SAM, a leading financial provider in the growing area of sustainability investing, today expanded its family of Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes (DJSI) with dedicated benchmarks for North America and the United States. The Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index (DJSI North America) and Dow Jones Sustainability United States Index (DJSI United States) will comprise the top companies in terms of economic, environmental and social criteria from the two regions and provide solid benchmarks for sustainability-driven North American and US equity portfolios.
SAM and Dow Jones Indexes introduced the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World) as the worlds first global sustainability benchmark in 1999. In 2001, the two partners were joined by STOXX Limited to expand the offering with European and Eurozone indexes. Today, the DJSI family is licensed to investment firms in 14 countries as underlying and benchmark for a variety of financial products including mutual funds, separate accounts, structured products and an exchange traded fund listed on Euronext.
In total, over 4 billion US Dollars are presently managed in DJSI-based investment vehicles. The launch of the DJSI North America and DJSI United States builds up on this strong platform. The new indexes will follow the same best-in-class approach and SAM assessment methodology as already applied for the established global, European and Eurozone offering. Accounting for issues such as corporate governance, climate change, supply chain standards, human capital development and labor practices, the analysis ranks companies in terms of sustainability in every industry. For the DJSI North America, the top 20% in each sector out of the biggest 600 North American companies are selected as index members. As of todays launch, 111 firms 93 from the US and 18 from Canada are included in the new index. The DJSI United States is the US subset of the DJSI North America and, thus, currently comprises 93 stocks.
This is obviously an exciting milestone for us. The DJSI North America and DJSI United States provide a significant expansion of our index family and the first equity benchmarks for the region based on SAMs research methodology. We have been serving sustainability investors for more than 10 years and have been offering benchmarks in this field since 1999. The new indexes will leverage this experience to support investors in their implementation of sustainability-driven North American and US equity portfolios, said Alexander Barkawi, managing director, SAM Indexes.
The concept of sustainability has gained increasing recognition in financial markets over recent years as investing in companies committed to sustainability principles makes a lot of sense for the long term. These are well-run companies that are attuned to managing the risks and seizing the opportunities that arise from enlightened treatment of this world’s natural and human resources, said Michael A. Petronella, president, Dow Jones Indexes. With the addition of North American and U.S. sustainability benchmarks SAM Indexes takes a significant step in measuring the performance of companies that apply sustainability criteria to their business. Indexes play a crucial role in the development and implementation of investment strategies. The availability of dedicated sustainability benchmarks is important to the expected investor demand and growth in this segment of the market, said Bailey Bishop, principal, State Street Global Advisors, one of the speakers at todays launch event for the DJSI North America and DJSI United States in New York.