Insight & Flash

Turn to the RobecoSAM Insight and RobecoSAM Flash to gain in-depth insights into key sustainability trends and guidance on long-term trends in Sustainability Investing.

Clash of the Titans: Amazon takes on US Healthcare

14-08-2018 | Insight & Flash

Clash of the Titans: The Bezos-Buffet-Dimon trio are targeting healthcare’s giants to eliminate waste, reduce costs and improve quality.

3 steps ahead in mapping, measuring, and monitoring the SDGs

31-05-2018 | Insight & Flash

We explain our method and framework for identifying and quantifying enterprise impact across SDGs, which can later be combined to determine SDG impact at the investment portfolio level.

Does Facebook need a Facelift?

31-05-2018 | Insight & Flash

Amidst the clamor surrounding data privacy, we shed some light on another emerging risk for the social media giant—mediating the negative impacts on users’ mental health and quality of life.

Micropollutants: Tiny particles with toxic potential

02-03-2018 | Insight & Flash

Micropollutants (MP) are the by-products of convenience in modern life. They are small chemical and biological compounds used in the millions of products produced by advanced economies. Conventional water treatment technologies are not designed to treat MP and their concentrations are increasing in ground waters and aquatic environments. Marine life are already suffering negative effects. Humans could follow.
Fortunately, cost-effective technologies exist.

Water in Emerging Markets - from challenges flow opportunities

01-03-2018 | Insight & Flash
  • Demographic changes are stressing global water supplies to alarming levels; emerging markets will be hardest hit
  • Water is a key catalyst in supporting global and local economic growth
  • Necessity is pushing innovation in new water treatment and re-use technologies across the globe 
  • Water’s impact across multiple SDGs makes it ideal for investors seeking to maximize sustainability impact

Accelerating to Impact: Advancing Sustainable Development Goals through Investing

25-10-2017 | Insight & Flash | Jacob Messina
  • Investing in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) connects financial returns with social, environmental, and economic contributions.
  • Current sustainability products make clear contributions to the SDGs.
  • SDGs will strengthen and enhance our approach to sustainable investing and offer new possibilities for product development.

RobecoSAM and Robeco have combined efforts to support the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a new framework for targeting actions and outcomes. The SDGs provide a unique opportunity to demonstrate our capacity and progress in understanding the underlying drivers of sustainability. Since the launch of the SDGs, we have been reviewing what they mean for our approach to sustainability investing. This paper describes the steps that we have taken to date, and some insight into our future plans.

RobecoSAM Smart ESG: heavy on ESG, light on Bias

27-09-2017 | Insight & Flash | Ruben Feldman

The rise of factor investing has led many investors to focus on stocks that display low volatility, value, momentum, quality or size. In parallel, the rise of sustainability investing has enabled investors to simultaneously chase companies with strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) credentials raising the question of whether ESG should be a factor in its own right.

At a recent Responsible Investor conference in London, Ruben Feldman, Senior Quantitative Analyst at RobecoSAM explains the inate biases of ESG scores and highlights RobecoSAM’s approach to isolating the “ESG factor” for better risk-adjusted returns.

Six Key ESG Issues for Energy Credits

23-08-2017 | Insight & Flash | Francis Condon, Frances Pang In his paper, Francis Condon, RobecoSAM’s Sustainability Research expert for the Oil & Gas industry and Frances Pang, Robeco Credit Analyst for Energy Sector investments, discuss why industry execs need to consider ESG factors as well as what ESG factors they consider to be the important for credit investments in the sector.

The 21st century utility

19-07-2017 | Insight & Flash | Roland Hengerer In his paper, “The 21st Century Utility”, Roland Hengerer, RobecoSAM’s Senior Sustainable Investment Analyst covering the utilities and energy sectors explains the threats posed by new players and new forces and what they will mean for investors.  Transformational evolution is hard but necessary for survival. Companies who embrace challenge, harness the power of change, and adapt their approach, will emerge as utilities fit for the future.

Avoiding unpleasant surprises - 11/2016

TeliaSonera. Telenor. MTN. All of these telecom companies have recently been involved in bribery and corruption incidents, resulting in huge fines and hurting financial performance. But how can investors anticipate such incidents? In our latest RobecoSAM Insight, Senior Analyst Matthias Müller and Robeco Credit Analyst Jankees Ruizeweld explain how they use governance data from the RobecoSAM Country Sustainability Ranking to map telecom companies' exposures to country governance risks. This in turn helps them anticipate which companies have a greater risk of becoming involved in governance-related incidents such as bribery and corruption, and which of these are best prepared to handle such incidents. Learn more about how country sustainability analysis can be integrated into company research.

