Akzo Nobel tops DJSI index
First place in Chemicals for sustainability
AkzoNobel was in first place in the Chemicals ‘supersector’ of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Indexes (DJSI), toppling DSM after four years with a score of 93%, compared to a supersector average of 55%. Overall, there were 11 chemicals companies in the World Index this year, with others in the separate North American Index.
The DJSI, which is announced every year in September, is carried out for Dow Jones by Sustainable Asset Management (SAM), a Swiss-based specialist in sustainable and responsible investing. It is generally regarded as one of the most prestigious indices in the field, covering the world’s largest 2,500 largest companies from 57 sectors. The top 10% of companies are named within it.
To achieve this, companies must respond to surveys regarding their sustainability performance, benchmarking their sustainability performance based on environmental, social and economic criteria in areas like corporate governance, water-related risks and stakeholder relations. These criteria look at both general and industry-specific sustainability trends. SAM notedsaid that the overall participation rate in this was 8.4% higher than last year.
AkzoNobel’s sustainability director Andre Veneman said: "Our first place ranking and our consistent performance over the last years are clear evidence of how sustainability has been successfully integrated into our global operations”. AkzoNobel has been in the top three companies in the supersector every year since 2007, when it was last on top.
DSM, which has been the Chemicals supersector leader on six occasions, including the last four years, was also near the top again this year. In announcing this, the company noted how the share of Eco+ products in its portfolio had increased from 39% to 42% this year, as well as its activities in cellulosic bioethanol and nutritional ingredients.
Another regular high-scorer to appear this year and for the 12th time overall was Dow Chemical, which had an improved total of 88% and was the highest sectoral score for its environmental policy management system. This mark, the company noted, put it in the 97th percentile for all companies in the sector.
Also appearing for a 12th time was BASF, which said that it had been “recognised for its sustainability engagement in areas such as climate strategy, risk and crisis management, as well as human capital development”. DuPont, meanwhile, was named to the North America index, which seeks to capture the top 20% of the 600 largest companies in the US and Canada.
A newcomer to the DJSI World Index was Ecolab, including the former Nalco, which was one of 41 making their first appearance among the total of 340. Meanwhile, Novozymes was head of the rankings in the Biotechnology sector for the 11th time in total, scoring 86%.
Separately, many of the same companies have been named to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) Global 500 Leadership Index, which comprises 51 companies from the FTSE Global Equity Index Series. Compiled by Pricewaterhouse Coopers, this is another key sustainability index targeted mainly at institutional investors.
The CDP ranks companies based on their performance across sustainability metrics focused on greenhouse gas emissions, emission reduction targets and the risks and opportunities associated with climate change. Those named to the top 500 are said to have “displayed a strong approach to transparency of information regarding climate change”. High scores show strong internal data management and understanding of material climate change-related issues.
BASF was once again the top scorer in the Materials sector, as well as being included in the Carbon Performance Leadership Index for the third time. The CPLI lists 33 companies based on their performance in climate protection activities, such as example climate strategy, stakeholder communications and management systems. BASF officially aims to reduce its emissions per tonne of sales product by 40% from 2002 to 2020.
DuPont, meanwhile, scored 94. Others in the Materials sector included Dow Chemical, Eastman Chemical, Ecolab, FMC, IFF, Monsanto, Sigma-Aldrich and various other large companies active in such diverse fields as metals, paper, glass and mining.