Net zero emissions, natural resource management, diversity, equality and inclusion (DE&I), and biodiversity are key engagement themes for Robeco in 2022, according to a recent statement released by the investment manager.
The firm has said it will engage investee companies it owns equities and bonds in on these four themes over the course of 2022 and the next three years.
Preserving natural resources amid the drive for net zero emissions is a critical engagement priority, as is emphasis on protecting finite resources through decarbonization and resource management and promoting human development through greater diversity in the workplace.
“The COP26 climate summit has again stressed the need to further increase engagement on net zero emissions for investors,” said Carola van Lamoen, head of sustainable investing at Robeco.
“This engagement theme will be an expansion of the one launched in 2020, focusing on high carbon emitting companies that have made some progress but are still lagging in their transition to net zero,” she added.
According to the firm, engagement on key themes has historically improved metrics on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.
Engagement on natural resource management will combine issues of water and waste, which are critical factors that influence environmental boundaries, according to Peter van der Werf, senior management for engagement at Robeco.
“…Environmental regulation is rapidly increasing for both corporates and investors. So, this engagement theme will focus on companies that face environmental issues such as seabed and land mining, emissions of PFA chemicals, water scarcity, agrochemical waste and plastic waste,” he said.
The manager has also prioritised engagement on human development and embedding DEI in human capital strategies.
In October, joint global director of capital markets at non-profit disclosure company CDP, Claire Elsdon, said investor engagement will be critical to driving corporate environmental action.
“Now more than ever, investors require decisive data that is consistent, comparable and comprehensive,” she said.
“To make this possible and support them in setting and meeting their own net-zero ambitions, they expect companies to fully engage with TCFD-aligned standards on environmental disclosure and have robust science-based targets that drive rapid decarbonization in line with a 1.5°C pathway.”