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April 15, 2010
SAM to Update Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes
    by Robert Kropp

The investment group invites the world's largest companies to participate in its Corporate Sustainability Assessment, to determine inclusion in the group of Sustainability Indexes.


When they were launched in 1999, the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes (DJSI) became the first global indexes to track the financial performance of the leading global sustainability corporations. Analysis for inclusion in the DJSI family of indexes is provided by SAM, a Swiss-based investment group focused exclusively on sustainability investing with $14 billion in assets under management.

For this year's update of the indexes, SAM has invited 2,500 of the world's largest companies, based on market capitalization, to participate in its Corporate Sustainability Assessment. The Assessment consists of about 100 questions on economic, environmental, and social aspects of corporate performance, with a focus on long-term corporate value. It includes such topics as corporate governance, risk management, human capital, and environmental and social reporting.

SAM reports that since it began its assessments twelve years ago, corporate participation has increased, from 468 companies to 1,237 last year.

The DJSI indexes include the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World), which currently lists 317 companies. Companies listed on the index represent the top ten percent of performers in 58 industry sectors.

Based on SAM's Assessment, 33 companies were added to DJSI World last year, and an equal number were deleted. Among the US-based companies added last year were Johnson & Johnson and Coca-Cola.

Other indexes in the group include the pan-European Dow Jones STOXX Sustainability Index, the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index, and the Dow Jones Sustainability Asia Pacific Index.

According to SAM, "sustainability leaders generate better performance and thus higher returns for shareholders than companies that pay little or no attention to sustainability criteria." From 2001 through 2008, "the annual share performance of sustainability leaders exceeded that of sustainability laggards by 1.48 percentage points."

Rodrigo Amandi, Managing Director of SAM Indexes, stated, "The international recognition enjoyed by the DJSI makes the prospect of index membership an important incentive for participating companies. It enhances both their reputation and their appeal to sustainability investors, offering them access to an additional pool of capital."

The new composition of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes family will be published on September 2, 2010.

 

 
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