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Are the dow Jones Sustainability Indexes (DJSI) sustainable?

The DJSI is a variation of the New York Stock Exchange for businesses that comply with sustainability requirements.

The Dow Jones Sustainability Index is the first global index tracking the financial performance of the leading sustainability-driven companies worldwide.

The DJSI was created December 31, 1998 by the companies Dow Jones Index (the indicator headquartered in New York), Stoxx LimitedSAM (Sustainable Asset Management), all of which are responsible for evaluating candidates using the sustainability criteria chosen by the index that are revised quarterly (March, June, September and December).

The DJSI follows annually the same procedure to select from the 2,500 biggest global businesses that want to be a part of the index, once they have verified that they comply with more than 50 general and specific criteria; these last vary in regards to the sector in which they operate. With the collected data, three indexes are created: the world (DJSI World), the European (DJSI Stoxx) and the North American (DJSI North America).

The criteria required of the businesses to become part of the DJSI can be divided into three areas: 

  • Economic (code of conduct, corporate government, management of crisis and risks, and criteria specific to the sector).
  • Relationship with the environment (respect for the environment -ecoefficiency-, environmental analysis and specific criteria related to the sector).
  • Social (corporate citizenship and philanthropy, labor indicators, development of human capital, social analysis, attraction and detection of talent and criteria specific to the sector). 

The questionnaires from SAM specific to each sector are distributed between the delegated counselors and the executives responsible for investor relations for the companies that potentially can form a part of the index (by size and characteristics, 2,500 global businesses).

The questionnaire, signed by a legal representative of each company, is the mayor source of information used to determine the acceptance of a business in the DJSI.

Among the documentation that each company contributes, the following analyses are emphasized: 

  • Sustainability.
  • Environment.
  • Health analysis and labor security.
  • Annual accounts.
  • Special analysis (for example, management of intellectual capital, corporate government, investigation and development, relationships with the employees).
  • Other sources of corporate information (internal documentation, corporate dossiers and website).

Currently, the 56 licensees that operate in the DJSI are managed by professionals from 14 different countries that manage diverse financial products such as investment fund assets and liabilities, certificates, etc.

In total, the volume of business generated annually is over 4 billion euros.

  • More information on the stock market index DJSI, in Wikipedia.