ESG is an important part of DSM’s investment process and is fully integrated into its stock selection, monitoring, and selling processes. DSM assigns a proprietary ESG score to every company that it researches. Scores range from 0 to 10 (with 10 being the best), and DSM utilizes MSCI’s ESG Ratings as a starting point to make adjustments to ESG scores across five key categories: environment, customers, human rights / community, labor rights / supply chain, and governance. These categories are then broken down further into over 20 subcategories. Each Analyst/Portfolio Manager at DSM completes in-depth research on ESG issues impacting a company and assigns scores using a consistent in-house methodology. DSM stores all ESG communications and developments in centralized folders so that companies’ ESG histories and DSM’s ESG activities are available to all Analyst/Portfolio Managers. In addition to weekly updates from MSCI, DSM’s investment team utilizes in-depth ongoing monitoring to identify ESG issues not fully captured by MSCI.
ESG scores are included in DSM’s internal summaries and have an impact on DSM’s investment decisions. ESG considerations and the implementation of ESG scores and in-house research have both kept DSM from investing in certain companies and have led to DSM selling portfolio holdings.
At a client’s request, DSM can apply exclusionary restrictions that accommodate responsible investment considerations and restrictions specified by a client that may generally prohibit the purchase of certain securities, either individually or by region, sector or both.