All quantitative equities strategies offer a portfolio with a RobecoSAM score that is higher than the index, voting and engagement services and are subject to the Robeco exclusion policy. In addition to these elements, Robeco offers enhanced sustainability versions of all quantitative equities strategies. Given the increasing coverage and availability of sustainability data, enhanced sustainability integration very much lends itself for quantitative investment approaches. Our sustainable quant strategies take ESG integration a step further in three ways:
We exclude stocks from our universe that we see as inappropriate from an ethical point of view, and call this approach values-based investing. We believe that some products and business practices are harmful to society in a way that makes them incompatible with a sustainable investment strategy. The criteria reflect a combination of broad ethical norms resulting in avoiding firms exposed to the following controversial sectors or business practices: child labor, alcohol, tobacco, gambling, weapons manufacturing, military contracting, adult entertainment and thermal coal.
The portfolio construction algorithm is specifically built in such a way that it ensures a sustainable profile of the portfolio. The RobecoSAM Smart ESG score of the portfolio must be 20% higher than the market index. This ESG score focuses on long-term sustainability themes that are relevant to each industry. The portfolio construction tool selects stocks that improve the sustainability profile of the portfolio. Companies with a higher sustainability score have a greater probability of being selected.
When constructing the portfolio we also target an environmental footprint of the portfolio that is smaller than the market index footprint. Robeco shares a vision with a growing number of investors that investment portfolio should restrict environmental impacts. Using data from the Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA), we measure the portfolio’s footprint on four key quantitative environmental indicators: greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, water usage and waste generation. These indicators must score at least 20% lower than the market index for most our sustainable quantitative equities variants, while for Emerging Markets Sustainable Active Equities, this percentage is even higher: 30%.