Sustainable Development Goals
Ever since the United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), investors have become increasingly interested in investments that can contribute to realizing these goals while also providing financial returns. Robeco was among the first investment managers to construct a framework for mapping and measuring SDG alignment that can be applied across investment portfolios.
A blueprint for the future of sustainable investing
The SDGs are 17 goals for improving human wellbeing, ecological sustainability and quality of life adopted by the United Nations in 2015. They cover a broad spectrum of sustainability-related topics, ranging from eliminating hunger and combating climate change to promoting responsible consumption and making cities more sustainable.
The ‘call to action’ that lies at the heart of the SDGs is that, unlike most UN initiatives, the 17 goals are not just aimed at governments or NGOs but the whole of society. It presents both a challenge and an opportunity for businesses and investors, who are seen as key to achieving the goals.
Mapping, measuring and monitoring
Robeco is proud of its reputation as an early pioneer in developing and advancing research and analysis in sustainable investing. We were an early mover in creating a proprietary framework for evaluating the intersection between SDGs and business. Combining top-down, industry-specific criteria with bottom-up, company-specific data allows us to rate companies’ contributions to the SDGs. SDG scores can be used to develop investment products across a range of asset classes that align with the SDGs.
Robeco’s long history of innovation and enhancing sustainable products and services is the result of close cooperation between our investment teams, Active Ownership team and our sustainability research analysts. This allowed us to become one of the first asset managers to launch an SDG-focused credit strategy in 2018.
Research & analysis
Robeco is proud of its reputation as an early pioneer in developing and advancing research and analysis in sustainable investing.Measuring sustainability performance: comparing an SDG score with ESG ratings
SDGs and business
We were an early mover in creating a proprietary framework for evaluating the intersection between SDGs and business.Read more
Combining top-down, industry-specific criteria with bottom-up, company-specific data allow us to rate companies’ positive and negative contributions to the SDGs.
Read about our collaborative effort to optimize the impact of SDG Investing:
SDG scores can be used to develop investment strategies across a range of asset classes.SDG Investing
Select an SDG:
The scoring methodology
With 17 goals and 169 targets, the SDGs address a very broad range of issues, some of which have conflicting effects on each other. Robeco’s proprietary SDG measurement framework provides clear, objective and consistent guidelines for dealing with these challenges, using a three-step approach. The framework allows analysts to investigate to what extent a company positively and/or negatively impacts one or more of the SDGs.
The outcome of this three-step analysis is quantified with a proprietary SDG scoring methodology. All companies obtain an SDG score based on their contribution to the SDGs (positive, neutral or negative) and the extent of this contribution (high, medium or low). As a result, they will be given a score ranging from -3 (highly negative) through 0 (neutral) to +3 (highly positive).Read more
The benefit of SDG investing is that thanks to the scoring methodology, we can actually show the contribution a portfolio makes to the SDGs.
Not withstanding the complexities around full impact measurement, Robeco’s SDG scores provide a solid base to assess companies’ positive and negative contributions to societies and the environment. This facilitates the construction of investment portfolios aligned with SI outcomes and enables us to report on that at the end of our investment cycle.