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Corporate Responsibility in Action

Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) Indices & What They Mean To Us

Created: 12 Jun 2012
Debra McLaughlin's picture
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For four consecutive years, Symantec has been included in two of the world's top sustainability indices – the Dow Jones Sustainability Index – DJSI (Global and North America) and the FTSE4Good. These indices feature companies across the world and North America that are leaders in managing environmental, social and governance issues.

Additionally, for the past two years, we've been selected for the Maplecroft Climate Innovation Index (CII) Leaders, which includes the top 100 performers of the Maplecroft CII. The CII is the single most exhaustive study of how the United States' top companies are managing and adapting to climate change, one of the most pressing issues for businesses today. The index rates companies against more than 100 climate performance criteria, including technological innovation, management of climate-related issues and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Inclusion in these indices is a direct result of Symantec's commitment to integrate ethical, social and environmental policies into our core business. From our central role in cybercrime policy development to our Green IT initiative and improving the energy efficiency of our data centers, employees across Symantec are working hard to ensure sustainability is incorporated into every aspect of our business.

So why are these indices important and what do they mean for Symantec?

Firstly, they differentiate and place Symantec among the top performers across key sustainability areas. These indices include the top sustainability performers out of the largest global and North American companies. The top 10% of the world's 2,500 largest companies are included in the DJSI Global, the top 20% of the 600 largest US companies are included in the DJSI North America, and the top 100 of the 360 largest US companies are included in the Maplecroft CII Leaders. FTSE4Good companies must meet globally recognized standards across five key areas: environmental sustainability, stakeholder engagement, human rights, labor standards and anti-bribery.

Secondly, they communicate and validate our sustainability credentials to a variety of key stakeholders. In addition to investors, these indices are cited by global media, referenced by sustainability experts and used as a benchmark tool by the business community. Stakeholder engagement is core to our corporate responsibility strategy and we are always looking for ways to strengthen these relationships.

Lastly, the investment community's use of environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance data is increasing dramatically. For example, nearly one in eight dollars under professional management in the U.S. — or about $3.07 trillion — follows investment strategies that consider corporate responsibility and societal concerns. Google Finance profiles now list Climate Disclosure Project (CDP) scores alongside key financial data.  The UN Principles for Responsible Investment, a framework for investors to incorporate ESG issues into their decision-making and ownership practices, now has over 1,000 signatory members from investment institutions, representing over $30 trillion of assets under management. According to DJSI, "more than 70 DJSI licenses are held by asset managers in 16 countries to manage a variety of financial products. In total, these licensees presently manage over $8 billion USD."

Additionally, as a member of DJSI, Symantec is eligible to be included in DJSI-based portfolios.

To learn about Symantec's sustainability strategy and initiatives, please continue to follow this blog and visit our website to view our 2011 corporate responsibility report.

Debra McLaughlin is Symantec's Stakeholder Engagement Manager.