How to use a lean, green weighing machine

Investors are increasingly challenging the notion that traditional benchmarks represent their default guide to allocating capital. Nowhere is this more evident than in the wish to allocate capital responsibly for the long-term. Candriam’s research shows that investing by Responsible criteria per se improves risk-adjusted returns in bond and equity markets within different geographical regions. To do so requires reshaping and refining the standard bond and equity indices. We reject one-third of the constituents of each major regional bond and equity index in the first step of our refining process, which is based on companies’ sensitivity to global trends – macro analysis - and their relationship with other groups in the business chain, including customers and suppliers – micro analysis.

For sovereign issuers, we have four criteria: Human Capital, Natural Capital, Social Capital and Economic Sustainability which are equally weighted. To give just a flavour of the sub-criteria, Natural Capital looks at each country’s total emissions, waste treatment, ecosystems and biodiversity, water consumption and transport policy inter alia.

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