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Sustainable investing
Making better-informed investment decisions

Sustainable investing

We integrate ESG (environmental, social and governance) criteria into the majority of our investment processes, for fundamental and quantitative strategies over a range of asset classes. We’re convinced that this approach leads to better-informed investment decisions and is therefore vital in creating value for our clients.
Navigating the ESG labyrinth
Navigating the ESG labyrinth
In this handy guide, we share the knowledge and experience we have gained from decades of sustainable investing.
05-02-2020 | Insight
Exclusions may simply be transferring a problem
Exclusions may simply be transferring a problem
Do exclusions work?
03-02-2020 | Research
Podcast: It’s time asset managers make money talk
Podcast: It’s time asset managers make money talk
If we start investing much more towards the long term, and to sustainable solutions, things will go very, very quickly, says Robeco CEO Gilbert Van Hassel.
22-01-2020 | Podcast

One of the first in sustainability integration

Back in the 1990s, we were one of the first asset managers to see the potential of sustainability as a way of enhancing investment returns for our clients. With this principal aim in mind, we integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) information gained from leading sustainability research into our investment processes, and actively engage with the companies in our portfolios.
Glossary
Glossary
of the sustainability language
Read more

We see sustainability as a long-term force for change in markets, countries and companies. This means that we believe that it can have an important impact on future performance. So in our investment processes, we treat sustainability just like any other value driver, such as company financials or market momentum. We are convinced that this leads to better-informed investment decisions.

25 years
25 years
of access to leading research
SI research library

We have access to research from leading sustainability specialists, such as our affiliated company, RobecoSAM. We are particularly interested in materiality: which ESG elements can impact companies’ financial performance and which don’t. This enables us to focus on the information that is most relevant to our investment performance. After all, our aim is first and foremost to achieve good investment returns for our clients. At Robeco, we regularly publish articles, white papers, engagement case studies and academic research on sustainability.

200+
200+
companies that we maintain an active dialogue with
Voting & engagement

A dedicated team of engagement specialists maintains an active dialogue with some 200 companies a year on financially material themes that we identify in consultation with our investors. The aim is to successfully influence corporate behavior. They also vote at around 5,000 shareholder annual general meetings. Robeco is a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Investing (PRI), which require asset managers to be active owners and incorporate ESG factors into their ownership policies and practices.

How we voted Shareholder meetings Active Ownership Report

ESG integration across asset classes

We can tailor our ESG approach to our various strategies. In 2019, PRI (Principles for Responsible Investment) gave us the highest A+ rating for most of them. Our fixed income strategies are leading in their asset class, using ESG mainly to avoid risk. Our global equity strategies quantify ESG’s impact on valuations, while our quant equity portfolios ensure a minimum level of sustainability.
PRI rating
PRI rating
Excellent scores

In our equity strategies our analysts quantify the impact of ESG criteria on a company’s valuation. In doing so they focus on the most material issues that can affect the company’s value drivers, such as its sales growth and profit margins. They then analyze the impact of these elements on the company and, based on this assessment, adjust the company’s valuation.

All of our quantitative equity portfolios’ sustainability scores must be higher than their benchmark or reference index. We aim to achieve this without affecting the risk-return profiles. The strategies use RobecoSAM’s Smart ESG scoring system, which aims to avoid undesired biases in portfolio, (such as a permanent regional tilt to Europe, just because ESG disclosures are more developed there). The scoring system also assigns a heavier weight to those ESG criteria with more predictive power of future returns.
Ranking
Ranking
of countries on sustainability
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In our fixed income strategies, we integrate sustainability into the analysis of both government and credit bonds. In our government bond strategies, we use a Country Sustainability Ranking as an 'early-warning system' that aims to spot problems and opportunities in countries well before they are reflected in spreads or ratings. In our credit strategies we integrate company-specific ESG criteria into all our analyses. As is the case for our equity processes, our materiality framework is the basis of ESG integration.

Part of a growing movement

Sustainability investing is growing rapidly. While Europe remains firmly in the lead, other regions are following. An increasing number of investors are committing to universal codes related to sustainability investing, such as the Principles for Responsible Investment. ESG considerations have a significant, quantifiable impact on investment decisions.
As a signatory of the Dutch SDG Investing Agenda, Robeco is committed to achieving the SDGs, as we consider them to be catalytic drivers for change. We are involved with various initiatives that investigate how the investment industry can contribute to their realization. Our commitment to sustainability investing is reflected in our endorsement of numerous independent and broadly accepted codes of conduct and principles. Besides a PRI signatory, we are a participant in the United Nations Global Compact, and a member of the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN). We have also signed several local stewardship codes, such as the UK and Japan Stewardship Codes.
129
129
billion euro ESG-integrated assets (as of 30 September 2019)
Corporate Responsibility
There is often debate about the extent to which asset managers actually integrate ESG into their investment processes. At Robeco, this isn’t just a box-ticking exercise: ESG criteria can have a significant impact on our investment decisions. In our credit strategies, for example, ESG elements influence our fundamental view of individual companies in over 30% of cases. And in our global equity portfolios, ESG elements account for on average 5% of the stock’s target price.
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Disclaimer

This page is intended for US prospects, clients and investors only and includes information about the capabilities, staffing and history of RIAM US and its participating affiliates, which may include information on strategies not yet available in the US. SEC regulations are applicable only to clients, prospects and investors of RIAM US. Robeco BV, Robeco HK and Robeco SH are considered a “participating affiliate” of RIAM US and some of their employees are “associated persons” of RIAM US as per relevant SEC no-action guidance. Employees identified as associated persons of RIAM US perform activities directly or indirectly related to the investment advisory services provided by RIAM US. In those situations, these individuals are deemed to be acting on behalf of IUAM, a US SEC registered investment adviser.

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