September 2010: Unilever leads sector in Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes
Unilever has been named sustainability leader in the Food & Beverage super-sector of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes (DJSI) for the twelfth consecutive year.
Twelve years of achievement
In 2010, Unilever led the Food Producers sector with an overall score of 82% - one percentage point higher than in 2009 and substantially ahead of the average industry score of 49%. Unilever received full marks for its record in Operational Eco-Efficiency, Environmental Policy, Environmental and Social Reporting, Health and Nutrition, and Packaging. In a new criterion covering water-related risks, Unilever scored 75% against an overall average of 23%.
The Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes (DJSI) track the performance of companies that lead the field in terms of corporate sustainability. Unilever has participated in the annual assessment since its inception in 1999 and has achieved Foods sector and Food & Beverage super-sector leadership every year since then.
The DJSI consist of a family of indexes including World, European, North American and Asia Pacific, and all these indexes are assessed according to the same corporate sustainability methodology. Unilever is member of both the DJSI World and DJSI Europe indexes as a result of its performance.
"I am delighted that we have retained our place at the top of the Dow Jones sector league table. The consistency of our performance over the past twelve years is remarkable, and a unique achievement among more than 300 companies in the DJSI World sample," says Gavin Neath, SVP Sustainability at Unilever.
About the DJSI
The DJSI follow a best-in-class approach and include sustainability leaders from each industry at global and regional levels. The 2010 assessment was conducted by SAM, a Swiss investment company focused exclusively on sustainability investing, in partnership with the Dow Jones Indexes.
The sustainability scores are based on a thorough analysis of corporate economic, environmental and social performance, assessing issues such as corporate governance, risk management, branding, climate change mitigation, supply chain standards and labour practices - with a strong focus on long-term shareholder value. These issues cover general criteria applicable to all industries and also industry-specific criteria.
While the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes provide a way for companies to measure their progress in sustainability, they also have a crucial financial dimension. Investors perceive sustainability as a catalyst for enlightened and disciplined management and thus, a crucial business success factor. Highly regarded by influential investors all over the world, the indexes help shape their increasingly popular sustainability-driven investment portfolios.