02-10-2023 · Visie

Beyond confusion: Principles for SI ratings and an Open Access SDG score

Robeco has used environmental, social and governance (ESG) ratings along with the scores that calculate contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for many years. ESG ratings are used to avoid sustainability risks and seize opportunities, while Robeco’s SDG scores help align portfolios with positive impact.


  • Jan Anton van Zanten - SDG Strategist

    Jan Anton van Zanten

    SDG Strategist

How useful or accurate these scores are in pursuing sustainable investment opportunities that make a difference is an evolving process that has been the subject of much debate. We have put this to the test by including our SDG Framework in our SI Open Access Initiative. In this way, we share the SDG scores of over 12,000 companies with clients and academics, offering them the ability to comment on these scores and use them in their investment strategies and research, while also giving us valuable feedback.

Still, all these different ratings systems which can be overlapping and sometimes even contradictory can be confusing. A new academic paper written by Robeco’s SI specialists and external academics digs deeper into these issues and aims to slice through this confusion and advance the debate on sustainable investing ratings in two ways.

First, the paper delineates principles that can inform the development of sustainable investing ratings that aim to support sustainable development. Second, it introduces the Robeco SDG score as a novel metric of sustainability performance that corresponds to these principles. This SDG score is made available for free via SI Open Access in order to enable research, spark discussion, and further the state of sustainable investing ratings.

Download the paper here