strengthening alignment between company performance and stakeholder interests, while also conforming to best practices.”

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Far from ‘business as usual’

In their report into a voting season that was far from ‘business as usual, Active Ownership Analysts Laura Bosch and Cedric Hille explain how securities issuers and market regulators are adapting to ensure that corporate governance standards are both met and improved.

Robeco has investment strategies that target companies contributing towards the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Senior Engagement Specialist Cristina Cedillo outlines how engagement can help make a difference to this important project as well.

In a related report, SDG 12: Responsible Consumption tries to seek remedies for the world’s waste mountain which grows higher every day. With the focus now on not producing waste in the first place, rather than trying to recycle it, Active Ownership Analyst Robert Dykstra explains how engagement can help.

Climate change remains a challenge

The coronavirus has dominated the news, but climate change is still with us, and is projected to have far more widespread and costly effects than Covid-19. In her latest report, Engagement Specialist Sylvia van Waveren explores the impacts of the expected environmental changes for investors.

The maxim that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to engagement holds particularly true for Asia. Senior Engagement Specialist Ronnie Lim provides an update on the results of his work engaging with companies in the region.

Finally, engaging with palm oil producers to stop deforestation and improve labor standards is an ongoing theme. Engagement Specialist Peter van der Werf details how the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil facilitates higher standards in this important arena.

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