5 Top Tips to Accelerate Your DJSI Process and Performance in 2018

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5 Top Tips to Accelerate Your DJSI Process and Performance in 2018
Publ. date 6 Sep 2017
Many companies eager to be leading in the globally renowned sustainability benchmark - the Dow Jones Sustainability Index - start their internal engagement process immediately after the 2017 results are released. Since last year, many eligible companies that were not actively participating have been assessed by RobecoSAM based on publicly available data only. And what's more: the relative scores will be published in the Bloomberg terminal by the end of September.

Dow Jones Sustainability Index: Instrument, not a goal

From our viewpoint, the outcomes of rankings and ratings are a result of the company's performance, and not a goal in itself. The great thing about benchmarking is that it provides insights of where your company's sustainability approach is doing well, and moreover what can be improved. This provides you with both a driver and pointers for the continuous improvement of your program to accelerate your company's impact. If you want to make the case why your company should consider to go the extra mile and strenghten its sustainability approach, have a look at the following convincing arguments: 

  1. 'High sustainability' companies significantly outperform their peers with 4.8% on return on assets and return on equity.
  2. Socially responsible investing is big business: the UN Principles for Responsible Investment have nearly 1,800 signatories, from over 50 countries, representing US$65 trillion assets under management.
  3. Benchmarking insights will help to accelerate sustainability success in the long run  while leveraging short-term existing performance.
  4. The Dow Jones Sustainability Index has the highest credibility and awareness of corporate sustainability investment ratings and inclusion provides third party evidence to demonstrate credible sustainability leadership.
  5. Since relative performance on all criteria will be published in the Bloomberg terminal, not actively participating implies that you will be selling your company short.

Once you've decided that you want to go for it, here's what you can do to be fully prepared:

1: Download your Company Benchmarking Scorecard 

RobecoSAM publishes the 2017 results on 7 September and uploads the Company Benchmarking Scorecard and the Industry Overview Report 2017 in the company portal which is accessible with your login. Companies that have not actively participated can request their DJSI-scorecard at RobecoSAM free of charge. For additional information you can participate in RobecoSAM's general webcast about this year's review on 14th September.

2. Have a look at our Dow Jones Sustainability Index Program Canvas

The downloadable canvas is designed to create the big picture where your sustainability strategy is at, and how it connects with the DJSI criteria to define where most improvement potential (based on Company Benchmarking Scorecard results) can be found. Last step in the canvas is to rank interventions based on both impact and feasibility, in order to differentiate low hanging fruit from more structural and long term improvements.

3: Participate in our DJSI Expert Training 

The DJSI Expert Training is designed to help gain in-depth insights with a focus on challenging key topics such as Materiality, Human Rights, Impact Measurement & Valuation and Human Capital Development. Top specialists will shed light on what is expected from participating companies while experts from leading Dow Jones Sustainability Index members such as Philips, ING, Randstad and Telenet will be sharing an array of best practices and key learnings. The next expert training is scheduled for 27-28 November 2017 in Barcelona, click here for more information and to book your seat.

4: Start engaging for success

Once you and your team have established which interventions should be taken, the next step is to engage the organization in order to implement actions. Starting the process September/October will help you to get information that is required to be available in the public domain incorporated in the 2017 Annual Report. At the same time, it gives an opportunity to build momentum to accelerate sustainability before the reporting storm breaks loose. Starting to work on mid- and long term actions in Q4 will improve performance and have your internal key players ready and prepared once the 2018 benchmarking starts again in Q2.

5: Contact Finch & Beak

In case of any questions or hesitations please contact us for more insights and practical advice based on more than 12 years of experience in Dow Jones Sustainability Index and working across seven countries at current. Our DJSI support is characterized by a pragmatic approach that leverages existing assets in the short term, while identifying opportunities for strategic development in the future.

Please contact us at hello@finchandbeak.com for more information.

Image source: M. Smelter/Wikimedia

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