Integrating the Sustainable Development Goals in Government Bond Investment Strategies

35 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2023

See all articles by Jan Anton van Zanten

Jan Anton van Zanten

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM); Robeco Asset Management

Laurens Swinkels

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR); Robeco Asset Management

Rikkert Scholten

Robeco Asset Management

Max Schieler

Robeco Switzerland Ltd

Date Written: February 20, 2023

Abstract

This paper investigates how investors can integrate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) into government bond portfolios. First, we develop a framework that assesses if countries: (i) have good policies for the SDGs; (ii) need better access to capital in order to finance sustainable development; and (iii) respect key sustainability principles. We argue that countries meeting these three criteria deserve priority for inclusion in SDG-aligned government bond portfolios. Second, we apply this framework to 170 countries, allowing us to create SDG-scores for each country. Third, to show how these scores can be used in practice, we create a hypothetical sovereign bond portfolio that aligns with the SDGs. We raise implications for sustainable investing and the financing of the SDGs.

Keywords: Sustainable investing, Sovereign debt, Bonds, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ESG

JEL Classification: G11, G12, G14

Suggested Citation

van Zanten, Jan Anton and Swinkels, Laurens and Scholten, Rikkert and Schieler, Max, Integrating the Sustainable Development Goals in Government Bond Investment Strategies (February 20, 2023). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4365013 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4365013

Jan Anton Van Zanten (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
Room T08-21
3000 DR Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands

Robeco Asset Management ( email )

Weena 850
Rotterdam, 3014 DA
Netherlands

Laurens Swinkels

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) ( email )

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3000 DR Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland 3062PA
Netherlands

Robeco Asset Management ( email )

Rotterdam, 3000
Netherlands
+31 10 224 2470 (Phone)
+31 10 224 2110 (Fax)

Rikkert Scholten

Robeco Asset Management

Max Schieler

Robeco Switzerland Ltd ( email )

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