Stand Out in This Year’s DJSI Questionnaire

Methodology changes for the 2019 Dow Jones Sustainability Index assessment
Stand Out in This Year’s DJSI Questionnaire
Publ. date 11 Mar 2019
Tuesday the 2nd of April marks the date that SAM will open its annual Corporate Sustainability Assessment. This questionnaire is the basis for selecting the best-performing companies for the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI). Every year, SAM assesses over 4,500 eligible companies on industry-specific and financially material ESG topics. To be ready to start your required preparation, check out our summary of announced changes for this year's methodology.



Update: DJSI methodology changes for 2020 available now

Every year, SAM raises the bar in order to identify best-in-class companies that outperform their peers by demonstrating sustainability best practices. This year’s most important changes are found in the field of Privacy Protection and Information Security which are now applicable to 29 out of 60 industries.

Furthermore, the Impact Valuation criterion will remain part of the Future Questions section, similar to last year. A difference with last year is that companies now will actually receive a score for their answers in order to see how they perform against its peers. Nevertheless, the score for Impact Valuation will not be taken into account for the total score. Next to Impact Valuation, the topic of Living Wage will appear in the Future Questions section as well. However, this criterion will only be applicable to a selected number of industries.

Highlighted changes for the 2019 DJSI questionnaire

Company Information: In the first part of the questionnaire, companies are asked to provide their revenues in dollars (using your company’s year-end date for exchange rate calculations). SAM will use this data to calculate normalized scores for the environmental indicators in the Operational Eco-Efficiency criterion, to enable benchmarking between companies.

Privacy Protection: This question will be new for 18 industries and is applicable to a total of 29 industries. SAM aims to focus on what policies companies have in place regarding the protection of personal information. Furthermore, companies are asked to shed light on how customer data is used and whether the company faced any breaches related to customer privacy.  

Information Security, Cybersecurity: Because of the continuing developments in digitalization, SAM expects that companies have a solid governance in place around information security and cybersecurity. Companies are requested to provide information on what security measures it takes, and what processes and infrastructure it has in place. Similar to privacy protection, companies are also asked to provide information on breaches related to information security.

Sustainable Finance: This criterion only applies to 3 industries (diversified financials, banks, and insurance) and replaces the former "Business Risks & Opportunities" criterion of the 2018 assessment. The focus of this new criterion is based on the integration of ESG factors in a company’s business segments, as well as its products and service offerings.

Please refer to the download at the top of the page for more information and background on this year's methodology changes.

How Finch & Beak can help you

With almost 15 years of experience in Dow Jones Sustainability Index support, and a long-term collaboration with SAM, Finch & Beak has become Europe’s leading expert in assisting companies with their submission to ESG benchmarks.

Our work is characterized by our results-driven method that leverages existing assets in the short term, while identifying opportunities for structural improvement in the future. Our method proves its success by the fact that all of our DJSI customers that were listed in Dow Jones Sustainability World Index maintained their position in 2018. Additionally, more than half of our DJSI customers ranked in the top 5% of their respective industry.

Interested in our support? Please have a look at our Dow Jones Sustainability Index service description or contact Josée van der Hoek, Director, at or call her at +31 6 28 02 18 80.  

About Bas Nuijten

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

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