Hydro tops Dow Jones Sustainability Index

September 6, 2006, 23:00 CEST

Hydro has been named supersector leader in the Basic Materials sector of the 2006 Dow Jones Sustainability Index, which includes the aluminium sector.

Launched in 1999, the prestigious Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes are the first global indexes tracking the financial performance of the leading sustainability-driven companies worldwide. Hydro has qualified for the list every year since it was published.

This year, Hydro tops both the European and the worldwide index, and achieves the highest total score as well top scores within three sectors, specifically economic, environmental and social dimensions. Our total performance has been evaluated according to criteria specific to the aluminium industry.

DJSI World lists a total of 317 companies in 22 countries that according to Dow Jones represent the top 10 percent of companies in terms of important principles for sustainable development. The companies that have been considered for inclusion in the index cover 59 industries and 34 countries and are among the 2,500 largest companies listed on the Dow Jones index. DJSI STOXX has been drawn up along similar lines, but only covers European companies.

Ranked second last year

Last year Hydro was ranked second, only decimals behind Alcan. Both Alcan and Alcoa are included in the American index and in the DJSI World index.

In their assessment, Dow Jones Indexes and SAM Group state that “Hydro continues to lead its industry in terms of corporate sustainability on a global scale in all three dimensions. This reflects the company's continuous efforts to successfully tackle the sector challenges such as curbing emissions. To illustrate this, Hydro complies with an agreement signed with the Norwegian government dating back to 1997, which aims to reduce specific emissions of climate gases by 55% (baseline 1990) by 2005.

“The company also operates a reporting system called Synergi at all its sites. Synergi is used to report all health, safety, and environmental incidents (accidents, near misses and possible dangerous situations). Synergi enables Norsk Hydro to analyze, share and implement preventive measures.

“Excellent corporate governance, risk management and compliance underline Norsk Hydro's commitment to being accountable. This is also reflected by its endorsement of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. Detailed and comprehensive community investment guidelines further reflect the company's social competence.”

A useful tool for Hydro

Kirsten M. Hovi, Head of Sustainability Reporting in Hydro, has overall responsibility for reporting at corporate level. She points out that Hydro’s position in the Dow Jones index reflects real improvements made, as well as thorough work answering the many questions presented.

“Reporting to the Dow Jones Index is a useful tool for Hydro”, says Hovi. “It helps us both to look to the future and to compare ourselves with other companies. Our top place this year is the result of a major effort in aluminium, but also good results in the other business areas. It is Hydro’s performance as a whole that is measured,” says Hovi.

She also points out that Hydro's R&D centre in Porsgrunn, Norway has a coordinating role and has made a major contribution to the overall report.