A global index of 300 companies that look beyond profit to their impact on the environment, economy and society outperformed the mainstream market in the past year.
The Dow Jones sustainability index rose 23.1 per cent since last September, compared with a 22.7 per cent gain in the Dow Jones world index and a 21.2 per cent gain in the Morgan Stanley capital international world index.
The index tracks the performance of companies that integrate economic, environmental and social criteria such as reduced energy consumption into business practices. About 45 asset managers investing NZ$ 4.2 billion use it as their benchmark.
A spokeswoman for the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development said the performance of the index showed the business case for such practices, and urged New Zealand companies to consider their own sustainable development.
"Those companies putting effort into sustainable development are also the ones doing well financially," she said. The council has 43 members, including The Warehouse Group and Telecom.