Summary of responses to the PRI reporting and assessment tool 2008

Robeco

Organisational Overview
1. What were your organisation's total assets under management as of 31 December 2007 (in millions)?146000
Please select currencyEuro (EUR)
1a. If 'Other' was selected, please specify the other currency here
2. What category would best describe your organisation?
3. What proportion (in %) of your fund is defined benefit and what proportion (in %) is defined contribution? (please only answer this question if you answered “Pension or superannuation or retirement or provident fund or plan” to Q2)
Defined benefit
Defined contribution
4. Please provide an overview of your asset mix as of 31 December 2007 (in %):
Listed equity (developed market, active)39
Listed equity (developed market, passive)4
Listed equity (emerging market, active)2
Listed equity (emerging market, passive)4
Fixed income - developed markets27
Fixed income - emerging markets0
Real estate or property0
Private equity1
Hedge fund1
Infrastructure0
Currency0
Commodities3
Cash7
Other (Please specify): Balanced & alternative 12
Balanced & alternative
5. Please indicate what percentage of your assets are managed internally and what percentage are managed externally (in %):
 
Internal
External
Listed equity (developed market, active)1000
Listed equity (developed market, passive)1000
Listed equity (emerging market, active)1000
Listed equity (emerging market, passive)1000
Fixed income - developed markets1000
Fixed income - emerging markets00
Real estate or property00
Private equity1000
Hedge fund1000
Infrastructure00
Currency00
Commodities1000
Cash1000
Other (Please specify): Balanced & alternative 1000
Balanced & alternative
6. Please provide the following contact details for your main PRI contact:
URL for webpage outlining the specific services and products your organisation has to assist signatories in fulfilling their commitments to the Principleshttp://www.robeco.com/eng/press/static/cg/index.jsp
Principle 1
7. Do you have a formal investment policy statement that makes specific reference to the integration of responsible investment (RI) or environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues within investment decision making and ownership practices?
8. Do you have a statement that makes specific reference to the integration of responsible investment (RI) or environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues within investment decision making and ownership practices?Yes, it is an independent RI/ESG statement
9. In what year were RI/ESG issues first formally addressed in a policy statement (integrated or independent)?2003
10. Has your statement that makes specific reference to the integration of RI or ESG issues been disclosed publicly?Yes
11. Please indicate how this statement that makes specific reference to the integration of RI or ESG issues can be obtained (a URL would be sufficient):http://www.robeco.com/eng/press/static/cg/index.jsp
12. For what percentage of your internal assets under management do you integrate RI/ESG issues into your internal investment decision-making processes? (in %)
Listed equity (developed market, active)35
Listed equity (developed market, passive)35
Listed equity (emerging market, active)20
Listed equity (emerging market, passive)0
Fixed income - developed markets10
Fixed income - emerging markets
Real estate or property
Private equity30
Hedge fund0
Infrastructure
Currency
Commodities0
Cash0
{inst1}0
13. To what extent have you integrated RI/ESG issues into your internal investment decision-making processes?
Listed equity (developed market, active)To a moderate extent
Listed equity (developed market, passive)To a moderate extent
Listed equity (emerging market, active)To a small extent
Listed equity (emerging market, passive)No Answer
Fixed income - developed marketsTo a small extent
Fixed income - emerging marketsTo a moderate extent
Real estate or propertyNot at all
Private equityNot at all
Hedge fundNot at all
14. For what percentage of your external assets under management are RI/ESG issues integrated into the investment decision-making processes of your external investment managers? (in %)
Listed equity (developed market, active)
Listed equity (developed market, passive)
Listed equity (emerging market, active)
Listed equity (emerging market, passive)
Fixed income - developed markets
Fixed income - emerging markets
Real estate or property
Private equity
Hedge fund
Infrastructure
Currency
Commodities
Cash
{inst}
16. What proportion of your assets involve screening out or excluding stocks or sectors based on ethical (rather than long-term financial) criteria? (in %)11
17. Do you have any staff dedicated to RI/ESG issue analysis and/or implementation?
 
Dedicated
Combined full-time equivalents
Investment analyst20
Research analyst150
RI/ESG issue policy advisor10
(proxy) Voting specialist10
Engagement specialist40
Portfolio manager90
Other (Please specify): Dedicated assistant 10
Dedicated assistant
18. Which Board committee or other executive body has overall responsibility for RI/ESG issues?The CEO of Robeco has ultimate responsibility for CSR and ESG integration.
