Italian companies ENI, Unicredit and StMicroelectronics are no longer in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices

Year after year, Italian companies are disappearing from the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, a globally renowned tool to assess business ethics.

In September, as usual, it’s time for the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices review to be released. They’re one of the most important indices that assess sustainability practices in the world’s biggest publicly-traded companies that comply with the ESG (environmental, social and governance) criteria. It’s a time of disappointment for Italian companies: ENI, Unicredit and StMicroelectronics don’t appear neither in the World nor in the Europe index.

The companies that are and aren’t in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices

Considering that these three companies haven’t been included in the index this year, Italy is less and less represented. Intesa Sanpaolo, Telecom Italia and Atlantia are the only Italian companies listed in the “World” as well as “Europe” indices. In the former Leonardo-Finmeccanica is also included, while ENEL, Snam and Terna are included in the latter. There are also Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and CNH Industrial, which are now considered British, not Italian.

There are also many additions. The Spanish bank Bankia, the supermarket chain Carrefour, the oil company Total, the Finnish multinational company Nokia, the German energy supplier E.ON and its Spanish counterpart Iberdrola now appear in the World Index.

Unicredit Dow Jones Sustainability Indices
The Unicredit Tower, Milan. The bank isn’t included in the 2016 edition of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices. © GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images

What is the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices

The Dow Jones Sustainability World Indices are one of the most renowned families of indices evaluating sustainability. It was launched in 1999 by the S&P Dow Jones Indices and RobecoSAM; its British counterpart is Ftse4good. It is based on the largest 2,500 global companies and chooses those that comply with certain ESG criteria. The companies voluntarily fill in an assessment questionnaire on their performance, which is then analysed by a consulting firm. The annual review is done in September, but every four months there’s a further assessment process. Over the years, the method attracted criticism: larger companies often have an efficient CSR department suggesting the right answers to the questionnaire.

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