Dow Jones reveals worlds most sustainable companies

The 2015 edition of the influential Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) has been released, with Unilever, LG, AkzoNobel and Volkswagen ranking among the industry leaders.

The index analysed 1,845 companies, assessing them on a range of economic, environmental and social criteria.

The index then lists the top 10% of businesses within each sector, as judged by sustainability investment firm RobecoSAM, and chooses 24 industry group leaders.

The most improved industry in this year’s index was Electronic Equipment, Instruments & Component, perhaps a reflection of the growing concerns over the amount of electronics that are improperly recycled – 6.2 million tonnes in the EU alone last year.

The Transportation and Homebuilding industries were the next biggest improvers, with Personal Products and Oil and Gas among the sectors that regressed.

Pepsi, Diageo and Cisco were all deleted from the index compared with 2014, while UK mining company BHP Billiton and soft drink bottler Coca-Cola Enterprises were both added.

David Blitzer, the managing director of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices said: “More and more investors look at companies’ environmental policies and track records in making their investment decisions.”

Added boost

Dutch chemicals firm AkzoNobel, which lead the Materials sector, said the ranking would generate even more momentum for its sustainability plan.

CEO Ton Büchner said: “We’ve developed great products such as additives that allow asphalt to be laid at low temperatures and solar-reflective exterior paint that reduces a building’s energy use up to 15%.

“But innovation is only part of the story. The DJSI also helps us to make advances in terms of becoming more eco-efficient, improving the safety of our products, attracting and retaining talent and improving relationships with our customers.”

Earlier this week AkzoNobel blogged on edie about other ways the Index has helped boost its sustainability efforts.

Fellow Dutch firm Unilever was also named as the industry leader in the Food, Beverage and Tobacco sectors.

The company’s chief sustainability officer Jeff Seabright commented: “The results reflect the progress we are making in delivering the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, driving long-term sustainable business growth and towards achieving our vision of making sustainable living commonplace.” 

The full list of industry leaders with case studies, is available here.

Brad Allen

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie