As part of its annual corporate sustainability ranking process, RobecoSAM, the company behind the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI), produced with S&P Dow Jones Indices, will now ask public companies the same climate change questions as those developed over the past decade by CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project), provider of the only global environmental disclosure system and producer of the annual Climate Disclosure and Climate Performance Leadership Indexes (CDLI & CPLI). This collaboration will improve the comparability of sustainability data in the global market and will simplify the process for companies answering multiple requests for environmental information.
Specifically, to inform the climate change aspects of its annual Corporate Sustainability Assessment, RobecoSAM has aligned seven of its Climate Strategy questions with corresponding questions asked by CDP on behalf of 722 investors representing more than US$87 trillion. This will significantly reduce the workload for the 90% of DJSI participating companies which also respond to the request for climate change information through CDP.
CDP’s chief executive officer Paul Simpson says: “This is an important response to market demand. Both the business and investment communities have called for a more harmonized approach to sustainability reporting and for more comparable data. It will now be easier to incorporate climate risk, opportunity and governance into evaluations of corporate progress on sustainability. CDP and RobecoSAM are the de facto raters for business progress on climate change and sustainability and this development will bring high quality data together for use in the DJSI.”
Daniel Wild, head of research at RobecoSAM states: “We are natural partners given our mutual focus on sustainability issues that are financially material for investors who are focused on identifying innovative companies that are well-positioned for the long-term. In aligning our environmental data collection approaches we hope to lessen the burden on companies that currently have to submit similar data to both CDP and RobecoSAM.”
Further, to promote greater uptake and use of environmental disclosure, CDP and RobecoSAM are investigating additional areas of corporate environmental assessment to cooperate on and will leverage their networks to encourage more companies to complete both questionnaires. More than 4,100 companies use CDP to report their climate change strategies and impacts to investors and the disclosure rate among the world’s largest companies runs at 80%. RobecoSAM assesses the corporate sustainability of over 2,000 listed companies summing up to 60% of the world total market capitalization on a wide range of criteria.