Dow Jones Sustainability Index Industry Leaders 2017: Pearson, Inditex, and KPN

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Dow Jones Sustainability Index Industry Leaders 2017: Pearson, Inditex, and KPN
Publ. date 6 Sep 2017
On the 7th of September 2017, RobecoSAM and S&P Dow Jones Indices announced the results of the annual Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) review. This year’s industry group leaders include Pearson, SGS, Inditex, Metro, Grupo Argos and Henkel. Companies that were newly added in this year’s Indices are CRH, Carrefour, Solvay, Saipem, Philips Lighting and TechnipFMC, whereas Rio Tinto and Reckitt Benckiser Group have been deleted from the index. LANXESS re-entered the European Index within the chemicals sector.


In this year’s assessment, RobecoSAM added criteria on policy influence applicable to all industry. The rationale behind the inclusion is the fact that policy influence as a material issue for investors deserves more attention. Outcomes of the CSA show that companies spend 0.02% of their sales on policy influence activities. Furthermore, the outcomes revealed that companies are hesitant to publish information on policy influence that goes beyond legal obligation

Another development was the expansion of Impact Measurement & Valuation to a wider group of industries. The analysis shows that 70% of companies are aware of social and environmental profit and losses. Nevertheless, only 10% have an approach in place that provides insights in such impacts.

Energy: Thai Oil is this year’s industry leader

Thai Oil is the number 1 in the energy sector for the 2017 assessment. The company is praised for its improvement in operations through its operations excellence framework. Key drivers for this achievement is the collaboration with other sectors and organizations, as well as building community engagement to raise the quality of life and push sustainable growth for all.

Food: Coca-Cola takes the lead in the food industry group

After being leader in the beverage sector for three years, Coca-Cola now takes the lead in the whole industry group. Coca-Cola has been awarded for its significant improvements in operational eco-efficiency where its water usage and carbon emissions decreased. Furthermore, the company has a sustainability strategy accompanied with targets which contribute to the overall objective of creating long-term value for business and society.

Materials: Grupo Argos claims industry leadership

Colombian giant Cementos Argos has been named industry leader for the materials group for the 2017 assessment. The company is praised by RobecoSAM for its improvements on environmental indicators as GHG emissions, energy and water consumption in relation to the company’s production volume. Furthermore, Grupos Argos has developed Human Rights policies that reflects on the company’s commitment to implement good labor practices across all its subsidiaries. Next to this, Grupo Argos’ Health & Safety Management System enabled them to prevent work-related risks and enhance occupational safety across the organization.

Media: Pearson takes over industry leader position

After five consecutive years of industry leadership for Telenet, Pearson has now taken over the top spot in the Media industry. To tackle industry drivers as developments of new technologies through innovative thinking, it is key for media companies to have a talented creative and digitally-skilled workforce. Pearson is praised for its 2020 sustainability plan that is based on responsible operations, managing impacts on environment and people, and improving access and affordability. This all has led to overall company improvements and eventually resulted in regaining the top spot in the media industry.

Telecommunications: KPN ranked as industry leader

The highly competitive telecommunications industry has to deal with developments as rapid technology change, and innovative, energy efficient solutions that address social and environmental issues. KPN is praised by RobecoSAM for the fact that sustainability is fully integrated into business operations. The focus on the Sustainable Development Goals and the connection with KPN’s CSR targets have significantly contributed to KPN’s sustainability performance.

Companies’ DJSI performance in Bloomberg terminal

RobecoSAM and Bloomberg have announced their collaboration in 2016. The purpose of the collaboration is to increase the transparency and investor relevance of its research by sharing selected results of the CSA with the global investment community. Therefore, companies’ percentile rankings on dimension level of this year’s questionnaire, will be published in the Bloomberg terminal later this month.

Finch & Beak helps you to accelerate lean reporting and benchmarking

he increasing hunger for ESG information from investors and institutions is more and more burdening companies. Reporting activities take up much time at the cost of generating real impact. Meanwhile, research continues to show that it is not the overall sustainability profile that is driving long-term company value, but a focused approach on the organization’s most material topics.

Finch & Beak helps companies to avoid the reporting trap by focusing on issues that are key for your company and society, by choosing the right benchmarks, and through efficient ways of reporting. With over 10 years of experience in Dow Jones Sustainability Index support and a long-term collaboration with RobecoSAM, Finch & Beak is one of Europe’s leading experts in assisting companies with their submission to ESG benchmarks.

Our work for (ex-) industry group leaders is characterized by a pragmatic, 12 month-approach that leverages existing assets in the short term, while identifying opportunities for strategic development in the future. If your organization is looking to improve its sustainability performance, please download our service description or contact Josée van der Hoek, Director and DJSI expert at or call +31 6 28 02 18 80.

About the Dow Jones Sustainability Index

Launched in 1999, the DJSI is the major standard for corporate sustainability. This year, more than 3,500 of the world’s largest companies in both developed and emerging markets were invited to take part in RobecoSAM’s Corporate Sustainability Assessment, in which the most financially material environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors are assessed. Only leading companies that are best equipped to recognize and respond to emerging opportunities and risks, resulting from global sustainability trends, are selected for inclusion in the DJSI.

Image source: Flickr by Dennis Wilkinson

About Bas Nuijten

Sustainability professional aiming to help organizations to continuously improve their sustainability strategies. |

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