In 2004 we committed to maintain or improve our ratings in key indices of corporate social responsibility. Here are some highlights:
In 2004, Pearson was ranked as the Media Sector leader for the third year running in both the DJSI Global Index and the DJSI Stoxx Sustainability Index of European Companies.
The DJSI Global Index consists of more than 300 companies that represent the top 10% of the largest 2500 companies in the Dow Jones Global Indexes based on an assessment against a series of sustainability criteria. The DJSI STOXX Sustainability index tracks the financial performance of the top 20% of European companies drawn from the largest 600 companies in the Euro STOXX index.
FTSE is a joint venture company between Pearson and the London Stock Exchange. In June 2001, FTSE introduced the first of a series of "socially responsible indices" alongside its other financial products. The FTSE4Good Index series is designed for use by retail SRI fund products and for fulfilling institutional mandates. These tradable indices form part of a market response for encouraging positive responsible practice. All licensing revenues from FTSE4Good indices are contributed by FTSE to UNICEF.
FTSE4Good excludes certain industries including tobacco and armaments. Companies must pass the FTSE4Good selection criteria relating to environmental sustainability, relationships with stakeholders and upholding and supporting human rights. An independent advisory committee sets the selection criteria. Membership is subject to a biannual review. Pearson has been included within the FTSE4Good indices since inception.
Pearson is also included in the FTSE ISS Corporate Governance Indices, a new tool to help investors to factor corporate governance into their investment strategies.
Business in the Community (BITC) introduced the Corporate Responsibility Index in 2002. The index is a voluntary self-complete survey benchmarking corporate responsibility performance. In 2003 Pearson was ranked in the Top 100 "Companies that Count" with the company score rising from 57% to 78%. Results for 2004 will be released on 3 April 2005.
Pearson has been included in a new ranking of the most Sustainable Corporations in the World released at the World Economic Forum in Davos in February 2005. The ranking was produced by Innovest Strategic Value Advisors, together with a Toronto-based CSR publisher, Corporate Knights. The Global 100 were selected based on performance and strategic ability to manage their triple bottom line (society, environment and economy).
OEKOM Research provides environmental and social corporate and country ratings for financial service providers and institutional investors. OEKOM has developed a library of some 800 criteria to assess corporate performance and distils these into a set of approximately 200 sector-specific indicators. Based on an assessment of these indicators, companies are given an overall social cultural rating and environmental rating which together make up the corporate responsibility rating. Ratings range from A+ to D-. OEKOM rated Pearson as B-, ranking it 3rd overall among 24 Media companies reviewed.
Core Ratings is an independent rating agency providing independent investment analysis of corporate responsibility risks. It provides investors with research and ratings of companies looking at corporate governance, environmental and social performance. In 2004 Core Ratings assessed Pearson as an A drawn from a rating scale ranging from A+ to D.