Please read the details of Robeco's active ownership report of Q4 2016.
Biopharmaceutical companies operate in an environment of rising chronic disease, aging populations and an increasing demand from emerging markets. From an investor's point of view, a company's capacity to focus in long term value creation through investing in improving the access to medicine in low- and middle-income countries is a key factor for positively contribute to the development of emerging markets.
Buildings represent a major opportunity for environmental improvements as the sector as a whole accounted for nearly 40% of the world’s energy consumption, 30% of raw material use, 25% of solid waste, 25% of water use, 12% of land use, and 33% of the related global greenhouse gas emissions. Because the real estate sector represents such a large share of annual global emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gasses, we have, over the last 3 years, focused on Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS).
During the last quarter of 2015, Robeco conducted an extensive research to prepare for an engagement program with Japanese companies to enhance their corporate governance. Over recent years the Japanese government under leadership of Shinzo Abe has implemented several policies to strengthen the Japanese economy. One of the aims of the government has been boosting the Japanese stock market by making Japanese equities more appealing to international institutional investors. Return on equity for Japanese companies has been relatively low compared to their US and European counterparts.