Sodexo and Nestlé have been rated the best performers in their industries by the influential Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI).
The DJSI is based on a thorough analysis of the corporate economic, environmental and social performance of over 2,500 listed companies. Firms are scored on a wide range of factors, including climate strategy, supply chain standards and labour practices.
Sodexo was the top ranked firm in the consumer services industry, scoring well above the average in terms of its environmental and social impacts and policies. Improvements have been made since 2014, noted the assessors – for example, the firm now discloses a number of additional social indicators and exceeded its goal of reaching 25% women in the senior leadership team by 2015 (31% of leadership positions are now made up of women).
Nestlé was praised for its life-cycle assessment approach to sustainability, including the 760,000 farmers that supply direct to the company. Some 11,242 employees have been trained on human rights and its due diligence programme is “first class”, DJSI noted.
More widely, the DJSI 2016 results showed the appetite for investing in sustainability is “on the rise”. Many companies have made marked improvements in relation to environmental policy and management systems, as well as corporate governance.
However, more work is needed in some areas. Many firms continue to underestimate the importance of “human capital development”, and lack the ability to link investments in human capital with tangible business benefits.