The purpose of the collaboration is to increase the transparency and investor relevance of its research by sharing selected results of their annual CSA-benchmark, the basis for selecting companies for the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, with the global investment community. The relative ranks of companies within their industry (percentile ranks) at total, dimension and criteria level will be shared, the same way as they appear on the Company Benchmarking Scorecard. The information will be accessible by Bloomberg licensees through its authorized software.
The fact that RobecoSAM will share information of all assessed companies wil no doubt cause a major shock to the system. This improved transparency in ESG scoring will enhance the potential for comparison of companies’ results with other ESG research and among industry peers. In 2016 of the 1,986 companies have been assessed via RobecoSAM's CSA, 867 companies actively participated through filling out the DJSI-questionnaire. Others were assessed without their direct involvement missing the opportunity to deliver in depth insights in the companies' sustainability approach and outcomes.
Frontrunners will no doubt welcome these developments, while non-participant companies might be motivated to reassess their stand point. Given that the results of the company benchmark could now end up on the terminal of the 17,000+ of the world’s leading analysts in the global financial markets - with or without their input - the relevance of a structured materiality analysis, action plan and reporting has become huge.
Companies lagging behind might be encouraged to put their sustainability programs in a different perspective. In line with the trend of the past years, focussing on communication and checking boxes, is rapidly becoming unattractive. The way forward is to focus on a limited set of material issues that really make a difference in terms of value creation and target price setting. The link between financial performance and the right sustainability efforts can increase the target price up to 71% according to Dr. Willem Schramade, Sustainability & Valuation Specialist Global Equities at Robeco Asset Management, will surely help companies to contribute to our sustainably future.
Is your company looking to improve its sustainability performance or looking for more value from its ESG efforts? Please contact Josée van der Hoek, Director via Josee@finchandbeak.com or +31 6 28 02 18 80.
Image source: Norks Bank, Flickr