Investing has always been subject to regulations, to protect end-investors and maintain standards in a multi-trillion-dollar industry. What is new is a much larger commitment to promoting sustainable investing, led by the EU’s Sustainable Finance Action Plan (SFAP).
The Plan particularly aims to meet the climate goals of the Paris Agreement and the European Green Deal. Part of it will be embodied in new rules such as the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), which clarifies what constitutes sustainable investment funds, and the Taxonomy Regulation, under which asset managers have to disclose what impact (positive and negative) they are making.
The SFAP has three main objectives. The first is to reorient capital flows towards sustainable investment and away from sectors contributing to global warming such as fossil fuels. Second, it aims to manage financial risks stemming from climate change, resource depletion, and environmental degradation. Finally, it seeks to foster transparency and long-termism in financial and economic activity.
The SFDR aims to make the sustainability profile of funds more comparable and better understood by end-investors, using pre-defined metrics for ESG characteristics used in the investment process. As its name suggests, much more emphasis will be placed on disclosure, including new rules that must identify any harmful impact made by the investee companies.
Robeco has committed a dedicated project team of over 40 people to embed all aspects of the SFAP, which will come into effect in phases. The first important deadline of 10 March 2021 for the categorization of funds and disclosures required in fund prospectuses and on websites passed without a hitch.
The SFAP was first laid out by the European Commission in March 2018 in response to the landmark signing of the Paris Agreement in December 2015, and to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development earlier in 2015, which created the Sustainable Development Goals. It is also aligned with the European Green Deal, which aims to see the EU carbon neutral by 2050.
The scope of the regulation is very broad and applies to asset managers, pension funds, EU banks and insurers, among others. A very visible and impactful element in the new regulation is the classification of funds and mandates in three categories, as described in Articles 6, 8 and 9 of the SFDR.
Adverse impact statements will be required from July 2021. Every asset manager will have to describe its due diligence policy on how it will take the principal adverse impacts of investee companies into account when making investment decisions. It must also describe the actions it is taking to mitigate these adverse impacts.
This will be monitored using a system of 64 adverse impact indicators, of which 18 will be mandatory to report, and 46 will be voluntary. While detailed requirements have only recently become available, Robeco has dedicated efforts to make sure it is prepared, for example by creating adverse impact prototype tooling to assess the impact of the regulation.
Another impactful element of the SFAP is the proposed EU taxonomy, which aims to create a harmonized understanding of what actually consitutes ‘green activities’. The EU has defined minimum criteria that economic activities should comply with in order to be considered environmentally sustainable.
In short, such activities should contribute substantially to one or more of the following six environmental objectives: climate change mitigation and adaption, protecting marine and water resources, transitioning to a circular economy, preventing pollution, and protecting or restoring biodiversity and ecosystems.
This information is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as an offer to sell or an invitation to buy any securities or products, nor as investment advice or recommendation.
The contents of this document have not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”). Robeco Singapore Private Limited holds a capital markets services license for fund management issued by the MAS and is subject to certain clientele restrictions under such license.
An investment will involve a high degree of risk, and you should consider carefully whether an investment is suitable for you.
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(i) An accredited investor; (ii) a corporation the sole business of which is to hold investments and the entire share capital of which is owned by one or more individuals, each of whom is an accredited investor; (iii) a trustee of a trust the sole purpose of which is to hold investments and each beneficiary of which is an individual who is an accredited investor; (iv) an officer or equivalent person of the person making the offer (such person being an entity) or a spouse, parent, brother, sister, son or daughter of that officer or equivalent person; or (v) a spouse, parent, brother, sister, son or daughter of the person making the offer (such person being an individual).
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You acknowledge that you have read these Terms and Conditions (“Terms”) prior to accessing the website located at www.robeco.com/sg (“Website”) and you agree to be bound by the Terms. If you do not agree to all of the Terms, you are not an authorised user and you should not use the Website. The Website is owned by Robeco Singapore Private Limited (company registration number: UEN. 201541306Z), which is licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”) pursuant to the Securities and Futures Act (Cap.289) (“SFA”) of Singapore, and is managed by Robeco Singapore Private Limited and/or its affiliates (collectively, as “Robeco”). The Website is intended for and should be accessed by institutional investors or accredited investors (as defined under Section 4A of the SFA) of Singapore. The Website is not directed to, or intended for distribution to or use by, any person or entity who is a citizen or resident of or located in any locality, state, country or other jurisdiction where such distribution, publication, availability or use would be contrary to law or regulation or which would subject the Robeco to any registration or licensing requirement within such jurisdiction. It is your responsibility to observe all applicable laws, rules and regulations of any relevant jurisdiction. The content contained in the Website is owned by Robeco and/or its information providers and is protected by applicable copyrights, trademarks, service marks, and/or other intellectual property rights. You may not copy, distribute, modify, post, frame or link the Website, including any text, graphics, video, audio, software code, user interface, design or logos. You may not distribute, modify, transmit, reuse, repost, or use the content of the Website for public or commercial use, including all text, images, audio and/or video. Robeco may terminate your access to the Website for any reason, without prior notice. Neither Robeco, nor any of its associates, nor any director, officer or employee accepts any liability whatsoever for any loss arising directly or indirectly from the access of the Website. You agree to indemnity and hold Robeco, its associates, directors, officers or employees harmless against any and all claims, losses, liability, costs and expenses arising from your use of the Website due to violation of the Terms. Robeco reserves the right to change, modify, add or remove any parts of the Terms at any time and for any reason. The Terms shall deemed to be effective immediately upon posting. The Terms shall be governed by, and shall be construed in accordance with, the law of Singapore.
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