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August 15, 2009

Dow Jones Sustainability Japan 40 Index Is Launched
    by Robert Kropp

Index includes the largest 40 sustainability leaders in Japan, based on corporate sustainability assessments by SAM.

SocialFunds.com -- The Dow Jones Sustainability Index series has added the 14th benchmark to its series of global indexes tracking the financial performance of the leading sustainable corporations worldwide. The Dow Jones Sustainability Japan 40 Index (DJSI Japan 40) measures the performance of the largest 40 sustainability leaders in Japan, and is selected and weighted based on sustainability scores developed by Sustainable Asset Management (SAM).

According to SAM, "Sustainability investing is an investment approach that enhances traditional valuation models by integrating extra-financial criteria which affect shareholder value." SAM's corporate sustainability assessments include the traditional environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria, and aims to generate outperformance versus benchmarks based on analysis that sustainability investing can deliver superior returns.

A recent report from EIRIS, a UK-based provider of research into the social, environmental and ethical performance of companies, found that ESG initiatives relating to climate change by Japanese companies were comparable to those in Europe and North America. The sophisticated levels of disclosure and quantification of risk by Japanese companies suggests that the launch of the Japan 40 Index will be met with interest by sustainability investors.

"As one of the largest investment markets worldwide, Japan is a crucial player in driving the integration of sustainability criteria into investing," said Alexander Barkawi, Managing Director of SAM Indexes.

The Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes were launched in 1999. Currently, 70 licenses for the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes are held by asset managers in 16 countries. The licensees hold approximately $6 billion in assets under management.

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