Robeco launches biodiversity strategy

by | Oct 31, 2022

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Robeco has launched RobecoSAM Biodiversity Equities, a high-conviction thematic investment strategy, classified as Article 9 under SFDR. It invests in companies that benefit from the transition to a nature-positive world.

Biodiversity loss is a global environmental urgency. Population and economic growth continue to severely impact ecosystems and biodiversity, accelerating mass extinction and jeopardizing nature’s ability to support the economy and society. Solutions are therefore critical to curb biodiversity and habitat loss for a sustainable future.

The RobecoSAM Biodiversity Equities strategy invests in companies that support the sustainable use of natural resources and ecosystem services, as well as technologies, products and services that help to reduce biodiversity threats or restore natural habitats. It specifically targets for alpha generation opportunities in the structural growth trend created by governments, corporates and consumers that is increasing focus on supporting biodiversity and the transition to a nature-positive world.

It forms part of the RobecoSAM-branded range of impact investing strategies which aims to generate attractive long-term, risk-adjusted returns while simultaneously making a difference on the ground. David Thomas, Senior Portfolio Manager and Aaron Re’em, Co-Portfolio Manager manage the strategy within Robeco’s thematic investment team of 16 professionals in Zurich that has more than 20 years of expertise in running a suite of strategies with over EUR 12 billion in assets under management.

The strategy’s investable universe is arranged in four clusters covering sustainable land use, freshwater networks, marine systems, and traceable products. Engagement forms a vital part of this strategy; Robeco’s Active Ownership team will engage with up to 25% of portfolio holdings to further improve their contributions to biodiversity. For the fund design and active ownership, Robeco has sought advice from World Wide Fund for Nature Netherlands (WWF-NL) on biodiversity issues. WWF-NL and Robeco have a partnership aimed at integrating biodiversity protection and restoration into asset management.

Mark van der Kroft, CIO Fundamental and Quant Equity, Robeco: “RobecoSAM Biodiversity Equities is the culmination of one and a half years of work to create a product that specifically promotes biodiversity in an impact investing style, rather than just investing in environmental or climate-related stocks generally. The launch of the strategy marks yet another milestone in the Biodiversity roadmap we outlined earlier this year and we are extremely proud of what the team behind it has created.”

David Thomas, Senior Portfolio Manager, RobecoSAM Biodiversity Equities strategy: “The potential market for new biodiversity-friendly investments by 2030 is more than USD 10 trillion, according to the World Economic Forum. Protecting biodiversity is therefore not just a means of saving nature, it is also one of the largest investment opportunities of our times. Together with my colleague Aaron Re’em and the wider team of investment and SI specialists, we aim to deliver to our clients an exciting and meaningful opportunity.”

WWF-NL welcomes the introduction of financial mechanisms aimed at integrating biodiversity. Aaron Vermeulen, Green Finance Director, WWF-NL: “We are losing nature at an unprecedented rate and we are already paying the price. The financial sector is vital in turning the tide. By integrating biodiversity into financial decision-making and redirecting capital flows, the financial industry has tremendous leverage. This can be used to build a nature-positive economy. RobecoSAM Biodiversity Equities can act as an example for financial mechanisms that look beyond climate to nature and biodiversity objectives, informed by conservation expertise.”

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