ESG criteria is used to determine whether a company complies with the desired level of standards. If not, it can be removed from consideration in the investment process, denying the company access to capital.
Exclusions typically involve the makers of controversial weapons such as cluster bombs or nuclear warheads and those making indisputably harmful products such as tobacco and firearms, along with companies engaged in human rights abuses such as child labor. Companies engaged in serious corporate governance breaches such as bribery or corruption and that show no willingness to resolve these issues, are also typically excluded.
The matter of what to exclude largely remains an act of conscience for investors. This is why most use the principles contained within the UN Global Compact as a benchmark for what is considered to be unacceptable business practices. For some products, exclusion is required by law: Dutch legislation, for example, forbids the ownership of companies making cluster bombs or other contentious munitions.
As the world combats climate change, companies heavily involved in thermal coal production, deforestation and unacceptable levels of pollution have joined the ranks of the routinely excluded. In July 2020, Robeco expanded the range for exclusions for companies involved in thermal coal, oil sands and Arctic drilling. This was, however, subject to the proportion of their business engaged in these activities.
Robeco set the threshold of 25% of revenues derived from thermal coal and oil sands, and 10% from Arctic drilling, for its Sustainability Inside range of funds. Stricter levels of 10% of revenues for thermal coal and oil sands, and 5% for Arctic drilling, were imposed for the Sustainability Focused and Impact Investing ranges of funds.
This threshold approach has the benefit that it leaves open the prospect of engagement to try to steer the company into more sustainable areas – rather than being outrightly excluded – when they may have other more sustainable or socially acceptable businesses. Robeco also uses the principle to exclude companies which have 5% or more of their activities engaged in ‘sin stocks’ such as alcohol, gambling or adult entertainment from the Sustainability Focused range. This method can be used for other variables: palm oil producers which have less than 20% of their plantations certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil are similarly excluded.
Exclusion is only used as a last resort when engagement is either not possible, or has failed to achieve the required objective due to a lack of cooperation from the company. Generally, it is possible to engage on corporate behavior, but not on a product. This means excluding an industry such as tobacco, since it cannot change the harmful nature of its product; but engaging with an energy company to try to persuade it to move more of its business away from fossil fuels.
Countries can also be excluded if they are subject to sanctions by the United Nations, European Union, or other international authorities. This bars Robeco from buying sovereign bonds from governments on the exclusion list, or from purchasing equities or credits or companies that are domiciled in these countries. This currently includes Iran, North Korea and Zimbabwe.
For more information, see Robeco’s exclusion policy and exclusion list.
Please read this information carefully.
This website is prepared and issued by Robeco Hong Kong Limited ("Robeco"), which is a corporation licensed by the Securities and Futures Commission in Hong Kong to engage in Type 1 (dealing in securities); Type 4 (advising in securities) and Type 9 (asset management) regulated activities. The Company does not hold client assets and is subject to the licensing condition that it shall seek the SFC’s prior approval before extending services at retail level. This website has not been reviewed by the Securities and Futures Commission or any regulatory authority in Hong Kong.
2. Important risk disclosures
2. Important risk disclosures Robeco Capital Growth Funds (“the Funds”) are distinguished by their respective specific investment policies or any other specific features. Please read carefully for the risks of the Funds:
3. Local legal and sales restrictions
The information contained in the Website is being provided for information purposes.
Neither information nor any opinion expressed on the Website constitutes a solicitation, an offer or a recommendation to buy, sell or dispose of any investment, to engage in any other transaction or to provide any investment advice or service. The information contained in the Website does not constitute investment advice or a recommendation and was prepared without regard to the specific objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person who may receive it. An investment in a Robeco product should only be made after reading the related legal documents such as management regulations, prospectuses, most recent annual and semi-annual reports, which can be all be obtained free of charge at www.robeco.com/hk/en and at the Robeco Hong Kong office.
4. Use of the Website
The information is based on certain assumptions, information and conditions applicable at a certain time and may be subject to change at any time without notice. Robeco aims to provide accurate, complete and up-to-date information, obtained from sources of information believed to be reliable. Persons accessing the Website are responsible for their choice and use of the information.
5. Investment performance
No assurance can be given that the investment objective of any investment products will be achieved. No representation or promise as to the performance of any investment products or the return on an investment is made. The value of your investments may fluctuate. The value of the assets of Robeco investment products may also fluctuate as a result of the investment policy and/or the developments on the financial markets. Results obtained in the past are no guarantee for the future. Past performance, projection, or forecast included in this Website should not be taken as an indication or guarantee of future performance, and no representation or warranty, express or implied, is made regarding future performance. Fund performance figures are based on the month-end trading prices and are calculated on a total return basis with dividends reinvested. Return figures versus the benchmark show the investment management result before management and/or performance fees; the fund returns are with dividends reinvested and based on net asset values with prices and exchange rates of the valuation moment of the benchmark.
Investments involve risks. Past performance is not a guide to future performance. Potential investors should read the terms and conditions contained in the relevant offering documents and in particular the investment policies and the risk factors before any investment decision is made. Investors should ensure they fully understand the risks associated with the fund and should also consider their own investment objective and risk tolerance level. Investors are reminded that the value and income (if any) from shares of the fund may be volatile and could change substantially within a short period of time, and investors may not get back the amount they have invested in the fund. If in doubt, please seek independent financial and professional advice.
6. Third party websites
This website includes material from third parties or links to websites maintained by third parties some of which is supplied by companies that are not affiliated to Robeco. Following links to any other off-site pages or websites of third parties shall be at the own risk of the person following such link. Robeco has not reviewed any of the websites linked to or referred to by the Website and does not endorse or accept any responsibility for their content nor the products, services or other items offered through them. Robeco shall have no liability for any losses or damages arising from the use of or reliance on the information contained on websites of third parties, including, without limitation, any loss of profit or any other direct or indirect damage. Third party off-site pages or websites are provided for informational purposes only.
7. Limitation of liability
Robeco as well as (possible) other suppliers of information to the Website accept no responsibility for the contents of the Website or the information or recommendations contained herein, which moreover may be changed without notice.
Robeco assumes no responsibility for ensuring, and makes no warranty, that the functioning of the Website will be uninterrupted or error-free. Robeco assumes no responsibility for the consequences of e-mail messages regarding a Robeco (transaction) service, which either cannot be received or sent, are damaged, received or sent incorrectly, or not received or sent on time.
Neither will Robeco be liable for any loss or damage that may result from access to and use of the Website.
8. Intellectual property
All copyrights, patents, intellectual and other property, and licenses regarding the information on the Website are held and obtained by Robeco. These rights will not be passed to persons accessing this information.
10. Applicable law
The Website shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of Hong Kong. All disputes arising out of or in connection with the Website shall be submitted to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of Hong Kong.