Robeco redefines sustainable investing

Rotterdam, 23 April 2020 – Robeco has launched a campaign to challenge preconceived ideas and prejudices about several sustainability themes and to underline the fact that sustainable investing starts with a thorough understanding of sustainability.

Robeco believes that sustainable investing is not black and white, or about shortcuts or easy answers. And, therefore, that some widely accepted assumptions about sustainability might actually be wrong. Moreover, it applauds how the bar for sustainable investing continues to be raised. For example, simply applying ESG exclusion screens just doesn’t cut it anymore. Sustainable investing is a complex activity that can only be properly executed by professionals with extensive experience and expertise. This campaign represents Robeco’s commitment to use its leading position in this field to educate people about sustainable investing.

The overarching message of the campaign is ‘Profit will save the planet’. Robeco believes that the financial system can be a powerful mechanism for real change. In other words, that a financial system that backs sustainable business practices will eventually persuade all market participants to invest their money in companies that help to build a better planet. To illustrate and explain this, the campaign presents three specific themes with statements that challenge people’s assumptions about what in fact sustainability means:

  • Love the rainforest. Invest in sustainable palm oil.

  • Our climate has a new enemy. The internet.

  • Hate plastic. Change plastics.

The new campaign tackles popular topics relating to sustainability by suggesting controversial solutions that turn widely accepted thinking on its head. Each statement is supported by a more nuanced and detailed explanation of the respective topic as well as thought-provoking images. The themes were specifically chosen to demonstrate that sustainability is more complex than is typically assumed.

Masja Zandbergen, Head of Sustainability Integration: “The current crisis makes people realize even more that investing is not only about wealth but also about wellbeing. Sustainable investing deserves more than well-intended visionary statements and vague promises. With this campaign, we’d like to draw attention to the fact that sustainable investing is complex, and that you need substantial expertise and experience to make the right decisions in investing. We are fully convinced that if you focus on sustainability, you’re going to be a better asset manager. Only those companies that take sustainability seriously today will make money tomorrow. At Robeco, we believe in the power of the financial system to bring about real change, which will ultimately lead to a better planet for all of us, and for generations to come.”

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