Powerful new collaboration will streamline corporate sustainability reporting to inform investor ranking
As part of its annual corporate sustainability ranking process, RobecoSAM, the company behind the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI), produced with S&P Dow Jones Indices, will now ask public companies the same climate change questions as those developed over the past decade by CDP, provider of the only global environmental disclosure system and producer of the annual Climate Disclosure and Climate Performance Leadership Indexes (CDLI & CPLI). This collaboration will improve the comparability of sustainability data in the global market and will simplify the process for companies answering multiple requests for environmental information.
Specifically, to inform the climate change aspects of its annual Corporate Sustainability Assessment, RobecoSAM has aligned seven of its Climate Strategy questions with corresponding questions asked by CDP on behalf of 722 investors representing more than US$87 trillion. This will significantly reduce the workload for the 90% of DJSI participating companies which also respond to the request for climate change information through CDP.
CDP’s chief executive officer Paul Simpson says: “This is an important response to market demand. Both the business and investment communities have called for a more harmonized approach to sustainability reporting and for more comparable data. It will now be easier to incorporate climate risk, opportunity and governance into evaluations of corporate progress on sustainability. CDP and RobecoSAM are the de facto raters for business progress on climate change and sustainability and this development will bring high quality data together for use in the DJSI.”
Daniel Wild, head of research at RobecoSAM states: “We are natural partners given our mutual focus on sustainability issues that are financially material for investors who are focused on identifying innovative companies that are well-positioned for the long-term. In aligning our environmental data collection approaches we hope to lessen the burden on companies that currently have to submit similar data to both CDP and RobecoSAM.”
Further, to promote greater uptake and use of environmental disclosure, CDP and RobecoSAM are investigating additional areas of corporate environmental assessment to cooperate on and will leverage their networks to encourage more companies to complete both questionnaires. More than 4,100 companies use CDP to report their climate change strategies and impacts to investors and the disclosure rate among the world’s largest companies runs at 80%. RobecoSAM assesses the corporate sustainability of over 2,000 listed companies summing up to 60% of the world total market capitalization on a wide range of criteria.
Anne Sheehan, Director Corporate Governance at CalSTRS says: “CalSTRS applauds this new collaboration between CDP and RobecoSAM to streamline corporate reporting on climate change to investors. We believe this development will facilitate broader use of environmental data by investors consistent with CalSTRS’ longstanding efforts to raise awareness, address investment risks and capturing opportunities associated with environmental issues.”
CDP is an international, not-for-profit organization providing the only global system for companies and cities to measure, disclose, manage and share vital environmental information. CDP works with market forces, including 722 institutional investors with assets of US$87 trillion, to motivate companies to disclose their impacts on the environment and natural resources and take action to reduce them. CDP now holds the largest collection globally of primary climate change, water and forest risk commodities information and puts these insights at the heart of strategic business, investment and policy decisions. Please visit www.cdp.net or follow us @CDP to find out more.
RobecoSAM is an investment specialist focused exclusively on Sustainability Investing. Its offerings comprise asset management, indices, private equity, engagement, impact analysis and sustainability assessments as well as benchmarking services. Asset management capabilities include a range of ESG-integrated investment and theme strategies (in listed and private equity) catering to institutional asset owners and financial intermediaries across the globe. Together with S&P Dow Jones Indices, RobecoSAM publishes the globally recognized Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes (DJSI). Based on its Corporate Sustainability Assessment, an annual ESG analysis of more than 2,000 listed companies, RobecoSAM has compiled one of the world’s most comprehensive sustainability databases. RobecoSAM’s proprietary research and sustainability insight, gained through its direct contact with companies, are fully integrated into the company’s investment solutions.
RobecoSAM is a member of the global pure-play asset manager Robeco, which was established in 1929 and offers a broad range of investment products and services. Robeco also has a long tradition of practicing and advocating Sustainability Investing principles. RobecoSAM was founded in 1995 out of the conviction that a commitment to corporate sustainability enhances a company’s capacity to prosper, ultimately creating competitive advantages and stakeholder value. As a reflection of its own commitment to advocating sustainable investment practices, RobecoSAM is a signatory of the UNPRI and a member of Eurosif, ASrIA and Ceres. Headquartered in Zurich, RobecoSAM employs over 100 professionals. As of December 31, 2012, RobecoSAM’s assets under management, advice and license amounted to a total of amounted to a total of USD 11.4 billion.
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