Data privacy in the Information and Communication Technology sector - 02/2016

In an increasingly digitalized world, telecommunication services and IT companies are evermore associated with the collection of customer data and subsequent data privacy breaches. As a result, companies in the information and communication technology sector (ICT) sector are exposed to reputational, legal, and operational risks. At the same time, a proactive approach to managing privacy issues, by raising awareness or implementing different levels of privacy in products, for instance, can also result in opportunities. Therefore, investors should consider how companies manage privacy issues in their investments and engage with companies to help them understand best practices. Consequently, we believe that a roundtable with companies serves as an ideal engagement platform and allowing us to better understand issues surrounding data privacy from a company’s perspective.

Cybersecurity – companies, you are under attack - 02/2016

Cyber crime has increased dramatically over the last decade, resulting in huge reputational and financial losses for companies. To keep pace with increasingly sophisticated external attackers as well as internal security threats, companies must understand and manage their cyber risks. Likewise, investors need to understand the financial ramifications of cyber risks and assess which companies are best prepared to prevent data breaches and react quickly to cyber attacks. Read more to learn how RobecoSAM evaluates companies’ approach to cybersecurity.

The cost of CO2: the end of the free lunch? - 11/2015

Sustainability Investing Research Analyst Roland Hengerer outlines how both companies and investors will be faced with new risks and opportunities as carbon pricing schemes emerge.

Producing more with less - the age of automation - 11/2015

Productivity gains and new, alternative materials play an increasingly important role in global responses to the growing challenge of resource scarcity. The article “Producing more with less – the age of automation” illustrates the path to the “age of automation” in which such innovative industrial applications as robotics and 3D printing enable faster, cheaper design and production processes, a more efficient use of resources and the streamlining of complex value chains. Read more about the apparently unstoppable growth of these innovative applications.

Finding the sweet spot in Brazil’s sugar and ethanol industry - 06/2015

Thanks to its low production costs, Brazil’s sugar and ethanol industry has long attracted international investors. However, low global sugar prices have plunged the industry into a crisis. Yet crisis breeds opportunity, and sustainability is an important factor enabling investors to distinguish the winners from the losers. Jürgen Siemer, Senior Agribusiness Analyst at RobecoSAM’s Sustainability Investing research team discusses the main sustainability factors investors should watch for.

What are the financially material ESG factors in the pharma sector? - 03/2015

Which sustainability criteria are financially material in the pharmaceutical sector? How do we evaluate pharma companies on ESG factors? RobecoSAM Sustainability Research Analyst Jacob Messina and Robeco Healthcare Analyst Stijn Vanacker explain how RobecoSAM determines financial materiality of sustainability factors, and how this information is integrated into financial analysis.

Focus on financial materiality of sustainability - 02/2014

RobecoSAM has always focused on identifying financially relevant sustainability factors. In this interview, Christopher Greenwald, Co-Head of Sustainability Investing Research, explains how RobecoSAM determines the financial relevance of sustainability criteria.

Do sustainable countries foster sustainable companies? A Nordic case study - 11/2013

It is clear that Nordic countries are above average in terms of sustainability - but can the same be said for companies from the region? The Nordics are well known for their welfare systems, advanced democracies and sustainability policies, but how do these national level programs influence corporate level practices. In this month's RobecoSAM Insight, we explore the sustainability successes and challenges faced by companies located in the Nordic Region.

South Korea: From growth miracle to sustainable success story - 07/2013

South Korea’s remarkable economic progress has produced new social challenges. The country’s companies, many of which have emerged among the global leaders of sustainability, are helping address these challenges. A stable business environment and legislative support will help more South Korean companies move from being sustainability followers to sustainability leaders and innovators. The new RobecoSAM Insight explores South Korea’s potential for positive transformation.

Manufacturing enters a new dimension - 05/2013

With the recent proliferation of new printing technologies, 3D printing has captured the public’s imagination and is poised to transform manufacturing processes. Christophe Churet, Senior Analyst for the RobecoSAM Smart Materials Strategy, discusses some of the key benefits of 3D printing.

Weaving accountability into clothing supply chains – 06/2013

The tragic loss of life in a string of accidents in Bangladesh’s clothing factories has focused the world’s attention on supply chain issues in the textile industry. Analyst Elsa Ben Hamou Dassonville sheds light on how RobecoSAM evaluates clothing companies’ approach to managing their increasingly complex supply chains.

Unlocking sustainable value in emerging markets - 04/2013

ESG factors are particularly relevant in emerging markets, where growing social and environmental challenges demand a more sustainable approach to both business and economic development. Giving emerging market companies the opportunity to benchmark themselves against their global peers, while allowing investors to identify companies that are creating long-term shareholder value, can incentivize sustainable growth.

2013 Year of the Water Snake: Making a splash in China - 02/2013

As the year of the water snake slithers into 2013, it seems quite fitting that investors are once again shifting their focus toward water-related themes. Water shortages and water pollution are some of the most pressing environmental challenges faced by China. Learn how the Chinese government is tackling the water crisis and how this translates into opportunities for investors.