The Country Sustainability Ranking is a proprietary research model developed jointly by RobecoSAM and Robeco to measure the ESG credentials of 150 countries twice a year.
It primarily focuses on mid- to long-term factors that have an indirect (or sometimes even direct) impact on a government’s ability to implement reasonable economic policies to achieve a sustainable economic performance and generate sufficient revenues to service its debt. These factors are usually insufficiently considered in traditional sovereign debt assessments by the rating agencies. One of the best uses for the CSR is trying to find information that is not covered in and hence complementary to a country’s standard sovereign credit rating. If a country ranks higher in the CSR than its credit rating would suggest, it may present a buying opportunity for that nation’s sovereign bonds.
In making its assessment, the CSR gives precise scores on a wide range of ESG metrics, from environmental aspects, human capital and gender equality, to standards of living, domestic stability and external threats. The December 2019 edition of the CSR more than doubled its scope, extending the number of countries reviewed from 65 to 150. It now looks at 23 developed economies and 127 emerging markets, making it the largest survey produced since it began in 2012.