New listing of world's "most sustainable firms"

Dow Jones Sustainability Group index finds European companies continue to lead the way

Companies committed to sustainability continued to outperform the world's stock markets in 1999, according the second annual presentation of a global index of the world's "most sustainable firms". Developed by Dow Jones and Swiss-based SAM Sustainability Group, the 2000 index also shows a continued dominance by European companies in the "top 10% most sustainable firms," which comprise the list.

Dow Jones Sustainability Group Indexes (DJSGI) was launched last year, aiming to demonstrate that firms that are strong on the environmental, social and economic tests of sustainability should outperform the general market (ENDS Daily 14 September 1999). The company says it has now granted 17 licences to financial institutions in eight countries to create index based financial products based on its sustainability index.

Based on the second annual review, approximately 30% of the more than 200 firms in the index have been replaced in 2000, two-thirds due to changes in sustainability assessments. Most of this turnover was in the "low end" of sustainability ranking, DJSGI notes.

Several of the "market sector leaders" defined by DJSGI are thus the same as they were in 1999, though there are some new names too. Classified by sector, the organisation picks out BMW, Volkswagen and DaimlerChrysler (consumer cyclical), BG Group (energy), Bristol-Myers Squibb (healthcare), Credit Suisse Group (financial), Deutsche Telekom Group (telecommunications), Dofasco (basic materials), Fujitsu (technology), Procter & Gamble (consumer, non-cyclical), Sulzer (Industrial) and Thames Water and Anglian Water (utilities).

For selected industry groups, the leaders are Baxter International (medical products), Dow Chemical (chemicals), ING Group (insurance), STMicroelectronics (semiconductors), Teijin (textiles and apparel) and Unilever (food products).

As in last year's index, European firms are represented disproportionately in the sustainability index. Whereas the Dow Jones Global Index of 2,000 firms on which the DJSGI is based is 54% Americas, 29% Europe and 17% Asia, the DJSGI itself is 44% Americas, 44% Europe and 12% Asia.

Follow Up:
DJSGI, tel: +41 1 395 2828. See also press release and slide presentation.

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