Financial organisations launch new European corporate sustainability index

A group of financial organisations have launched a new sustainability indexes listing European companies in terms of their environmental, economic and social performance, with companies from Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK, outweighing those from other countries.

The new Dow Jones EURO STOXX Sustainability Indexes, launched by Dow Jones Indexes, STOXX Limited, and Sustainable Asset Management (SAM) (see related story), catalogues the Euro zone companies out of the leading 20% of sustainability-driven companies in the already well established Dow Jones STOXX 600 index. Companies such as British Telecommunications (BT), Granada Media Plc, The Boots Company Plc, and BASF AG, were all at the top of their market sectors in the new index.

The new index joins the companies’ already successful Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes (DJSI), launched in 1999, the world’s first global indexes tracking the financial performance of the leading sustainability-driven companies worldwide. The new European indexes is divided into one which covers all the top sustainable European companies (DJSI EURO STOXX), and a second which lists all those in the DJSI EURO STOXX that to not generate revenue from alcohol, gambling, tobacco, armaments or firearms.

“This is a milestone for sustainability investing,” said Managing Director of Dow Jones Indexes Mike Petronella. “During the last twelve months we have seen an increasing interest for a regionally focused sustainability index. With the success of the DJSI World we have a strong platform to meet this demand and to open a new chapter for sustainability investments.”

“Sustainability has become a crucial success factor in business,” said STOXX Limited’s Managing Director Scott Stark. “Moving proactively to meet future economic, environmental and social challenges is increasingly seen as an important lever to increase long-term shareholder value. A rising number of asset managers therefore invests in sustainability leaders. STOXX Limited is committed to provide them with comprehensive and accurate benchmarks for European sustainability portfolios.”

Management at BT, the company at the top of the telecommunications sector on the new DJSI, is pleased with the company’s listing. “BT has come first in the most rigorous test possible – the Dow Jones Sustainability Index – which analysed all major dimensions of our operations and business,” said BT’s Director of Social Policy, Adrian Hosford. “Achieving this ranking is particularly important because investors have driven it. A growing number of investors now share BT’s conviction that integrating economic, environmental and social success factors into business strategy can result in competitive advantages. It also demonstrates the level of real long-term value embedded in the BT Group.”

BT recently published a report promoting e-commerce and the resource efficiencies that arise through it (see related story).

In July, the UK financial index calculation specialist, FTSE, launched its own index for companies that have achieved certain levels of performance on environmental sustainability and human rights, which revealed that the largest 50 companies on the index have out-performed the FTSE 100 by 15% over the last five years (see related story).

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