Overview of Yearbook articles

Each year we publish a series of articles to accompany the industry insights contained in the Yearbook. This year’s edition of The Sustainability Yearbook looks at how RobecoSAM’s investment professionals leverage data from the Corporate Sustainability Assessment to develop cutting-edge Sustainability Investing solutions that meet investors’ sustainability objectives, explores how companies are valuing their environmental and social impacts, and makes the business case for adopting a corporate policy to protect human rights.

Knowledge for the ages: Making the most out of sustainability data

While the Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA) is best known for the aggregate sustainability scores that determine membership in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) and the Sustainability Yearbook, RobecoSAM has increasingly moved towards identifying subsets of data to generate innovative product ideas. Manjit Jus, Head of Sustainability Application and Operations, offers three examples of how RobecoSAM has leveraged its CSA data to provide customized investment solutions targeting clients’ specific sustainability objectives.

Manjit Jus

Head of Sustainability Application
and Operations

Corporations and human rights: Is the elephant finally leaving the room?

Most everyone can agree that every person is born with a set of inalienable universal human rights that must be protected and respected. However, there is less consensus on how companies should address a topic that until recently has been perceived as solely the duty of the state. With the endorsement of the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights, companies have begun to recognize that they too have an important role in ensuring their activities do not have a negative impact on human rights. Sustainability Investing Analyst Melissa Castillo Spinoso highlights the business case for protecting human rights and explains how RobecoSAM evaluates companies’ approach to addressing human rights issues.

Melissa Castillo Spinoso

Sustainability Investing Analyst

Impact: What’s it worth?

Impact valuation is an emerging concept. Although companies understand the need to move beyond environmental footprinting and onto valuing their societal impact, many are still struggling to determine what they should be measuring and how, and how they can go about converting this to financial terms. Sustainability Investing Analyst Rashila Kerai explains why impact valuation is important to both companies and investors, and highlights some of the key findings from this year’s new Impact Measurement and Valuation criterion.

Rashila Kerai

Sustainability Investing Analyst

Business and human rights: Aligning corporate behavior with societal priorities

 Investors, consumers and society at large have been paying closer attention to companies’ social impacts, particularly in the area of human rights. And over the last few years, a number of frameworks and initiatives have emphasized companies’ role in respecting human rights. We spoke to Dante Pesce, Member of the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights, to find out how much progress companies have made in this area, where there is room for improvement, and to discuss the role investors can play in encouraging companies to respect human rights.

Dante Pesce

Member of the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights;

Founder and Executive Director, VINCULAR Center for Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development at Catholic University of Valparaiso, Chile

2016 annual Corporate Sustainability Assessment

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