The Erasmus Platform for Sustainable Value Creation engages in several projects with their partners. Most of them are research projects. Below you find all our projects and the outcomes. Curious to discuss this with us? Please send us an e-mail via the contact form. 

Investing, the SDG's and impact measurement

Financial institutions are increasingly adopting the UN Sustainable Development Goals as guidelines for their investment and lending decisions. A relatively new approach in sustainable investing and lending that looks at outcomes (SDG’s) instead of inputs (ESG factors). The UN SDG’s form a common language and understanding of the global environmental and social challenges. The framework is broad yet comprehensive. As such however, it also considers a broad spectrum of topics that are not (yet) easily quantifiable and subsequently also poorly measurable. This research project is a collaboration between the Platform, ASN Bank, MN, NWB Bank, Rabobank and Robeco. At each of the parties, a specific SDG-related research question is formulated. These cases together will lead to a broader understanding of how the SDG's can be used in investing and how subsequent positive and negative impact can be measured. 

Project cases

A guideline on the use of deforestation risk mitigation solutions for financial institutions

This case study focuses on the relationship between investing and deforestation. Global forest covers continue to decline at unsustainable rates. The destruction of forests directly and indirectly affects natural habitats, the climate, communities and businesses. As governments and consumers shift towards more sustainable practices, companies will have to adjust their business models. Consequently, the value and profitability of investments that do not take deforestation and related sustainability issues into account may decrease. Financial institutions can no longer ignore the risks associated with a deteriorating planet. The aim of this paper, written in cooperation with the Sustainable Finance Platform of the Nederlandsche Bank, is to provide financial institutions with actionable steps to analyse and mitigate their impact on deforestation. You can read the paper here.

SDI Optimization

This paper examines investing in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), or in other words, Sustainable Development Investments SDIs). Since the SDGs were introduced in 2015, SDIs have developed into a sustainable investing practice at different institutional investors and asset managers. As such, they are one of the methods of socially responsible investing (SRI), which I consider to be equivalent to the Dutch term ‘maatschappelijk verantwoord beleggen’. The leading question of this case study is the following: How can MN and its clients optimize their exposure to SDIs given their financial objectives and their position in the pension system? You can read the paper here.

Biodiversity, risks and opportunities for the financial sector 

By 2020, the world is supposed to achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, and a zero draft for post-2020 targets has already been set-up (Convention on Biological Diversity, 2020). The 20 Aichi targets, created in 2010 and signed by 194 countries, have the purpose of aligning the global community in the fight against biodiversity loss. The first target states that people have to be “aware of the value of biodiversity and the steps they can take to conserve and use it sustainably” (Convention on Biological Diversity, 2018). This paper, written in cooperation with the Sustainable Finance Platform of the Nederlandsche Bank, aims to increase awareness of biodiversity amongst financial institutions, thereby contributing to achieving the Aichi targets. You can read the paper here

This case study focuses on the value of good data on SDG-level.  More information soon. 

In this case study, our researcher focuses on the topic food security. The first report will be published soon. 

Committed shareholders project

Shareholders are of great influence on companies. In the transition to a sustainable economy, companies and institutional investors are increasingly adopting the goal of long-term value creation, which integrates financial, social and environmental value. How can institutional investors, as committed shareholders, support sustainable companies and work jointly on the long-term agenda? In the pursuit of long-term value creation, investors and companies face several dilemmas. The aim of this research project is threefold. First, establish the facts on institutional shareholdings in companies. Second, identify dilemmas for investors and companies and third, explore pathways for long-term-alignment between investors and companies. 



Reports of this project

This report summarises the institutional ownership data of the companies in the AEX index. The main goal of the report is to create an overview of the presence of institutional investors in the ownership of Dutch large-cap companies. This report relates the data obtained to the reality of the Dutch asset management industry and lists the implications for institutional investors. Download it here

This paper finds that investors use a variety of methods for long-term value creation, including positive and negative screening, concentrated portfolios, active ownership, and collaboration with other investors. The main barriers to long-term investing are overreliance on benchmarking and passive portfolios, lack of alignment within the investment chains, and short-term performance incentives in the industry. Those are exacerbated by the lack of reliable sustainability data and the decoupling of investment processes from ESG engagement. Download the paper here.

This report presents data on the geographic segmentation of the companies in the AEX index, the Dutch stock index of the 25 most frequently traded securities on Euronext Amsterdam. This report aims to give an overview to investors of the international diversification of large Dutch multinational companies’ operations. Download it here.

Building on previous studies in which we disentagled the several interrelated obstacles that investors and company management face with long-term sustainable alignment, this paper, expands and searches for practicable solutions. The goal is to find an appropriate model that enables management of companies to engage in long-term value creation with support and trust of its investors, while keeping market discipline of management. Download the report here.

On 5 November 2019, the Platform hosted an executive dinner as part of the project on 'Committed Shareholders'. Leading AEX-companies and institutional investors sat at the table to discuss how long-term commitment between investors and companies can be strengthened. Prior to the evening, an introduction paper was written and sent around. The discussion was very fruitful. You can read the key take-aways here