S&P Global (NYSE: SPGI) and RobecoSAM, an affiliate of Robeco, announced today that S&P Global will acquire the ESG Ratings Business from RobecoSAM which includes the widely followed SAM* Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA) – an annual evaluation of companies’ sustainability practices. The CSA is recognized as one of the most advanced ESG scoring methodologies, as it draws upon 20 years of experience analyzing sustainability’s impact on a company’s long-term value creation.
The ESG Ratings Business is comprised of two units: one administering the SAM CSA for the purpose of issuing ESG Ratings and a second that provides in-depth reports to companies seeking to understand their performance relative to their peers.
The acquisition will bolster S&P Global’s position as the premier resource for essential environmental, social, and governance (ESG) insights and product solutions for its customers. Through this acquisition, S&P Global will be able to offer its clients even more transparent, robust and comprehensive ESG solutions. The Company’s clients will now have access to one of the most proprietary and unique datasets based on information analyzing over 4,700 companies at present. The company coverage is expanding rapidly and will accelerate under S&P Global’s wider ESG efforts.
The transaction builds on the successful existing relationship between RobecoSAM and S&P Global and will allow RobecoSAM and Robeco, in line with their strategy, to focus on the interpretation and application of ESG data and sustainable investing research for its core asset management activities. As they have historically, Robeco and RobecoSAM will continue to have access to the CSA data for use in investment strategies and will provide advice on the CSA Methodology.
“Through this acquisition, S&P Global is bringing an additional layer of critical insight to our leading suite of ESG product offerings, which will further enable our customers to create resilient strategies, build a sustainable future, and meet the expectations of an evolving market,” says Douglas Peterson, S&P Global President and CEO.“Beginning with the launch of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index over twenty years ago, RobecoSAM has been an exceptional partner in our shared commitment to bringing essential ESG intelligence, data and insight to the financial markets. Today’s announcement is an exciting next step in the evolution of our partnership that will allow S&P Global to create market differentiating ESG products and deliver new content and capabilities to our customers.”
First launched in 1999, in collaboration with S&P Dow Jones Indices – a Division of S&P Global, the CSA has become one of the world’s most extensive databases of sustainability information. It assesses over 4,700 companies around the world based on ESG criteria that are both industry-specific and financially material.
“The ESG data landscape is changing rapidly and data providers are evolving along with it. S&P Global is best positioned to maintain and build on the leading position of the CSA, which will continue to benefit Robeco, RobecoSAM, and their clients,” says Karin van Baardwijk, Vice Chair of the Board of Directors, RobecoSAM. “This transaction will allow us to focus on the successful integration and application of the CSA data that is used in many of our investment processes. Sustainable Investing is our key strength. We have carefully crafted our expertise in this area for over 20 years and been recognized for our excellence through numerous awards and the trust which clients put in us to help them invest sustainably. We will continue to invest and innovate in our Sustainable Investing capabilities to ensure we not only remain at the forefront of this exciting field but also expand our leading position.”
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions. It is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020.
2019 has been a milestone year for S&P Global with the introduction of several flagship ESG products including the S&P 500 ESG Index; an expanded suite of Trucost climate analytics and new distribution options; and the S&P Global Ratings ESG Evaluation, which follows the 2017 launch of the S&P Global Ratings Green Evaluation.
In addition to launching new product solutions based on customer demand, 2019 also marks the twentieth anniversary of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI). The Company also actively participates in the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and the Accounting for Sustainability (A4S).