Tuesday, September 22, 2009

10 years of sustainability indexing

If you happen to be in New York City today, you could join SAM, Dow Jones and STOXX for the 10th anniversary celebration of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes, at a cocktail and dinner reception at the American Museum of Natural History.

But it’s not just about a party. ‘The principles of sustainability have gained traction as the result of spirited discussion and debate. But given volatile markets and rising CO2 levels, it’s never been more important to accelerate those conversations and spread those ideas to new places. We want to fuel dialogue on two important topics:

What has our industry accomplished in the 10 years since these indexes have been launched?

What are the biggest challenges the industry faces in 2010, and the decade to come?’

Both very interesting questions, and as the results of the dialogue become available, we’ll be filling you in. And if you have comments, please let us know and we can get our own dialogue started too.

Launched in September 1999, the DJSI series provided the first global sustainability benchmarks worldwide. Today, more than 8 billion dollars(US) of assets are in financial products linked to the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes such as mutual funds, separate accounts, notes, futures and exchange traded funds. Canadian investors can readily access the DJSI through mutual funds offered by TD Asset Management. In addition to the proliferation of products, SAM says “as the number of investors using the DJSI increases, the indexes are continuously moving up the corporate agenda.”

Confirming SAM’s view, Rick Waugh, President and Chief Executive Officer, Scotiabank says, "Scotiabank is working diligently to continue to integrate environmental, social and governance principles into all our operations. We believe that paying close attention to sustainability issues provides us with a competitive edge." Scotiabank has been named to Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for the first time this year, joining a select group of 11 Canadian companies to make the cut.

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