Effective May 21, 2012, there’s an important change in NASDAQ OMX CRD Global Sustainability Index (NDAQ) for we Canadians.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the index, it is an equally weighted equity index that serves as a benchmark for stocks of companies that are taking a leadership role in sustainability performance reporting and are traded on a major US stock exchange. The index is made up of companies that have taken a leadership role in disclosing their carbon footprint, energy usage, water consumption, hazardous and non-hazardous waste, employee safety, workforce diversity, management composition and community investing. These are companies that are voluntarily disclosing their current environmental, social and governance risks as well as their revenue opportunities and how it will affect future performance.
Some investors follow this index as an indication of those Canadian-listed companies who are leaders in the field of sustainability. The major change in the review is that Potash Corp has dropped out of the index and Telus Corp. has been added.
This begs to ask the question if fundamentally there is something wrong at Potash Corp. It’s been a leader in many of the governance rankings within Canada for the past few years. Has something fundamentally changed? Has the company lost sight of the importance of these issues? Or, is this part of the impact that is the after-effect of the potential take-over of the company? All valid questions that an investor should be asking.
Other Canadian companies that remain in the index are:
- Bank of Montreal
- Bank of Nova Scotia
- Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
- Royal Bank of Canada
- Suncor Energy
- Telus Corp
- Toronto Dominion Bank
Recently I posted a blog about my perception that we are getting closer and closer to a tipping point with regards to the understanding and adoption of sustainable business practices. To continue in that vein, I’d like to share a short interview with Noreena Hertz, Professor of Globalization, Sustainability and Finance at Duisenberg School of Finance following her presentation at the Responsible Investor Conference in Amsterdam in October 2011.
In this interview, Professor Hertz shares her view that business is indeed embracing sustainability because it leads to profit and that we are indeed at a tipping point. She gives a great example of Walmart Canada’s efforts and rewards. In addition she address the fact that in the past we’ve lived in a system where finance and economics were viewed to be separate and apart from sustainability and responsibility. The recent financial crisis is highlighting that the perhaps these issues should indeed be more integrated.
Please find the interview at: