International asset manager Robeco announced that it will begin providing sustainability information for all of its investment products, with information covering themes such as climate, net zero, biodiversity and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) being added to product factsheets and webpages.
Factsheets are routinely used by asset managers to disclose product information such as performance, fees, the top ten invested companies, sector allocation and who the portfolio managers are. Robeco has reported on the sustainability characteristics sustainable and impact-aligned strategies, and will now add this reporting to over 100 factsheets and the associated product pages on its websites.
Robeco said that the move follows calls for greater disclosure of portfolio sustainability factors. Reported metrics will include issues that the firm said clients deem important, such as the portfolio’s environmental footprint, its alignment with achieving the SDGs, levels of engagement, any exclusions, and the product’s ESG rating by external data providers such as Sustainalytics.
This enhanced sustainability disclosure follows the integration of sustainability data (including engagement results) into Robeco’s data architecture and reporting structures. The company said the project was developed over a number of years and involves cooperation across the internal investments value chain.
Masja Zandbergen, Head of Sustainability Integration at Robeco said the new approach avoids “cherry picking” metrics that make an investment look good relative to benchmarks but may not accurately reflect the investment’s overall sustainability. Zandbergen said:
“Providing sustainability information for (sustainable) products that actually steer on this information in their investment process is a logical step…. We decided that providing transparency on sustainability characteristics must prevail. We do not want to be seen as cherry picking. This also meant that we needed to add additional information pointing this out to clients, and referring them to the documentation released under the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) which clearly shows all the binding elements for the product.”
Graphics were created by ESGenius, Robeco’s proprietary sustainability reporting tool. Each investment product falls into one of 11 different combinations of sustainability visuals depending on the investment strategy and asset type. The visuals will start on page 3 of the factsheets following the more routine portfolio information.