Even though the Nordic countries are among the most positive towards sustainability and CSR there have been nowhere one could follow these companies until now. The Down Jones have in cooperation with SAM compiled of the top 30% (best in class screening) sustainable companies in the Nordics called the DJSI. There is no doubt that this index will be followed very closely by SRI professionals and regular investors alike.
The index will be made up of 29 companies (Components) from Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland all perceived to be leaders within the region on sustainability issues. The system that is used to evaluate each company is based on the already existing screening system used by DJ on their well know sustainability index. The total assets (CAP) will be around 245 billion EUR so no small sum for such a small region.
The two heads of SAM and Down Jones indexes send out a release were they explain their motivations for creating a Nordic sustainability index.
Rodrigo Amandi, Managing Director, SAM Indexes: “Sustainability is a salient topic for Nordic corporations. Their progressive approach towards sustainability issues is reflected in their generally high performance on our annual Corporate Sustainability Assessment. In this respect, investors have requested a segregated benchmark that resonates with Nordic commitment to Sustainability, and we are eager to bring this product to the market.”
Michael A. Petronella, President, Dow Jones Indexes: “We have seen increasing interest in regional sustainability indexes and with the expansive DJSI family we feel we have a strong platform to meet the Nordic demand for a regionally specific sustainability benchmark.”
There is no doubt that an index which targets sustainability will be watched closely by investors, researchers and professionals interested in the subject. They will be looking for proof for their argumentation either for or against strategic CSR. The progressive companies within the Nordic region have a long history of social engagement and the index performance will be seen if this philosophy also is reflected in their bottom line.