Cutting carbon footprints remains an important topic for Robeco, particularly following the launch of our own climate change policy in 2017. Robeco supports the targets for lowering harmful greenhouse gas emissions globally, as set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement.
One focus area was targeting the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations. In May, Robeco was a signatory to the 2018 Global Investor Statement, signed by 288 investors from around the world, “calling on the governments of the G7 nations to increase efforts to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, accelerate private sector investment in the low carbon transition and commit themselves to improving climate-related financial reporting.”
The statement was delivered in advance of the G7 Summit on 8-9 June 2018. Similar statements were issued in 2016 and 2017 and provided a strong signal of the investor community to the G7 nations
Next to our policy efforts on climate change, we gave our opinion on the EU Action Plan for Sustainable Finance via the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA).
In July 2018, Robeco supplied feedback to EFAMA regarding a letter it was sending to the European Commission about disclosures relating to sustainable investments and sustainability risks. This included amending Directive 2016/2341. While this may seem rather technical, the final plan has the potential to introduce sustainable finance on a level playing field across the EU, and is a major debating point for sustainable investors.
Robeco’s comments focused on the need to be positive, clear and not too conservative about promoting sustainable finance. Whilst we agree that investment using environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors should not become a box-ticking exercise, we also believe that the implementation of sustainable finance is unlikely to be a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.
We further encouraged EFAMA to be more ambitious in its recommendations. For example, the letter recommends that the asset management industry can contribute to a more sustainable economy by “engaging with companies in their portfolios to better understand the management of their ESG risks and opportunities.” Robeco is convinced that engagement should also aim to improve overall ESG conduct.
Support for making palm oil production more sustainable led to Robeco participating in the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) annual event in August. The industry faces issues related to deforestation, labor rights and has a substantial carbon footprint. We have engaged for many years with palm oil companies and will step up our efforts in 2019.
Robeco wrote to the RSPO, backing its moves to strengthen its standards for certifying the sustainable production of palm oil, a certification process that undergoes public review every five years. The final letter was sent to the RSPO Secretariat, its Principles and Criteria Task Force, and workshop consultation leads.
Although a handful of firms are already engaging directly with the RSPO via calls and meetings, major updates by letter will be shared with signatories as they occur. This is in addition to a high-level press release that was sent in August.
On 15 November, the RSPO ratified and adopted a certification standard aimed at universally strengthening social development, environmental protection and economic prosperity across the sustainable palm oil value chain. The RSPO has also developed an additional and separate standard specifically geared toward independent smallholders which is due for ratification in November 2019.
Finally, regulation has an important role to play in promoting sustainability, and therefore Robeco follows initiatives from the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), an association of bodies that regulate the world’s securities and futures markets. Members are typically primary securities and/or futures regulators in a national jurisdiction, or the main financial regulator from each country.
Collaboratively with many other investors, we wrote to IOSCO in April to express our support for its review of ESG issues in two of its committees. We called on the group to endorse the Sustainable Stock Exchanges’ Model Guidance on Reporting ESG Information to Investors as a consistent principles-based approach to disclosing sustainability issues.
We also asked IOSCO to engage with the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) in their ongoing sustainability work, including examining metrics as a starting point towards developing a minimum, baseline level of disclosure. Finally, we sought IOSCO’s endorsement of the Financial Stability Board (FSB) Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations as a means for a deeper examination of climate-related disclosures.
The Robeco Capital Growth Funds have not been registered under the United States Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, nor or the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended. None of the shares may be offered or sold, directly or indirectly in the United States or to any U.S. Person (within the meaning of Regulation S promulgated under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”)). Furthermore, Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. (Robeco) does not provide investment advisory services, or hold itself out as providing investment advisory services, in the United States or to any U.S. Person (within the meaning of Regulation S promulgated under the Securities Act).
This website is intended for use only by non-U.S. Persons outside of the United States (within the meaning of Regulation S promulgated under the Securities Act who are professional investors, or professional fiduciaries representing such non-U.S. Person investors. By clicking “I Agree” on our website disclaimer and accessing the information on this website, including any subdomain thereof, you are certifying and agreeing to the following: (i) you have read, understood and agree to this disclaimer, (ii) you have informed yourself of any applicable legal restrictions and represent that by accessing the information contained on this website, you are not in violation of, and will not be causing Robeco or any of its affiliated entities or issuers to violate, any applicable laws and, as a result, you are legally authorized to access such information on behalf of yourself and any underlying investment advisory client, (iii) you understand and acknowledge that certain information presented herein relates to securities that have not been registered under the Securities Act, and may be offered or sold only outside the United States and only to, or for the account or benefit of, non-U.S. Persons (within the meaning of Regulation S under the Securities Act), (iv) you are, or are a discretionary investment adviser representing, a non-U.S. Person (within the meaning of Regulation S under the Securities Act) located outside of the United States and (v) you are, or are a discretionary investment adviser representing, a professional non-retail investor. Access to this website has been limited so that it shall not constitute directed selling efforts (as defined in Regulation S under the Securities Act) in the United States and so that it shall not be deemed to constitute Robeco holding itself out generally to the public in the U.S. as an investment adviser. Nothing contained herein constitutes an offer to sell securities or solicitation of an offer to purchase any securities in any jurisdiction. We reserve the right to deny access to any visitor, including, but not limited to, those visitors with IP addresses residing in the United States.
This website has been carefully prepared by Robeco. The information contained in this publication is based upon sources of information believed to be reliable. Robeco is not answerable for the accuracy or completeness of the facts, opinions, expectations and results referred to therein. Whilst every care has been taken in the preparation of this website, we do not accept any responsibility for damage of any kind resulting from incorrect or incomplete information. This website is subject to change without notice. The value of the investments may fluctuate. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. If the currency in which the past performance is displayed differs from the currency of the country in which you reside, then you should be aware that due to exchange rate fluctuations the performance shown may increase or decrease if converted into your local currency. For investment professional use only. Not for use by the general public.