united kingdomen
Climate change and Covid-19 lead Stewardship Report

Climate change and Covid-19 lead Stewardship Report

29-03-2021 | Active Ownership Report
A tumultuous year that saw sustainable investing become mainstream is reviewed in Robeco’s Stewardship Report for 2020.
  • Victor  Verberk
    Victor
    Verberk
    CIO Fixed Income and Sustainability
  • Carola van Lamoen
    Carola
    van Lamoen
    Head of Sustainable Investing

Speed read

  • Rise of SI to become mainstream takes center stage in report
  • Climate change, biodiversity and social risks are main focus areas
  • Newly established SI Center of Expertise drives stewardship progress

The introduction of climate-related investment products, a string of engagement successes, and Robeco’s response to Covid-19 are among the topics discussed in the annual report.

While the coronavirus pandemic dominated the world stage, Robeco’s long-standing Active Ownership team – now part of the newly created Sustainable Investing Center of Expertise – continued to drive behavioral change in companies and countries, and help clients meet their goals.

Perhaps the real highlight was the fact that the response to Covid-19 contributed to sustainable investing becoming a mainstream style for the first time.

“The sustainable investing and stewardship landscape moved rapidly in 2020, building momentum and drawing unprecedented levels of attention from investors, companies, regulators and society alike,” says Victor Verberk, Chief Investment Officer for Fixed Income and Sustainability, in the foreword to the report.

Join the webinar on Active Ownership themes and trends - April 22
Join the webinar on Active Ownership themes and trends - April 22
Register now

Vision and mission

“At Robeco, we knew it was only a matter of time before sustainable investing went mainstream. Having accumulated over 20 years of experience in offering sustainable products, our vision and mission embody Robeco’s core belief that sustainable investing is better investing.”

“Climate change took center stage as the most significant systemic ESG risk, and Robeco redoubled its efforts to meet the challenge. Through our commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions across all our assets under management by 2050, the further development of our Climate Change Policy, and significant engagement successes, we made a clear statement that investors cannot fall behind in the race to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.”

Robeco has taken a lead in meeting this challenge by becoming the first asset manager in the world to launch Paris-aligned fixed income strategies, also creating a Paris-Aligned Benchmark against which its performance can be judged.

Biodiversity task force

“We know there are even bigger challenges on the horizon,” says Carola van Lamoen, Head of Sustainable Investing. “Loss of biodiversity is potentially a more severe threat than climate change in the long term, and requires frontrunners in the investment community to step up now.”

“That is why we signed the Finance for Biodiversity Pledge in 2020, committing to setting timebound targets for managing biodiversity impacts. Our new internal biodiversity task force will lead the way, while our Active Ownership team continues the engagement on biodiversity we kicked off last year.”

The report also outlines Robeco’s policy engagement efforts on biodiversity. Engagement with policymakers is an emerging form of stewardship and of critical importance in overcoming the challenges of biodiversity loss.

Climate investing: from urgency to solutions
Climate investing: from urgency to solutions
Read more

Responsible labor practices

Still, the response to Covid-19 remained the major feature of what was a year like no other in living memory. “The defining feature of the year, Covid-19, reminded our industry that the ‘S’ in ESG is there for a reason,” says Verberk. “The impact that the pandemic had on workers called for a renewed focus on resilient supply chains and respect for labor rights.”

Robeco’s engagement specialists present the financial materiality of engagement on labor and supply chain topics in the publication. In parallel, Robeco’s SI thought leaders shed light on how stewardship on social issues supports the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

“Our engagement program will continue to tackle these topics head on, buoyed by new momentum from investors globally,” Verberk says. “There is no recovery without sustainability – but whether we ultimately emerge stronger remains to be seen. Robeco is committed to playing its part as a sustainable investor.”

Logo

Disclaimer

Please read this important information before proceeding further. It contains legal and regulatory notices relevant to the information contained on this website.

The information contained in the Website is NOT FOR RETAIL CLIENTS - The information contained in the Website is solely intended for professional investors, defined as investors which (1) qualify as professional clients within the meaning of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID), (2) have requested to be treated as professional clients within the meaning of the MiFID or (3) are authorized to receive such information under any other applicable laws. The value of the investments may fluctuate. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investors may not get back the amount originally invested. Neither Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. nor any of its affiliates guarantees the performance or the future returns of any investments. 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.

In the UK, Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. (“ROBECO”) only markets its funds to institutional clients and professional investors. Private investors seeking information about ROBECO should visit our corporate website www.robeco.com or contact their financial adviser. ROBECO will not be liable for any damages or losses suffered by private investors accessing these areas.

In the UK, ROBECO Funds has marketing approval for the funds listed on this website, all of which are UCITS funds. ROBECO is authorized by the AFM and subject to limited regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details about the extent of our regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority are available from us on request.

Many of the protections provided by the United Kingdom regulatory framework may not apply to investments in ROBECO Funds, including access to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and the Financial Ombudsman Service. No representation, warranty or undertaking is given as to the accuracy or completeness of the information on this website.

If you are not an institutional client or professional investor you should therefore not proceed. By proceeding please note that we will be treating you as a professional client for regulatory purposes and you agree to be bound by our terms and conditions.

If you do not accept these terms and conditions, as well as the terms of use of the website, please do not continue to use or access any pages on this website.

I Disagree