Welcome to the Sustainability Digital 2021 content hub

Sustainability Digital 2021: A Planet in Trouble is an urgent call to action for all investors to influence investee companies to change their focus and put people before profits to create a more sustainable economy, and to wake up to the crucial role they play in ensuring a sustainable recovery.

View the Sustainability Digital 2021 program and timings here.


The dangers of funding sedition

Scott Kalb and CalSTRS' Aeisha Mastagni discuss what is next for investor action in sustainability. They reflect on the dangers of funding sedition following the 6th January riots. Investors rarely consider the risk of investee companies financing extreme groups, but it threatens the very system on which institutional investment relies.

Material climate change already here

The impact of climate change is already material, said Woodwell Climate Research Center’s Philip Duffy who warns that thawing permafrost could mean the loss of control of ever being able to manage climate change. Elsewhere, he urged investors to use their voice to bring about change.
articleThe S in ESG

How to fix a broken labour market

In an impassioned call Sharan Burrow, general secretary of the ITUC which represents 200 million workers in 163 countries called on institutional investors to do more to protect workers rights.

Nordhaus and ‘No Regrets’

Nobel Prize winner Professor William Nordhaus, Sterling Professor of Economics and Professor of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University, explains his theory of ‘No Regrets’ whereby companies can integrate ESG at a level that brings real benefits for society but has limited impact on the corporate.

APG and NYC talk Amazon push back

Two of the world’s most influential institutional investors are hitting a brick wall in their attempts to engage with Amazon’s board on workplace safety. Every time the Netherland's APG and the office of New York City Comptroller, fiduciary to New York city’s five pension funds, try to engage with the board at the tech giant in which they own a combined $6.5 billion they get push back from management.
articleEmerging markets

The missing link: EM green bonds

Sustainability bonds issued by sovereign governments in developing and emerging markets offer exciting investor opportunities. The proceeds are used for impact and allow investors to target real change in sectors like health and education. Emerging market specialists describe how it could be the missing link to the ESG jigsaw.
articleDiversity and inclusion

Diversity: How to move the needle

Targets, allocating to diverse managers and acting on calls for change from diverse staffers are just some of the ways asset owners are boosting diversity in their own organisations. Investors at the Kresge Foundation, AP2 and AIMCo talk about their diversity, equity and inclusion action.
articleSustainability Digital 2021

Bridgewater on the impact revolution

Integrating impact alongside risk and return is a revolution that will see more diversification among investor allocations to asset classes such as commodities. Elsewhere, it requires using multiple data sets to analyse stocks and sovereign bond allocations to see the real-world impact of a company’s product or services, and which governments are heading to net-zero. Bridgewater’s head of investment research Karen Karniol-Tambour explains.
Session recordingDiversity and inclusion

Diversity uncut

In a fireside chat, Gloria Steinem reminds us why diversity is such an important issue for investors to understand, why it impacts society, business and investments so fundamentally, and why there is still so much work to do.

Sovereign engagement is the new frontier

Robeco chief executive Gilbert van Hassel opened the 'Sustainability Digital: A Planet in Trouble' conference with a reminder of the opportunities in sustainability and the importance of working with others. At Robeco this now includes engaging directly with sovereign governments.
articlePolicy and regulation

Regulation and economics converge in ESG

Investors from Schroders, Trillium and PensionDanmark discuss how a changing regulatory picture and the economics of sustainable investment are coming together to create a tipping point in ESG, but they warn their peers to look beyond the label to what is on the inside.

