Rotterdam, 13 August 2018 – Robeco, in close collaboration with RobecoSAM, has published a comprehensive guide to Sustainability Investing (SI). The Big Book of SI addresses topics such as the role of finance in relation to sustainability, megatrends shaping the future (climate change, rising inequality and cybersecurity), the current state of play in SI, and the relationship between investment performance and the integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in the investment process. The 102-page book also goes into detail on how Robeco approaches sustainability and how investors can approach SI. In addition, it includes interviews with experts, client cases and a glossary. This unique reference work is primarily aimed at professional investors, such as pension funds and financial institutions, but is relevant to anyone looking for an in-depth and topical overview of SI in all its aspects, combining theory and practice.
The Big Book of SI is being launched at a time when the world seems to have reached an inflection point in terms of SI. There has been a change in thinking in the investment world, from avoiding companies that have a negative impact on the environment and society to investing in companies that have a positive one. The UN Sustainable Development Goals are a very important factor in this context; they take sustainability to the next level by making it tangible and measurable.
With roots dating back to the green crusades of the 1960s, sustainability strategies now typically also consider a wide range of social issues, such as human rights, governance matters and gender equality in the workplace. And there is a wide variety of sustainability approaches for investors to choose from. The Big Book of SI will help professionals find their way in the world of Sustainability Investing.
Gilbert Van Hassel, CEO of Robeco, said: “We firmly believe in Sustainability Investing. It is already clear that taking a sustainable approach does not detract from performance and that using financially material ESG information leads to better-informed investment decisions and benefits society. Investors are increasingly looking to create more sustainable portfolios to meet the demands of their sponsors, participants and regulators. And then there is the socioeconomic perspective and the many global challenges faced by our generation. We believe that all the stars are aligned for SI and that the investment industry will move from creating only wealth to creating wealth and well-being. We are more committed than ever to contribute to that shift.”
Robeco has a long history in Sustainability Investing, having been one of the first asset managers to see the potential of sustainability to enhance the returns of our clients’ portfolios back in the 1990s, and SI has been at the core of its business since the mid-2000s, when Robeco acquired Sustainable Asset Management (now RobecoSAM). Robeco currently manages approximately EUR 100 billion of integrated sustainability assets. In 2018, the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI) awarded Robeco the highest possible score (A+) for all of the modules it was assessed on.