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Duke Energy makes list of North America's top sustainable companies for 14th straight year   
(Tuesday - September 17, 2019) Associated Profiles : SAM Group
Source: Business Insider - The index is compiled annually by S&P Dow Jones and Zurich-based RobecoSAM (Sustainable Asset Management). Since 2007, Duke Energy has published an annual Sustainability Report that summarizes its ...
[more] 
Transport Research Arena 2020   
(Friday - September 06, 2019) Associated Profiles : SAM Group
Source: Railway Gazette International - We also must redefine lifecycle management as more sustainable asset management. Last but not least, as transport research contributes to the policy making at national and European levels, we need to grasp the moment to carry...
[more] 
Asset Management for Water and Wastewater Utilities   
(Tuesday - August 13, 2019) Associated Profiles : SAM Group
Source: US Environmental Protection Agency - Renewing and replacing the nation's public water infrastructure is an ongoing task. Asset management can help a utility maximize the value of its capital as well as its operations and maintenance dollars. Asset management...
[more] 
Sustainable Asset Management Solutions Pte Ltd   
(Tuesday - August 13, 2019) Associated Profiles : SAM Group
Source: United Nations Global Compact - Note: Responsibility for the content of participants' public communication related to the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact and their implementation lies with participants themselves and not with the UN Global Compact.
[more] 
Sustainable Asset Management: The Case of Los Angeles Community College District   
(Tuesday - August 13, 2019) Associated Profiles : SAM Group
Source: National Academies Press - The Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) is made up of nine colleges (Figure H.1) located throughout Los Angeles County, an area of 882 square miles, which includes 36 cities. The total student enrollment is about...
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Category
Sustainable Asset Management (SAM) Group

Headquarters: Zurich, Switzerland
Established: 1995


ASSETS UNDER MANAGEMENT: US$11.5 billion as of June 30, 2012.

ESG/Sustainability Focus: Yes, focus on responsible investments.


KEY PARTNERS
S&P Dow Jones Indices & Co for Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes, Robeco (asset managers; holds 100% stake in SAM), plus a sustainability network that includes UN PRI, Eurosif, ASrIA, and Ceres. KPMG for a global alliance (see below, Methodology/Operations).


OVERVIEW / MISSION
SAM describes itself as "a global investment boutique focused exclusively on Sustainability Investing.” The company states its mission as: "Our mission is to drive sustainability thinking. We use financial markets as the most powerful transmission mechanism to promote sustainable business practices. With our exclusive focus on Sustainability Investing, we provide a unique and broad range of sustainability solutions for investors and corporates."

SAM sees itself as offering a full complement of sustainability programs with sustainability themes like water and energy, a sustainability core for investment that combines sustainability with "traditional financial analysis," and sustainability indexes that it handles in collaboration with Dow Jones Indices.


STRUCTURE
SAM has had a strong strategic alliance with Robeco, a subsidiary of Rabobank Group, a Dutch firm, for years: in 2006, Robeco, a Dutch fund management firm, bought a 64 percent stake in SAM, leaving 36% in management and employee hands. (PDF press release) SAM and Robeco announced in late September 2010 that SAM would market its products and Robeco's products together: "SAM will represent both investment firms and will take over sales, client servicing and marketing activities for Robeco." SAM Group is listed on the history page of the Robeco Web site, noting that Robeco acquired "a majority stake" in 2006.


METHODOLOGY / OPERATIONS
SAM uses industry-specific criteria to assess economic, environmental, and social aspects of companies and, ultimately, investability, using its Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA). SAM Group uses proprietary methodology to look at 58 sectors with CSA and claims to have one of the world’s largest corporate sustainability databases. SAM analyzes sustainability-related information from over 2,000 exchange-listed companies a year and says its data suggest "there is a positive correlation between corporate sustainability and financial performance. This finding highlights the superior alpha potential of sustainability investing." SAM has been conducting CSAs since 1999.

As of June 30, 2012, SAM stated its total assets under management/advice/licenses at US$11.5 billion.

Developments at SAM during 2009 and 2010 have included increased work on water markets -- the program includes the SAM Sustainable Water Fund, launched in September 2001, which "invests globally in companies offering products and services along the entire value chain of the water industry." Underlying the overall water program is a report on the water market that SAM released in August 2010, valuing the market at "over USD 480 billion -- expected growth rate of about 6%." A PDF press release summarizes findings. In 2009, SAM launched the Sustainable Water Evolution Strategy, focused on "small and microcap companies in emerging markets that operate with new, water-related technologies." (press release)

Other sectors listed under Sustainability Theme Investing are Smart Energy, Smart Materials, Sustainable Agribusiness, Sustainable Climate, Sustainable Healthy Living, and Sustainable Water.

SAM Group is involved in sustainable private equity investing, with a focus on clean tech, managing around $US1.2 billion in sustainable and clean tech assets.

SAM's 2012 Sustainability Yearbook emphasizes a new global alliance with KPMG that is "aimed at helping companies measure and enhance their corporate sustainability performance." The first section in the 2012 yearbook is "KPMG: Sustainability Drivers in the Emerging Economies." The yearbook is available online in multiple formats.

 

MARKETS SERVED
SAM provides its own sustainability services -- such as benchmarking and assessments to clients -- and works in collaboration with Dow Jones Indices on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes. (That collaboration included Stoxx Ltd. until August 2010. (PDF press release))

SAM sees itself as a pioneer in sustainability investments and noted in 2008 its positioning by mentioning in a press release “the surging interest in investment solutions that address the problems associated with global warming, the need for alternative energy source and heightened resource efficiency, as well as the scarcity of natural resources such as water and foodstuffs…” SAM has extended its analysis to examining fertilizer demand, noting in the February 2011 issue of "Foresight" (available online) that "historically low inventories of soft commodities such as corn, soy and wheat have pushed up global grain prices, prompting farmers to apply a more balanced mixture of fertilizers in order to achieve higher harvest yields."

