Robeco is a strong proponent of responsible investment in the belief that sustainability is a long-term force for change in markets, countries and companies, and can have an important impact on future performance. As a part of this proposition, the aim of Robeco's Active Ownership activities is be active owners of the companies in our portfolios, by voting and engaging with companies with the aim of maximizing the long-term value of their investments. The outcomes of our engagement efforts are communicated to our analysts, portfolio managers and clients, enabling them to incorporate this information into their investment decisions.
Our overall approach to engagement is based on:
- Shareholder engagement with companies in our clients' portfolios
- SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound) engagement objectives and progress tracked quarterly
- Promoting market best practices through active membership in collaborative platforms such as ICGN, PRI, Interfaith Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), the Carbon Disclosure Project, ACGA and Eumedion
- Providing detailed confidential engagement reports directly to the client, as well as reports that are suitable for distribution/reporting to the client's own stakeholders (i.e. pension fund beneficiaries)
Robeco separates its engagement activities into two distinct programs:
Value Engagement: A proactive approach focusing on material sustainability themes that have the most potential to create value for shareholders. These themes are selected in close cooperation with Robeco's analysts and portfolio managers located around the globe, based on the financial materiality analysis conducted by RobecoSAM's sustainability investing research team. Client input is another important factor taken into account in the theme selection process, which is actively sought during our annual active ownership client panel. By discussing sustainability risks and opportunities with companies and providing them with insights into investors' expectations of corporate behavior, we encourage them to adopt better practices. We believe companies with sustainable business practices can create a competitive advantage and are more likely to be successful over the long run, ultimately contributing to the risk-return profile of their securities.
Enhanced Engagement: Focuses on companies involved in controversial behavior. This includes companies that severely and structurally breach principles of the United Nations Global Compact in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption, and/or the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. In addition, Robeco’s policy on palm oil also includes enhanced engagement as a means to increase the percentage of RSPO certified palm oil production. In case the engagement is unsuccessful, the respective company will become candidate for exclusion from the investment universe of Robeco. Building on our founding philosophy that every investment strategy should be research driven, we undertake extensive research for every engagement we undertake, always focusing on the most material ESG factors which drive long term company performance. We do this in that belief that engagement with companies in which we and our clients invest will have a positive impact on both long-term investment results and on society.
Please read more in our engagement policy and our stewardship policy: