japanja
Robeco strengthens exclusions policy for fossil fuels

Robeco strengthens exclusions policy for fossil fuels

24-09-2020 | インサイト
Robeco is extending its exclusion policy for fossil fuel producers and users to its entire range of strategies to help combat global warming.
  • Carola van Lamoen
    Carola
    van Lamoen
    Head SI Center of Expertise
  • Victor  Verberk
    Victor
    Verberk
    CIO Fixed Income and Sustainability and Portfolio Manager of Robeco Global Credits

Speed read

  • Move affects firms active in thermal coal, oil sands or Arctic drilling
  • Exclusions cover 236 companies and apply to Robeco’s entire range
  • Wider aims are to meet the Paris Agreement and reduce investment risk

Companies that derive 25% or more of their revenues from thermal coal or oil sands, or 10% from Arctic drilling, will be barred from Sustainability Inside investment portfolios – the majority of strategies at Robeco – by the end of the fourth quarter of 2020.

This expands the thermal coal exclusion policy that had previously only applied to the more bespoke Sustainability Focused and Impact Investing strategies. It also bars investment in companies actively engaged in oil sands and Arctic drilling for the first time. It means 236 fossil fuel companies in the energy, mining and utilities sectors will join the exclusions list.

Stricter thresholds will be applied to Sustainability Focused and Impact Investing portfolios, excluding companies with just 10% of their activities in thermal coal and oil sands, or 5% in Arctic drilling. As a result of the expansion, the exclusions policy covers the entire range of UCITs-registered strategies at Robeco, accounting for EUR 144 billion of assets under management.1

“Although the preferred approach is to engage with companies, we believe it is very difficult to drive significant change at companies whose portfolios are skewed to coal or oil sands,” says Carola van Lamoen, Head of Robeco’s SI Center of Expertise. “Therefore, we prefer to put our efforts into sectors and companies, where we have more confidence that our engagements will be effective.”

サステナビリティに関する最新の「インサイト」を読む
サステナビリティに関する最新の「インサイト」を読む
配信登録

Limiting global warming

The move forms part of a wider climate change policy to support the goals of the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit the rise in global temperatures to a maximum of 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and ideally to 1.5 degrees or below.

“Our move to exclude investments in fossil fuels from our funds is a further step in our efforts to lower the carbon footprint of our investments, transitioning to a lower carbon economy,” says Victor Verberk, Chief Investment Officer at Robeco. “As the global leader in sustainable investing, we are committed to the Paris agreement, which aims to limit the rise in global temperatures to well below 2 °C. This will require substantial reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions over the next few decades.”

Robeco’s ranges

Robeco has had an exclusions policy since 2005 and has routinely integrated environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into the investment process since 2010. In 2019, Robeco went one step further and reclassified its range of more than 200 investment strategies, to give clients a clearer choice in the level of sustainability they wished to adopt. This led to the creation of three categories of strategy: Sustainability Inside, Sustainability Focused and Impact Investing.

Sustainability Inside strategies integrate ESG information into the investment process as standard. Sustainability Focused strategies have a targeted ESG profile and an environmental footprint that is better than the benchmark. Impact investing strategies are specifically aimed at making a positive contribution to themes such as the Sustainable Development Goals.

Why thermal coal, oil sands and the Arctic

Thermal coal producers and users in the mining and utilities sectors are being excluded because it is by far the highest carbon-emitting source of energy in the global fuel mix. In addition to carbon emissions, when coal is burned it also releases poisonous toxins including mercury, sulfur dioxide, lead and other heavy metals. Aside from global warming, this leads to significant health impacts, from asthma to cancer.

Oil sands are among the most carbon intensive means of crude oil production, generating 80 kilograms of CO2 per gigajoule compared with 50 kg CO2/GJ for natural gas. This is due to the higher emissions created from the fuel used during extraction, and while preparing the raw material for refining.

Drilling for oil or gas in the Arctic Ocean poses higher risks of spills compared to conventional oil and gas exploration, and has potential irreversible impacts on the sensitive Arctic ecosystem, the region’s indigenous people and the global climate. Although Arctic drilling is not fully commercially viable at this time, and is not expected to be so in the near future, several big Arctic oil projects are still under development. This means the thresholds are largely preemptive and no companies are excluded under this policy today.

No harm seen to returns

Verberk points out that the stricter exclusions policy is not expected to harm investment returns – rather, it can insulate investors from those companies that are unwilling to move their business models towards a low-carbon economic model.

“If the global economy decarbonizes in line with the recommendations of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the excluded companies will be some of the most significantly impacted,” he says. “This implies lower returns or higher risk as they lose business or have to invest in alternative areas where they may not have expertise. This transition could be easier for some than others.”

“We believe there are sufficient opportunities to invest in companies with similar risk/return profiles, so that the impacts on investment performance will be limited.”

Exclusions list

The exclusions come on top of contentious industries that are already barred from portfolios – either in absolute terms, or according to thresholds. Robeco’s full exclusion policy and list is available here .

1 Assets under management in ESG-integrated strategies at 30 June 2020.

重要事項

当資料は情報提供を目的として、Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V.が作成した英文資料、もしくはその英文資料をロベコ・ジャパン株式会社が翻訳したものです。資料中の個別の金融商品の売買の勧誘や推奨等を目的とするものではありません。記載された情報は十分信頼できるものであると考えておりますが、その正確性、完全性を保証するものではありません。意見や見通しはあくまで作成日における弊社の判断に基づくものであり、今後予告なしに変更されることがあります。運用状況、市場動向、意見等は、過去の一時点あるいは過去の一定期間についてのものであり、過去の実績は将来の運用成果を保証または示唆するものではありません。また、記載された投資方針・戦略等は全ての投資家の皆様に適合するとは限りません。当資料は法律、税務、会計面での助言の提供を意図するものではありません。

ご契約に際しては、必要に応じ専門家にご相談の上、最終的なご判断はお客様ご自身でなさるようお願い致します。

運用を行う資産の評価額は、組入有価証券等の価格、金融市場の相場や金利等の変動、及び組入有価証券の発行体の財務状況による信用力等の影響を受けて変動します。また、外貨建資産に投資する場合は為替変動の影響も受けます。運用によって生じた損益は、全て投資家の皆様に帰属します。したがって投資元本や一定の運用成果が保証されているものではなく、投資元本を上回る損失を被ることがあります。弊社が行う金融商品取引業に係る手数料または報酬は、締結される契約の種類や契約資産額により異なるため、当資料において記載せず別途ご提示させて頂く場合があります。具体的な手数料または報酬の金額・計算方法につきましては弊社担当者へお問合せください。

当資料及び記載されている情報、商品に関する権利は弊社に帰属します。したがって、弊社の書面による同意なくしてその全部もしくは一部を複製またはその他の方法で配布することはご遠慮ください。

商号等: ロベコ・ジャパン株式会社  金融商品取引業者 関東財務局長(金商)第2780号

加入協会: 一般社団法人 日本投資顧問業協会