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Index of top companies aims to redirect investments to a greener economy

25 November 2013
Index of top companies aims to redirect investments to a greener economy

LONDON: Allianz, GlaxoSmithKline, Unilever and Zurich are among the companies that came out on top in a new index that measures environmental impact in order to future-proof sustainable investment.

The index measures both the environmental and social impacts of companies from sectors represented in the Stoxx Europe 50, an index of European stocks representing ‘Supersector’ leaders in Europe.

Sectors that generally performed best in the index were clothing, household and software, while the companies with the lower scores are from the energy and resources sectors. 

The Inrate Sustainability Assessment report lists the companies according to ‘very sustainable (A+) to not sustainable (D-).

The countries that received the highest rating of B+, are Allianz, Daimler, Compagnie Fin. Richemont, GlaxoSmithKline, Reckitt Benckiser, Unilever and Zurich Insurance Group. In the top performing clothing sector, Nike and H&M received the still strong rating B-. 

To receive an A rating, authors define top traits as: “Through its practices, products or services, the company already contributes to the reduction of the social or environmental imbalances of the economy and makes possible the global transition towards a long-term sustainable economy.”

Philippe Spicher, CEO, Inrate, said in a statement: “The Inrate Sustainability Guide 2013 is the outcome of a three year Research and Development project which has brought to fruition developments in our methodology we have long believed in. And we are committed to further innovation: our next step will be to isolate from the environmental and social context those issues which are material for portfolios and asset managers, i.e. those that may affect the risk-adjusted returns of an investment.”

Explaining the value of the index to investors, in an interview Tobias Jung, Head of Research, Inrate, said: "Sustainability ratings map the risk situation in terms of sustainability. We provide valuable additional insights for sustainability-oriented investors. By assessing the negative impacts and identifying those market players which are already on a sustainable path, Inrate builds the basis for redirecting investment flows toward a more sustainable economy. This is a very positive and future-oriented role.”

Read the Inrate Sustainability Assessment

clothing grade

Graphic from the Clothing sector chapter of the report, illustrating the weighting of more sustainable companies

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