19. Do you assess the capabilities of internal investment staff to incorporate RI/ESG issues?Yes
20. Do you assess the capabilities of external investment managers to incorporate RI/ESG issues?No Answer
21. Approximately what percentage of your internal non-ESG-specialist investment management staff received RI/ESG training in 2007? (in %)15
22. What forms of RI/ESG training or awareness raising have been invested in, encouraged or provided for internal staff (investment and other)?Informal internal training,Conferences
23. Did you support the development of nonproprietary RI/ESG issue-related tools, metrics, analysis or academic research in 2007?To a moderate extent
24. Please indicate how the results of nonproprietary RI/ESG issue-related tools, metrics, analysis or academic research development you supported can be obtained if they have been disclosed publicly (a URL would be sufficient):Bespoke research, commissioned by Dutch corporate governance platform Eumedion, is done by teams of several Dutch universities. The results of this research are taken into account when assessing e.g. shareholder meetings. Robeco also supports academic research on other ESG related subjects conducted by academic researchers or students (e.g. through facilitating internships).
25. Have you advocated/supported/ encouraged/participated in RI/ESG issue-related industry-wide training for investment professionals during 2007? Sponsored industry events
Advocated RI/ESG coverage in professional training programs (CFA, MBA, etc.)
Spoke at or attended conferences
Had dialogue or exchanges with peers
Instructed at universities or colleges
26. What was your most significant achievement in 2007 in relation to your implementation of Principle 1?Robeco took a majority stake in top-ranked Swiss ESG investment manager Sustainable Asset Management (SAM) AG. This acquisition underlines Robeco's activities and ambitions with regard to integrating and expanding its ESG related investments. Assisted by the UK based environmental research firm Trucost, Robeco assessed the environmental and carbon impact of 80% of its total listed equity portfolios. Robeco's staff in Rotterdam dedicated to integrating ESG factors in investment and overlay products increased from 4 to 7 in 2007. In 2007, we started to conduct engagement activities for Robeco's retail mutual funds. The results of these engagement activities, combined with proxy voting results are put in one integrated report, which is available on Robeco's website: http://www/robeco.com/eng/press/static/cg/index.jsp. The board of Robeco has stressed the importance of the use of the Principles for Responsible Investment. Robeco's compliance department has reviewed the results of this Assessment.
27. What was your biggest barrier in 2007 with relation to your implementation of Principle 1?The worldwide Robeco organization has some complex elements. Robeco has local offices (e.g. Robeco, Boston, Chicago, New York, Paris) with local customs, local regulations, local systems, etc. Robeco's investment operations are embedded in a regionally decentralized business model, which makes implementation of Principle One in the entire organization quite a challenge. In addition, Robeco has selected several (independent) sub advisors for which no clear commitment has been given to PRI.
28. Please add any overall comments and clarifications related to Principle 1 here.In 2008, we will contribute to several educational programs for investment professionals. In 2008, Robeco will enhance its Responsible Investment policy by updating it to a holistic policy addressing all aspects of Responsible Investment: Robeco's visions and ambitions, Responsible Investment topics, its techniques, Robeco's products, etc. Robeco will launch in 2008 a global fund of private equity funds product with responsibility incorporated its investment strategy. The proposed product is the second successor to the vintage year 2004 investment program of sustainable private equity. That program had a hybrid strategy investing both in mainstream private equity funds which are willing to adopt certain sustainability guidelines and in clean tech focused private equity funds. In 2006, the first successor product was introduced. This was a global fund of private equity funds investing in the clean tech sector.
Principle 2
29. To what extent did you employ the following approaches in your 2007 active ownership strategy for listed equities?
(Proxy) votingTo a large extent
Direct engagement conducted privatelyTo a large extent
Direct engagement conducted publiclyTo a moderate extent
Collaborative engagementTo a large extent
Filing shareholder resolutionsNot at all
Co-filing shareholder resolutionsPlanning to in 2008
Other (Please specify):No Answer
30. To what extent did you employ the following approaches in your 2007 active ownership strategy for all asset classes other than listed equity?
