On the Dow Jones' Sustainability Index for three years running

September 5, 2001, 01:00 CEST

Norsk Hydro has, for the third consecutive year, qualified for the Dow Jones' index of companies that operate in line with the criteria for sustainable development.

The results of this year's review of the Dow Jones Sustainability Group Index have now been published. A total of 312 companies from 26 countries have been selected from the 2,500 largest companies on the Dow Jones Global Index for the sustainability index.

There are 14 companies in the energy category where Hydro has been placed. Seven of these are involved in oil and gas operations, and include BP and Shell. Hydro is in the top half within its category. However, it was placed in different categories in 1999 and 2000, so that a straight comparison with the two previous years is not possible.

The Dow Jones Sustainability Index companies operate within 62 sectors and have a total annual turnover of around 6.2 trillion euro. The 312 companies were selected after an extensive review of the 2,500 largest companies on the Dow Jones Global Index by the SAM Group.

Ivo Knoepfel, head of Index Research at SAM, commented that this year's review showed a significant increase in the average sustainability performance since 2000. The review covers more than 30 sustainability criteria, looking at the companies' results in such areas as economy, environment and social responsibility.

Confirms the value of a long-term approach

"The DGSGI is perhaps the index with the stiffest requirements, so it is very pleasing to qualify for the third year running. This confirms that a long-term approach and focus on complying with sustainable values throughout the company gives results. But the most important aspect of this type of index in a long-term perspective is not the results themselves, but the chance this gives us to further improve. We can review the basis for our qualification and study the analysis behind the result to see which areas we need to prioritize in the future," says senior vice president Lasse Nord from Hydro's HES staff.

Stamp of quality

"This index gives a good indication of a company's value creation, also beyond the economic parameters. Environmental questions tend to be focused on in connection with negative occurrences, while the care of other social factors generally receives increasing attention.This index identifies the companies that are working seriously and in a long-term perspective with all these areas. We regard our place in the Sustainability index for the third year running as a stamp of quality for Hydro," comments vice president Peik Norenberg, who is in charge of Investor Relations in Hydro.

The Dow Jones Sustainability World Index was launched in 1999 and is the first global index for major companies operating according to the criteria for sustainable conduct. It represents the best 10 percent of the Dow Jones Global Index. As Mike Petronella, managing director of Dow Jones Indexes, points out, sustainability has moved into mainstream asset management.