By Edoardo Gai, Head of Sustainability Services, RobecoSAM
We are excited about the publication of the 10th year anniversary edition of the Sustainability Yearbook. Each year, we highlight the results of our in-depth analysis of the sustainability performance over 2,000 companies worldwide. The analysis focuses on industry-specific factors that we believe are important to long-term value creation and is based on up to 120 financially material economic, environmental, social and governance criteria.
In addition, our analysis frequently incorporates newly arising sustainability factors that are likely to gain importance and have an impact on companies’ ability to generate value. For instance, this year we focused our attention on the sustainable management of supply chains and integrated reporting.
As part of our commitment to continuously enhancing our methodology, over the last two years we have devoted considerable effort towards understanding and defining the most important issues that companies must consider if they wish to mitigate the risks in their supply chain. Equally important, is the companies’ ability to capture opportunities linked to closer cooperation with their suppliers. In order to provide transparency on our methodology, and in the hopes of initiating a dialogue among our stakeholders, we have shared some of our insights from our evaluation of companies’ supply chain management in this year’s Sustainability Yearbook.
The Yearbook also features highlights from a lively panel discussion–held at last year’s RobecoSAM Forum–in which five company representatives discussed some of the advantages and challenges to the widespread adoption of integrated reporting. All panelists offered interesting food for thought, and based on the discussion one thing remains clear: much work still needs to be done before we begin to see company reports that completely quantify the financial impacts of companies’ sustainability strategies, creating a bridge between the financial and the sustainability report. Let’s not forget that the topic is complicated, but I personally believe it is through integrated reporting that companies will be able to convince even the most traditional and skeptical investor of the importance of a well-managed sustainability strategy and its relevance to a company’s bottom line.
For the past year, KPMG has been collaborating with RobecoSAM on the publication of The Sustainability Yearbook, bringing their insights about the development of corporate sustainability and the implications sustainability issues have for companies and investors. This year Yvo de Boer, KPMG’s Special Global Advisor on Climate Change and Sustainability contributed an article outlining the most prominent environmental and social challenges companies face today, and how they can mitigate their impact.
I invite you to download a copy of The Sustainability Yearbook and find out who are this year’s sustainability leaders at www.robecosam.com/yearbook. I would like to congratulate Alcatel-Lucent as well as the other sustainability leaders. I hope you enjoy this year’s edition, and would welcome the opportunity to exchange thoughts with you on any of the sustainability topics covered in the Yearbook.