Dutch asset management company Robeco is increasingly engaged in active dialogues with investee companies on behalf of its clients to stimulate better corporate governance and better conduct in social and environmental issues.
Being affiliated to the Carbon Disclosure Project helps Robeco gather climate change information and access it in a useful format. Danielle Zuiderwijk, Senior Engagement Specialist at Robeco said: “CDP helps us gather useful climate change information. We ask companies in which we invest to respond to CDP Information Requests. Our approach is complementary to the work of CDP and we contact companies directly and highlight the benefits of filling out the questionnaire. By facilitating a collaboration with other investors, which emphasizes to companies the importance of climate change information, CDP has been successful in obtaining and providing the industry with critical climate change data.”
The public availability of CDP’s data also enables Robeco to refer companies to the CDP website where they can see what their peers are disclosing.
Robeco uses the CDP data to assess the past performance and future plans of companies. Danielle Zuiderwijk said “We find the CDP data for many companies to be more comprehensive than the information provided in their annual reporting and we use it as a basis for our dialogue with companies.
“Opening a constructive dialogue with specific companies helps to make additional information available which is highly relevant for investors to make better informed investment decisions. Through this active dialogue Robeco aims for better conduct in environmental issues, such as, for example, adopting new policies on environmental issues and setting more ambitious targets in these areas. This will decrease the risks in these companies and will make Robeco’s investments on behalf of our clients more valuable in the long-term.”