SAM today announced the results of the annual review for the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes (DJSI). Effective with the opening of equity markets on September 20, 2004 the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index will again include over 300 companies from 24 countries that lead their industries in terms of corporate sustainability. The pan-European sustainability benchmark the Dow Jones STOXX Sustainability Index will include 167 companies from 13 countries. Both indexes will continue to closely mirror the sector distribution of the corresponding mainstream equity benchmarks.
The annual review of the DJSI family is based on a thorough assessment of companies economic, environmental and social performance and accounts for more than 50 general as well as industry specific criteria in each sector. Its results will influence the investment decisions of asset managers in 14 countries who have licensed the DJSI family as objective benchmarks and underlying for a variety of sustainability-driven portfolios. In total, these licensees currently
manage close to 3 billion EUR in DJSI-based funds, structured products,
segregated accounts as well as an exchange traded fund that is listed on
The assessment results also provide detailed information about recent sustainability developments in the corporate world:
* Sustainability strategies are further integrated into companies core
businesses. New principles in codes of conduct, wider scope and coverage of environmental and social performance measurement and alignment of sustainability targets with remuneration systems are examples for this trend.
* Policies and practices are increasingly expanded to also cover supply chain management. Key aspects include the definition of environmental
and social standards and external audit procedures for suppliers.
* Corporate governance is improving. Growth in the number of boards that
split the role of chairman and CEO as well as reduced external auditors
conflicts of interest are cases in point for this.
* Sustainability reporting is being increasingly integrated in Annual
Reports. External verification as well as implementation of internal
assurance systems is spreading.
* Reductions in normalized greenhouse gas emissions, energy
consumption, water use and waste generation have further improved
* However, there is still considerable scope for progress in all industries
and across all sustainability dimensions economic, environmental and
Regionally, Japanese firms take the lead in environmental management and
performance. They have also shown the greatest increase in terms of
participation in this years annual review. Compared to 2003, the number of
Japanese companies taking part in the DJSI assessment has gone up by 40%.
European companies set best practice with regard to environmental and social
reporting as well as labor indicators and human capital development. America
leads in the area of codes of conduct and compliance, while Australia ranks on
top in corporate governance.
The rising interest of investors, companies and other stakeholders in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes is an encouraging feedback for us. Since the last annual review DJSI-based assets have increased by nearly 30% to close to 3 billion EUR. Albeit survey fatigue in the corporate world the participation rate in our analysis is going up. And in view of the growing amount of assets that investors are putting behind the DJSI as well as the public recognition of these benchmarks, more and more companies perceive the indexes as an incentive for continuous sustainability improvements. In fact, we are seeing a growing number of firms integrating DJSI membership into their sustainability objectives, said Alexander Barkawi, Managing Director, SAM Indexes.
When we launched the DJSI family as the worlds first global sustainability
indexes in 1999, the integration of economic, environmental and social criteria into investing was still in its infancy. Since then a rising number of private and institutional investors as well as asset managers have moved into the field and have rapidly increased professionalism in this market segment. Many of them
selected the DJSI as benchmark and underlying for their offerings. We look
forward to continue supporting this expanding and fascinating market with
indexes that accurately reflect best-in-class sustainability performance and the
trends that shape this development, said John Prestbo, Editor, Dow Jones