(Proxy) votingNot at all
Direct engagement conducted privatelyTo a moderate extent
Direct engagement conducted publiclyNot at all
Collaborative engagementNot at all
Other (Please specify): Exclusions To a small extent
Exclusions
31. Do you have a (proxy) voting policy?Yes - disclosed publicly
32. To what extent does your (proxy) voting policy direct action on ESG issues? For each issue, please indicate the extent of direction.
EnvironmentalTo a large extent
SocialTo a large extent
GovernanceTo a large extent
33. Does your (proxy) voting policy apply to all voting regions (where possible)?Yes
34. Please indicate how your (proxy) voting policy can be obtained (a URL would be sufficient):http://www.robeco.com/eng/press/static/cg/index.jsp
35. Do you ensure that voting is done in accordance with your (proxy) voting policy?Yes for all
36. What percentage of total votes cast were against management? (in %)12
37. What percentage of shareholder resolutions relating to environmental, social or governance issues was supported? (in %)
Environmental42
Social53
Governance44
38. Do you conduct (proxy) voting on behalf of your clients?Yes - According to our own policy or client-specific policies
39. How many shareholder resolutions related to RI/ESG issues did you participate in during 2007?
As lead filer0
As co-filer0
Planning to be lead filer in 20080
Planning to be co-filer in 20081
40. How were portfolio companies engaged with in 2007? Please check all that apply.Internal staff engaged portfolio companies directly
Internal staff engaged portfolio companies collaboratively
41. Do you systematically bring RI/ESG issue-related engagement opportunities to your clients?To a large extent
42. Do you systematically ask your external investment managers to bring RI/ESG issue-related engagement opportunities to you?
43. How many portfolio companies did you engage directly/were engaged on your behalf on ESG issues in 2007?
 
Extensive engagement
Moderate engagement
Basic engagement
Environmental4026
Social31638
Governance5232
44. What RI/ESG-related issues were addressed in your shareowner engagement initiatives? Please check all that apply.Activities in conflict zones
Benefits and compensation
Bribery/corruption
Climate change
Distribution of fair trade products
Environment
Governance
Health
Health and safety
Human rights
Labour issues
Other (please specify): Palm Oil, animal testing, capital allocation of investee companies, controversial weapons
45. How were RI/ESG issue-related engagement targets and topics identified? Please check all that apply.Client directive
Sector exposure
Risk profile
Focus issue
Ad hoc/reactive
46. Do you set RI/ESG issue-related engagement objectives and attempt to evaluate success?To a moderate extent
47. Have you sought evidence relating to the effectiveness of your active ownership strategy? Please check all that apply.Governance practices changed
(Written) commitment to improve a particular ESG issue
Improved disclosure
Collaborative work with a company on a specific ESG issue
Other evidence of improvement in investee company RI/ESG performance due to our activities
48. What was your most significant achievement in 2007 in relation to your implementation of Principle 2?As of January 2007, Robeco conducts engagement activities for its mutual funds for its retail clients. Elaborate reports on these engagement activities, combined with (proxy) voting results are found on Robeco's website: http://www.robeco.com/eng/press/static/cg/index.jsp
49. What was your biggest barrier in 2007 with relation to your implementation of Principle 2?Legal obligations and boundaries with regard to acting in concert are not always clear, e.g. in Europe. This might lead to unnecessary cautiousness among institutional investors. Difficulties with cross border voting sometimes frustrate our global proxy voting process. These difficulties are mostly technical in nature and could be solved by constructive cooperation among all parts of the proxy voting chain.
50. Please add any overall comments and clarifications related to Principle 2 here.In 2008 we will implement a number of measures aiming at improving the quality and the effectiveness of Robeco's engagement process. In 2008, Robeco will enhance its Responsible Investment policy by updating it to a holistic policy addressing all aspects of Responsible Investment: Robeco's visions and ambitions, Responsible Investment topics, its techniques, Robeco's products, etc. Please note that proxy voting information and statistics provided in the answers regarding this Principle relate to proxy voting activities conducted in Robeco's head office in Rotterdam only.
