Rotterdam, 7 March 2018 – Robeco has taken an important next step in its Sustainability Investing (SI) approach by deciding to exclude investments in the tobacco industry from its mutual funds.
Robeco currently excludes tobacco from its Sustainable fund range. This exclusion will now be extended to the mainstream Robeco funds, including sub-advised funds. The exclusion does not apply to client-specific funds and mandates.
The tobacco industry is increasingly seen as socially disadvantageous. In 2017, the UN Global Compact excluded tobacco companies from participating in the initiative. Although Robeco takes its responsibility as a shareholder seriously and actively engages with companies it invests in, engagement with the tobacco industry will not lead to fundamental change. Therefore, for Robeco, investing in tobacco is no longer compatible with the company’s commitment to SI.
Peter Ferket, Head of Investments: “Robeco has been at the forefront of SI since the 1990s and sees sustainability as a long-term force for change in markets, countries and companies. Given the significant international concerns about the risks posed by tobacco and in view of recent developments, such as the UN Global Compact’s decision, we think the time is ripe for excluding tobacco.”
The exclusion applies to all listed companies that are involved in the production of tobacco or significant components of cigarettes. The process of excluding tobacco stocks will be completed by the end of Q3 2018.