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Robeco opens up its Sustainable Investing IP with launch of new SI initiative

Today Robeco launches its Sustainable Investing Open Access Initiative. This means that Robeco is opening up its Sustainable Investing Intellectual Property. As a first step of this Open Access initiative, clients and a group of academics  will gain free access via a portal to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)  scores of companies Robeco has generated using its proprietary SDG framework.

Robeco started developing its SDG Framework in 2017. The framework allows Robeco to quantify an investible company’s contribution to the SDGs. Data quality is one of the biggest challenges in sustainable investing. Robeco is convinced that the industry should work together to improve data and define standards. With the SI Open Access Initiative, Robeco aims to make a significant contribution to this.

Robeco’s commitment to a more sustainable world also means opening up its intellectual property to a broader audience to help clients make better informed sustainable decisions. Robeco actively seeks for feedback on the data, and is in an ongoing dialogue with its stakeholders, including academics, clients and SI experts. As a result, Robeco expects that this initiative will further enhance the robustness of the data and our methodology. All of this with the aim to contribute and be part of the move towards a more sustainable world. At a later stage, Robeco will also make other SI data and IP available to a broader set of stakeholders.

The SDG framework is used for many of Robeco’s client portfolios. These include some of the world’s biggest asset owners like UBS Global Wealth Management, BBVA AM and pensioenfonds ING, who are all keen supporters of Robeco’s SI Open Access initiative.

Victor Verberk, CIO Fixed Income and Sustainability: “This initiative is right in line with our firm belief in a data and research-driven approach. We were among the first asset managers to construct an effective framework for mapping and measuring SDG contributions that can be applied across investment portfolios. Traditionally asset managers tend to protect intellectual property and use it to add value to their proprietary investment processes. Yet the massive challenges our planet is facing require a different approach. We need to join forces to address these challenges properly. By opening up our SDG data to a broader audience we aim to contribute to improving quality and standards setting across the industry.”

Carola van Lamoen, Head of Sustainable Investing: “We consider this is a landmark move which will bring the sustainable investing industry a step further. Granting clients and academics access to our SDG data and methodology is only the first step. With SDG data clients can measure progress over time against sustainable objectives, steer on exposure to SDGs, and report on them. Robeco is a research-driven investor. We base our investment decisions on empirical research and believe that this also applies to sustainable investing. Furthermore, by publishing our SDG scores we aim to enable academics to develop new insights. We therefore invite them to actively share their feedback on our SDG data and methodology.

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