Alcoa, Caterpillar, Diageo, Fluor, Ingersoll-Rand, Reed Elsevier and Starbucks have been added to the Nasdaq OMX CRD Global Sustainability Index, while Advanced Micro Devices, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Eli Lilly, Petrobras, Raytheon and Shire plc have been dropped.
The equity index, which seeks to provide a benchmark of companies taking a leadership role in sustainability performance reporting, is re-evaluated every May and November.
According to Nasdaq, companies in the index are leaders in disclosing their carbon footprint, energy usage, water consumption, hazardous and non-hazardous waste, employee safety, workforce diversity, management composition and community investing. These companies are voluntarily disclosing their current environmental, social and governance risks as well as revenue opportunities, and how these risks and opportunities will affect future performance, Nasdaq says.
The securities must also meet other eligibility criteria which include minimum requirements for market value, average daily share volume, and price.
But in July Nasdaq itself appeared on a “black list” from Corporate Responsibility magazine, which said the exchange was one of 58 Russell 1000 companies demonstrating the poorest levels of transparency and corporate citizenship.
In February a group of institutional investors managing more than $1.6 trillion in assets said companies on the Nasdaq have some of the lowest levels of disclosure of environmental, social and governance risks. The investors urged the world’s 30 biggest stock exchanges, including Nasdaq, to force corporate sustainability reporting.
Last September the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index added 41 companies, including Société Générale and Schneider Electric. It also dropped 23 firms, including Coca-Cola, Hewlett-Packard and natural gas producer Encana.
The Nasdaq Global Sustainability Index’s re-evaluation came on the day that Congress’s supercommittee failed to meet its deadline to cut $1.2 trillion from the deficit, causing stocks to plunge. The Nasdaq fell 1.92 percent to 2,523.14, the AP reported.