Principle 3
51. Have you asked that investee companies (or other investment entities) produce standardized reporting on their RI/ESG issue policies, practices or performance (within annual financial reports or other formats)?To a moderate extent
52. What format of standardized reporting on RI/ESG issue policies, practices or performance have you requested?Integrated with regular financial reports
Standalone corporate social responsibility or sustainability reporting
Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)
Other (please specify): Through the spearhead letter of Dutch corporate Governance platform Eumedion, where companies are encouraged to provide details on their in control statements and their remuneration policies. In addition, the fund managers of Robeco's private equity fund of funds are requested to report on the way they integrate ESG factors into their investment processes.
53. Have you provided feedback to investee companies (or other investment entities) on their reporting on RI/ESG issues?To a moderate extent
54. Have you sought information from companies regarding their adoption of/adherence to norms, standards, codes of conduct or international initiatives related to RI/ESG issues?
AdoptionTo a moderate extent
AdherenceTo a moderate extent
55. Which norms, standards, codes of conduct or international initiatives related to RI/ESG issues have you sought information about from companies, with regard to their adoption of/adherence to?UN Global Compact
Equator Principles
International Labour Organization standards
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Other (please specify): Corporate governance codes like Tabaksblat (Netherlands) and ICGN codes
56. What was your most significant achievement in 2007 in relation to your implementation of Principle 3?After engaging with companies, some non-disclosing companies started to disclose, e.g. on emissions targets. Robeco's engagement and voting activities and results - conducted for institutional clients but also for Robeco's retail mutual funds - including those where transparency and disclosure were addressed, are published in publicly available, quarterly reports, see http://www.robeco.com/eng/press/static/cg/index.jsp.
57. What was your biggest barrier in 2007 with relation to your implementation of Principle 3?There is a difficulty of measurement of certain issues, e.g. impact of companies' human rights policies on companies' performance. Also there is a difficulty of fact finding regarding controversial products e.g. cluster bombs & landmines. These types of "hot" ESG issues are hard to address at a company level.
58. Please add any overall comments and clarifications related to Principle 3 here.-
Principle 4
59. Are you considering RI/ESG requirements when searching for and selecting the following?
External investment managerNot applicable
Investment consultantYes
Proxy votingNot applicable
Engagement overlayYes
Investment researchYes
Internal operations (for example, purchasing, travel, office space etc.)Yes
engagement research, Robeco's ABC-policy for lease cars.
60. Have you linked the following to performance on RI/ESG issues?
Investment monitoringYes
Incentive structure (internal investments)No
Incentive structure (external investments)Not applicable
Contractual relationships with external investment managersNot applicable
61. Are the default pension funds or retirement plans offered to your employees also signatories to the PRI?No
62. To what extent do you encourage your service providers to become PRI signatories?Not at all
63. To what extent do you encourage your clients to become PRI signatories?To a small extent
64. To what extent do you encourage peer organisations to become PRI signatories?To a small extent
65. Do you have evidence that you have played a role in the improved integration of RI/ESG issues by external investment managers?No Answer
66. Does your broker evaluation process include an ESG component or do you have a budget to pay cash for ESG broker research?Yes
67. Have you revisited any relationships with service providers in light of RI/ESG issue-related capabilities?Yes
68. Have you engaged in dialogue, lobbying or initiatives pertaining to government policy and/or industry regulations (for example, stock exchanges, accounting standards) related to RI/ESG issues in 2007?To a large extent
69. What was your most significant achievement in 2007 in relation to your implementation of Principle 4?-
70. What was your biggest barrier in 2007 with relation to your implementation of Principle 4?-
71. Please add any overall comments and clarifications related to Principle 4 here.-
Principle 5
72. Did you use the PRI Engagement Clearinghouse in 2007?Used clearinghouse
73. Did your use of the clearinghouse result in subsequent action or collaboration with other signatories?Yes
74. Please elaborate on how the PRI Engagement Clearinghouse could be made more useful:Not all posted engagement proposals contain detailed targets, engagement strategies, pre-defined milestones, etc. Therefore, it is hard to compare proposals, assess what the proposals really entail and decide which proposals to join (and which not). Perhaps...
