The year saw a record level of sustainable assets under management recorded in 2019, with some notable milestones and achievements. It marked the 20th anniversary of launching our first sustainable equities fund in 1999. A lot has changed since then, and as the sustainable investing capabilities of Robeco have grown exponentially, we decided to reclassify our range of strategies to give clients a clearer choice in the level of sustainability they prefer to adopt.
This led to the creation of three categories of fund: Sustainability Inside, Sustainability Focused, and Impact Investing. Assets under management in SI Inside strategies grew to EUR 132 billion, while Sustainability Focus and Impact Investing strategy assets reached EUR 16.5 billion. Net inflows from clients for whom sustainability is deemed to be important in their manager selection criteria increased by 50% between 2018 and 2019.
“These are encouraging numbers, as in the journey towards more sustainable global markets, the reallocation of assets towards more sustainable strategies will make a difference,” says Peter Ferket, Chief Investment Officer of Robeco, in his introduction to the report.
“Our investment teams are also continuing to seek ways to show the impact that environmental, social, and governance (ESG) integration has on our investment decision making and performance, to enable us to prove that it works. For example, during the year we quantified the performance impact of ESG integration in our Global Stars fund, showing that key ESG factors explained about 20% of the fund’s outperformance over this time period.”
“The year also marked the 15th anniversary of the founding of our Active Ownership team, and as can be seen in this extensive report, the drive for using voting and engagement to further the ESG credentials of companies has never been more powerful.”
“As the role of stewardship and what is expected of us by clients grows ever more prominent, we believe strongly in acting as responsible stewards of the assets we manage on behalf of our clients across the globe. We do this in the belief that this adds value for our clients and other stakeholders in the long term.”
For Robeco’s Active Ownership team, 2019 saw record levels of activity, along with four new engagement themes. Robeco exercised its right to vote at almost 6,000 shareholder meetings in 2019, and conducted 255 engagement cases with companies in our clients’ portfolios. New engagement themes that we started to address were single-use plastic, the social impact of artificial intelligence, digital innovation in healthcare, and unsustainable palm oil.
“Climate change will remain a core topic in our engagements,” adds Carola van Lamoen, Head of the Active Ownership team. “Continuous discussions with companies on their decarbonization efforts are vital to combat global warming.
“We also embraced a game-changing innovation in our new theme aiming to stop unsustainable palm oil production by partnering with Satelligence, a satellite imagery data company that monitors deforestation and other impacts of land use.”
“Meanwhile, it is important to stay abreast of newly emerging sustainability priorities. Recent wildfires have thrust the protection of biodiversity into focus globally. Increasing plastic pollution is equally a cause for concern, and is the subject of a new engagement theme launched last year.”
“Businesses are also beginning to rethink their overall place in society, and the ever clearer need for them to contribute to socioeconomic improvement, alongside the generation of financial returns.”
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.