Principles of a climate-impact dashboard

The climate-impact dashboard is part of a 3-D investment framework that balances risk, return and impact. This includes total portfolio thinking, long-horizon investing, impact investment strategies, system-level engagement and strategic partnership between asset owners and asset managers. Here Tim Hodgson lays out eight guiding principles to help shape a climate-impact dashboard.
articleInvestor Profile

NBIM prepares to up voting transparency

The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund says that voting is one of the most important tools to safeguard the fund's assets. Ahead of the AGM season getting underway, NBIM - which is the largest single owner of global stock markets - plans to publish its voting decisions five days ahead of corporate meetings in a bid to increase transparency.
Session recordingEngagement

A united front

This session looks at how sustainability policies under President Biden combined with the ongoing EU policies means 2021 marks a new frontier for the progression of sustainability.
Session recordingClimate

The spirit of green

This session looks at the expected sustainability policies in 2021 and the important role of a price on carbon as part of that.
Session recordingClimate

The path to net zero

This session looks at the actions of both asset owners and asset managers in reaching net-zero 2050 goals including the short-term plans needed to get there.
Session recordingDiversity and inclusion

Diversity and inclusion case studies

This session looks at various asset owner case studies and how they are tackling diversity and inclusion, through their own organisational processes and practices, through manager due diligence and by aligning their investments with the SDGs.
Session recordingImpact

Impact in public markets

Karen Karniol-Tambour, discusses frameworks for assessing the sustainability and impact characteristics of public assets including equities, fixed income assets and commodities which investors can apply to their own portfolios.
Session recordingDiversity and inclusion

Gender lens investing

This session looks at the gender gap and the tools and processes available to improve the gender lens for investors both organisationally and for the companies they invest in.
Session recordingClimate

What’s at stake

This session examines research from Woodwell Climate Research Centre that assesses near-term physical and socioeconomic risks associated with climate change and demonstrates a model for embedding the insights of climate science into both public- and private-sector decision-making.
Session recordingEmerging markets

How bond investors impact EM development

This session examines the development and evolution of sustainability bonds in emerging market debt, how they can be used for impact in developing and emerging economies and allow investors to be more targeted.

SI Outlook 2021

What does Robeco expect in the world of sustainable investing in 2021? We remain focused on the two main elements of SI: integrating ESG into the investment process and active ownership. In our latest webinar, Masja Zandbergen outlines her views on the market outlook for SI and sustainable strategies.

CalSTRS takes on ExxonMobil

The $255 billion Californian pension fund, CalSTRS, has embarked on a new era of “activist stewardship” which will see it take on large companies such as Exxon Mobil which have not responded to shareholder engagement.

Electric Revolution

With a federal government turn over to the Democratic party this year, hopes are high for a focused, comprehensive federal approach to tackling climate change, rather than the patchwork state approach of the past administration. President Biden has consistently highlighted the climate crisis as urgent, and the team of advisors he has assembled on the issue demonstrates his commitment.

Sustainability yearbook 2021

S&P Global has published its annual yearbook showcasing the sustainability performance of the world’s largest companies. Over 7,000 companies were assessed as part of the 2020 S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA), which resulted in 70 gold class, 74 silver class, and 98 bronze class medals being awarded to companies in the Sustainability Yearbook 2021.
PaperPolicy and regulation

Regulation will enhance sustainability

Integrating sustainability into investments will become much higher profile under new EU regulations that take effect this year. Coming into force over the course of 2021, the EU’s Sustainable Finance Action Plan represents one of the most impactful pieces of regulation to hit the investment management industry since MiFID II beefed up reporting and transparency in 2018.  A core tenet of the plan is the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), which will classify investment funds according to their sustainability credentials for the first time.

The future of energy

The election of Joe Biden as America’s 46th President is just one more important signal that change is imminent, for energy markets and the broader economy. With the world aligned and committed in the fight against climate change, the global movement towards a sustainable energy supply is gaining considerable momentum.

AM’s yet to embrace sustainability

Proxy voting is a powerful tool for shareholders to steer corporate agendas towards sustainability-focused decision making. Despite the increased attention to the integration of sustainability in investment solutions, asset managers generally vote against environmental and social proposals. This trend is more pronounced among large and passive players.

Big Book of Sustainable Investing

The title says it all. In The Big Book of SI, we analyze sustainable investing today and examine the trends that will shape our future. This new publication also gives investors guidelines on implementation, includes interviews with experts and client cases, and highlights the link between ESG integration and performance. All that in just 102 pages.