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September 30, 2004
Apple Added, Time Warner and Petro-Canada Deleted from FTSE4Good Index Series
    by William Baue

The biannual review of FTSE4Good constituents resulted in the addition of 79 companies and the deletion of 23.


Earlier this month, the global socially responsible investment (SRI) index provider FTSE4Good announced the results of its biannual review of company adherence with its Inclusion Criteria. The review, based on research provided by the Ethical Investment Research Service (EIRiS), resulted in the addition of 79 companies and the deletion of 23, bringing the total constituency to 899 companies worldwide. Companies that now meet FTSE4Good's increasingly stringent corporate social responsibility (CSR) standards include Apple Computer (ticker: AAPL), Carrefour (CARR), and Holcim (HOLN).

Failure to meet the human rights criteria prompted the ejection of Petro-Canada (PCZ) and Time Warner (">TWX), while non-compliance with environmental criteria led to the ousting of 17 companies, including Benetton (BNG) and Mothercare (MTC.L).

"The FTSE4Good series is established as a barometer for CSR practice by companies all over the world," said Mark Makepeace, CEO of the FTSE Group. "The methodology, which uniquely includes ongoing criteria evolution, ensures that the series always reflects current CSR standards."

For example, the FTSE4Good Policy Committee strengthened the human rights criteria in February 2003, and set a timetable for companies to meet these criteria. These criteria include a mandatory requirement that companies have a policy regarding use of security forces on international projects.

"Petro-Canada does not have a formal policy in this regard, however our Principles for Investment and Operations subscribes to the International Code of Ethics for Canadian Business, the UN Global Compact, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights," said Andrea Ranson, spokesperson for Petro-Canada. "As well, our commitment on human rights states that we will 'not be complicit in human rights abuses' and we will 'support and respect the protection of human rights within our sphere of influence.'"

"Operationally, we believe our practices are responsible and principled related to the use of security forces, however to further demonstrate this we are developing a formal policy . . . in response to the gap identified by the FTSE4Good Index," Ms. Ranson told SocialFunds.com.

Time Warner did not respond to SocialFunds.com's requests for commentary.

This example illustrates how FTSE4Good's raising the bar on CSR criteria helps drive CSR performance improvement.

FTSE4Good has also lowered the bar on one of its criteria, removing an outright exclusion for companies marketing breast milk substitutes that applied to seven companies, including Nestle (NESZn), Danone (BSNP), and Heinz (HNZ).

"This does not mean that the affected companies will automatically go into the index," explained Lynne Sims, FTSE's senior vice president for marketing and communications. "The exclusion has been replaced with a set of demanding criteria, developed with experts in this area." Chairing the Expert Committee on this issue is Reg Green, head of environmental, health, and saftey affairs for the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers Union (ICEM).

"Although all companies involved in the manufacture and marketing of breast milk substitutes are now eligible for inclusion, none of them currently meet the standards set by the criteria and will therefore not be included in the index until such time as they do," Ms. Sims told SocialFunds.com.

Furthermore, the recent review resulted in the deletion of Meiji Dairies (MMPRF) for failing to meet the breast milk substitutes marketing criteria.

"In our experience, setting transparent, defined and measurable criteria has encouraged companies to significantly improve their corporate responsibility commitments and practices and we hope that these companies will strive to meet the new demanding standard for this area," said Ms. Sims.

 

 
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