75. To what extent do you participate in the following RI/ESG issue-related collaborative engagement initiatives and/or industry associations? For those not listed, please use the "other" field:Carbon Disclosure Project
Enhanced Analytics Initiative (full member) (EAI)
Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)
International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN)
Regional social investment organisation (for example SIF or UKSIF)
Other (please specify):
77. What was your most significant achievement in 2007 in relation to your implementation of Principle 5?We used the UN PRI Clearinghouse to conduct part of our collaborative engagement activities. Within the Dutch corporate governance platform Eumedion, we enhanced operations of the Investment Committee which is headed by Robeco. Dutch corporate governance issues, among which is the attendance at shareholder meetings and sharing proxies for these, are now being addressed even more effectively and adequately than before.
78. What was your biggest barrier in 2007 with relation to your implementation of Principle 5?-
79. Please add any overall comments and clarifications related to Principle 5 here.For collaborative engagement, clear and univocal regulation is needed for (institutional) investors which elaborates on Acting in Concert rules, conditions and boundaries to be used by investors in case they start collaborating, etc. Such regulation is yet missing, which causes uncertainty among investors when and to which extent they are allowed to collaborate.
Principle 6
80. Have you disclosed how RI/ESG issues are integrated into your investment processes?Yes - to clients or beneficiaries and the public
81. Please indicated how this disclosure of how RI/ESG issues are integrated into your investment processes can be obtained (a URL would be sufficient):www.robeco.com/eng/press/static/cg/index.jsp, see also www.sam-group.com and through client presentations (insitutional)
82. To what extent do you disclose your annual (proxy) voting record?Disclose votes and guidance explaining votes
83. Please indicated how your (proxy) voting record can be obtained (a URL would be sufficient):www.robeco.com/eng/press/static/cg/index.jsp
84. Do you systematically report (privately and/or publicly) on your RI/ESG issue-related engagement activities, results and progress?To a large extent
85. Please indicate how your reporting on RI/ESG issue-related engagement activities, results and progress can be obtained (if it is publicly available, a URL would be sufficient):www.robeco.com/eng/press/static/cg/index.jsp
86. Did you communicate on RI/ESG issues and the PRI to beneficiaries or plan participants in 2007?
87. Please indicate how your communication on RI/ESG issues and the PRI to beneficiaries or plan participants can be obtained (if it is publicly available, a URL would be sufficient):
88. Are you undertaking any additional efforts to raise awareness of the PRI and RI/ESG issues amongst stakeholders?To a large extent
89. What evidence do you have of the impact on external investment manager practices? Please check those that apply.No Answer
90. Have you sought to determine what impact your overall RI/ESG issue-related efforts (voting and engagement, investment decision making, disclosure, etc.) have had on corporate behavior or performance?To a moderate extent
91. Have you sought to determine what impact your RI/ESG issue-related approach has had on the performance of your portfolio?To a large extent
92. Have you sought to determine what impact your RI/ESG issue-related efforts, requests and guidance have had on the consideration of RI/ESG issues by your external service providers excluding external investment managers (for example: research providers, consultants, etc.)?To a large extent
93. Do you report on progress and/or achievements relating to the PRI or RI, and how would you like to publish your response to this assessment?Please automatically publish our responses to the reporting and assessment tool in full on the PRI website
94. What was your most significant achievement in 2007 in relation to your implementation of Principle 6?Robeco's engagement and voting activities and results - conducted for institutional clients but also for Robeco's retail mutual funds - including those where transparency and disclosure were addressed, are published in publicly available, quarterly reports, see www.robeco.com/eng/press/static/cg/index.jsp.
95. What was your biggest barrier in 2007 with relation to your implementation of Principle 6?-
96. Please add any overall comments and clarifications related to Principle 6 here.-
Emerging Markets
97. To what extent have you actively thought about how to integrate RI/ESG issues within investment decision making and ownership practices with regards to emerging markets investments?To a large extent
98. Please describe your activities with regards to integrating RI/ESG issues within investment decision making and ownership practices with regards to emerging markets investments.On a frequent basis (at least once in two years), investee emerging markets companies receive a questionnaire addressing corporate governance and other ESG issues. The response to this questionnaire is used as input - as a factor relating to management quality - in the overall investment process. Also, on a case by case basis, environmental and social issues are taken into account in case they affect the return or risk profile of a portfolio holding or candidate.