 

RESEARCH
SAM's research team produces a range of publications, including white papers like "Alpha from Sustainability" (PDF), "Foresight" briefs on topics like food supply, and print interviews about sustainability-related topics with SAM specialists or outside executives.

On November 1, 2012, SAM Group announced its first issue of Advance, a quarterly magazine that SAM says "aims to educate readers on the significance of sustainability and ultimately drive the sustainaiblity agenda into the core of mainstream finance." The inaugural issue includes an article about sustainability and palm oil; an interview with Robeco's Sylvia van Waveren, a senior engagement specialist at Robeco; and a feature on managing risk in controversial regimes. The first Advance is available online in PDF format.

 


MANAGEMENT OVERVIEW
SAM’s 100-person team is international and interdisciplinary, and SAM is involved in international sustainability networks that help SAM provide insight into industries, companies, and corporate sustainability.

Michael Baldinger is SAM's CEO, succeeding Sander van Eijkern, who stepped down from his position and the Robeco Management Board on February 3, 2010, due to "a difference of opinion with respect to the future strategy of Robeco." (online press release). Baldinger formerly served as head global clients and marketing. Other managers include Rainer Baumann, head of portfolio management, and Daniel Wild, head of research. Neil Johnson is head of global clients and marketing.

RECENT NEWS

On November 29, 2012, SAM Group won a Funds Europe Award in the "European Thought Leadership" category, recognizing "the innovative nature of [SAM's] research, in particular looking at non-standard subjects that affect investment decisions in the environmental and sustainable investment fields." (online press release)

On September 13, 2012, SAM released results of its annual Down Jones Sustainability Indexes review. The review included additions (e.g. Microsoft and Target), deletions (e.g. IBM and GlaxoSmithKline), and a list of leaders of 19 "supersectors," including Air France-KLM in travel/leisure and Unilever in food/beverage. (PDF press release) A press release about the review says, "Today, the index family has approximately USD 6 billion in assets under management in a variety of financial products including mutual funds, separate accounts, structured products and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Approximately 55 products are based on the indexes serving asset managers and banks in 15 countries."

SAM released a study on the clean tech private equity market on July 2, 2012. A press release summary notes that multinationals are "developing, adopting or acquiring proven Clean Tech solutions" and says 55 IPOs in 2011 raised US$10.5 billion (PDF press release).

SAM announced on June 18, 2012, that the Financial Times and the International Finance Corporation named SAM one of its two winners of the "sustainable investor of the year" award; SAM shared the award with Bridges Ventures, a UK firm. (PDF press release)

SAM announced on April 10, 2012, that it had begun its annual Corporate Sustainability Assessment, inviting 800 "additional companies from emerging markets." The CSA has more than 100 questions. (PDF press release)

SAM announced on March 22, 2012, that it elected two new members to its board of directors: David Blumer, CIO of SwissRe; and Karin van Baardwijk, Senior Vice President Operational Risk Management at Robeco. The additions raise the board to five members. (PDF release)

On January 26, 2012, SAM and KPMG announced publication of Sustainability Yearbook 2012, the ninth edition of the book, which "presents the companies recognized as sustainability leaders from the 58 sectors examined by SAM’s Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA)." Portugal led the world by having 67% of eligible companies included; the United States only had 9% of eligible companies included. (online PDF press release)

SAM's Smart Energy investment strategy received the "Best Clean Energy Fund" award in November 2011 at the Investment Week Climate Change Investment Awards. (online press release, PDF)

SAM and Dow Jones Indexes announced 2011 results of the Down Jones Sustainability Indexes Annual Review on September 8, 2011: 41 companies were added and 23 firms were removed, leaving 342 in the index. Notable additions included Medtronic and Societe Generale; deletions included Coca-Cola and Hewlett-Packard. SAM also announced its list of supersector leaders, which include PepsiCo, Air France-KLM, and Samsung Electronics. (PDF press release)

 


SPECIAL NOTES
Credibility & Public Reaction: SAM research on board committees, corporate social responsibility, and sustainability was used in a World Economic Forum report, Responding to the Leadership Challenge: Findings of a CEO Survey on Global Corporate Leadership

SAM has received broad attention for its partner role in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes.

SAM’s Web site notes memberships in PRI, Eurosif, Ceres, and ASrIA.

 

CONTACTS

SAM is based in Zurich with an office in the United States. The United States office is listed as asset management for institutional and private investors.

SAM Sustainable Asset Management AG
Josefstrasse 218
8005 Zurich
Switzerland

Tel: +41 (44) 653 10 10
Fax: +41 (44) 653 10 80 

Sustainable Asset Management USA, Inc.
909 3rd Avenue
New York; NY 10022

Tel.: +1 212-908-9768
Mobile: +1 (917) 679-9950

E-mail: neil.johnson@sam-group.com

 

SAM Group on the Web: Sam Group
Dow Jones Sustainability Index Web: www.sustainability-index.com

 

Michael Baldinger
Chief Executive Officer

Daniel Wild
Head of Research

 


See also:  Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes, based on SAM Group methodology.

 

Last updated: December 11, 2012.

 

 

This profile was created by the Institute using (primarily) publicly-available information.  Certain insights were included based on the experience of Institute staff and its network of subject matter experts (SMEs).  The profiles in SustainabilityHQ are regularly updated with current information. 

 

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