Asset management firm Robeco has launched its Sustainable Investing Open Access Initiative today, giving open access to 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, which allows the firm to quantify an investible company’s contribution to the SDGs.

The manager’s commitment to a more sustainable world means opening up its intellectual property to a broader audience to help clients make better informed sustainable decisions, it announced.

Robeco actively seeks for feedback on the data, and is in an ongoing dialogue with its stakeholders, including academics, clients and sustainable investing experts. As a result, Robeco expects that this initiative will further enhance the robustness of the data and its methodology, it added.

At a later stage, Robeco will also make other sustainable investing data and intellectual property 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 such as UBS Global Wealth Management, BBVA AM and pensioenfonds ING, which are all supporters of Robeco’s SI Open Access initiative, the firm stated.

Robeco SDG framework

Robeco’s SDG framework: The Robeco SDG Framework provides an objective, consistent, and replicable approach towards assessing positive and negative  SDG contributions within an investment portfolio. Using a three-step approach the framework investigates to what extent a company positively and/or negatively impacts each of the SDGs, whereby impacts may range from highly negative (-3) to highly positive (+3) impact.

Victor Verberk, chief investment officer fixed income and sustainability, said: “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.”

He said that 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,” Verbeck added.

Carola van Lamoen, head of sustainable investing, added: “With SDG data clients can measure progress over time against sustainable objectives, steer on exposure to SDGs, and report on them.”

She added: “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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