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RobecoSAM kicks off CSA research

May 2013

RobecoSAM, the asset manager focused exclusively on sustainability investing, has invited the 2,500 largest companies (in terms of free float market capitalization) from all industries to participate in its annual Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA) - the research backbone for the construction of all the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI). In addition, 800 companies from the emerging markets are invited to participate and gain eligibility for inclusion in the recently launched DJSI Emerging Markets. 
After the assessment, companies are included in the DJSI World, the gold standard benchmark for corporate sustainability, if their sustainability performance ranks among the top 10% of their peers.
The CSA focuses on a company’s long-term value creation with over 100 questions on financially material economic, environmental, social and corporate governance practices. Over half of the questions are industry specific as RobecoSAM believes that industry-specific sustainability risks and opportunities play a key role in a firm’s long-term success. The other half includes questions on general sustainability issues such as corporate governance, product stewardship and talent retention.
Daniel Wild, Head of Research, RobecoSAM commented: “Going through this exercise helps companies to identify financially material sustainability issues that have an impact on their bottom lines. Sustainability issues dramatically change the competitive environment in which companies operate. Firms that take into consideration how sustainability affects their business will ultimately gain a competitive advantage.”
This year, RobecoSAM has aligned several of its Climate Strategy questions with corresponding questions asked by CDP, the provider of the Climate Disclosure and Climate Performance Leadership Indexes. This will reduce the workload for 90% of DJSI participating companies which also respond to the request for climate change information through CDP.
The 2013 CSA and DJSI family will also be aligned with the Global Industry Classification System (GICS), therefore meeting commonly accepted sector classification standards. The switch to GICS, which is a widely used standard in the financial industry, will allow the DJSI to become more attractive for investors as it meets the need for one complete and consistent set of global sector and industry definitions, maintains RobecoSAM.
Firms that participate in the CSA also receive a free Company Benchmarking Scorecard that compares their sustainability performance to that of their industry peers. Furthermore, sustainability leaders making it into the DJSI can enhance a company’s reputation and become potential investments for DJSI-based portfolios, believes RobecoSAM.

RobecoSAM | Global | SRI

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