99. To what extent do you believe the integration of ESG issues in emerging markets is as relevant as the integration of ESG issues in other markets?To the same extent
100. To what extent did you employ the following approaches in your 2007 active ownership strategy in emerging markets?
(Proxy) votingTo a large extent
Direct engagement conducted privatelyTo a moderate extent
Direct engagement conducted publiclyNot at all
Collaborative engagementTo a moderate extent
Filing shareholder resolutionsNot at all
Co-filing shareholder resolutionsNot at all
Other (Please specify): sending questionnaire on ESG issues to investee companiesTo a large extent
sending questionnaire on ESG issues to investee companies
101. To what extent have you developed a comprehensive RI/ESG engagement capability regarding business activities in emerging markets?To a small extent
102. Please list the three most often addressed RI/ESG-related issues in your shareholder engagement initiatives in emerging markets?
1.Controversial weapons
2.Corporate Governance
3.Human Rights/Labour Conditions
103. Have you sought information from companies regarding their adoption of/adherence to norms, standards, codes of conduct or international initiatives related to RI/ESG issues in emerging markets?
AdoptionTo a small extent
AdherenceTo a small extent
104. Do you take RI/ESG considerations into account when selecting and approving emerging markets external investment managers?No Answer
105. Do your consultants factor RI/ESG issues into their short listing of emerging markets external investment managers?No Answer
106. Do you have evidence that you have played a role in the improved integration of RI/ESG issues by external investment managers investing in emerging markets?No Answer
107. To what extent have you worked together with other investors to improve the effectiveness of implementing the PRI in emerging markets?Not at all
108. Are you undertaking any additional efforts to raise awareness of RI/ESG issues in emerging markets?To a small extent
109. Have you sought to determine what impact your RI/ESG issue-related efforts (voting and engagement, investment decision making, disclosure, etc.) have had on corporate behaviour or performance in emerging markets?To a small extent
110. Please add any overall comments and clarifications related to the PRI in emerging markets here.Addressing ESG factors in emerging markets is challenging, because 1. it's hard to get sufficient & accurate data 2. it's hard to get access to companies 3. responsiveness of companies is not always optimal.
111. What is your top PRI-related goal/priority for emerging markets in 2008?We strive to achieve results in improving the above mentioned bullets 1-3 (Q110).
Closing Comments
112. Why did your organisation join the PRI?For Robeco, joining the PRI was a logical step, confirming the ESG-oriented road our company has started to follow already some years ago.
113. Please describe the benefits you have enjoyed as a result of signing the PRI:- It opens doors for constructive collaboration with peer group members in this field. - We enjoyed the benefits of such constructive collaboration. - It is good to measure ESG related achievements against those of your peer group. - It is good to have a platform where you can share ideas for improvements and taking the next steps in implementing the Principles.
114. To what extent do you believe the PRI has succeeded in changing investor behaviour and/or raising awareness or capacity on RI/ESG issues? Do you have any examples you could share?- We do believe that awareness of the opportunities Responsible Investment is growing. - We feel that PRI membership intensifies collaboration among signatories, which has a positive effect on the investment industry and on the issuers of securities.
115. What are the top three activities the PRI Secretariat could undertake to enhance and encourage further implementation of the PRI by current and prospective signatories?
1.The Secretariat could boost the UN PRI Clearinghouse further, create more awareness of its existence and effectiveness among the signatories.
2.The Secretariat, together with the Working Group, could further improve this Assessment Framework by further decreasing the number of questions and taking a closer look at the consistency between scoring and a signatory's achievements and ammbitions.
3.Finally, the Secretariat might better indicate the meaning or interpretation of maximum scores obtained by signatories and the way a maximum score relates to (or does not relate to) a best practice.
116. What are your top three PRI-related goals/priorities for 2008?
1.To further increase the quality and effectiveness of our engagement activities.
2.To enhance our current ESG related policies and create one holistic policy addressing all aspects (vision, ambitions, topics, techniques, products, etc.) of Responsible Investment at Robeco.
3.To collaborate more and more with PRI signatories, e.g. through the Clearinghouse.
117. Please rank the six principles from most difficult to implement to least difficult to implement:
Most difficult
1
Principle 1
2Principle 5
3Principle 2
4Principle 3
5Principle 4
Least difficult
6
Principle 6