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Dow Jones launches ‘first’ sustainability index for emerging markets



Financial information firm Dow Jones and sustainable investment specialists RobecoSAM have developed a joint index that looks to measure the sustainability performance of companies from emerging economies.

The Dow Jones Sustainability Emerging Markets Index (DJSI Emerging Markets) will run alongside Dow Jones’ other sustainability indices, and allow investors to measure the sustainability and environmental, social and governance (ESG) credentials of companies.

Guido Giese, head of indexes at RobecoSAM, said, “The steady increase in the number of emerging market companies that participate in our CSA [Corporate Sustainability Assessment] shows that businesses around the world are embracing sustainable practices as an important factor in their future competitive position.

As the emerging markets have come of age, demand for a regional benchmark for sustainability investors has increased and we can now offer an appropriate product.”

DJSI Emerging Markets has an estimated market capitalization of $681 billion (£446 billion) and it’s led by firms from China, Taiwan and Brazil.

RobecoSAM explained that the 2012 CSA identified 69 sustainable leading companies which were selected for index membership.

Alka Banerjee, vice-president of global equity indices at Dow Jones, said, “An important strategic reference point for sustainability investors around the globe, the DJSI are continuously advanced to respond to market trends and requirements.

The DJSI Emerging Markets, the first index of its kind in the market, is launched in response to the evolving needs of the global investment community.

Last October, a study from responsible investment research firm EIRIS found that responsible investors had increased the share of emerging markets in their portfolios by 30% since 2009.

Further reading:

Responsible investors seeing ‘enormous potential’ of emerging markets

Stock exchanges announce commitment to sustainable investment

The Guide to Sustainable Investment 2012 (NEIW edition)