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S&P launches sustainable versions of flagship indices

S&P Dow Jones Indices (S&P DJI) has launched sustainability screened versions of its core US equity indices.

The new series includes the S&P 500 Sustainability Screened Index, the S&P MidCap 400 Sustainability Screened Index, and the S&P SmallCap 600 Sustainability Screened Index.

S&P said the indices measure the performance of stocks involved in business activities that avoid controversies and are aligned with ESG investors' values in their respective parent indices.

It said the move has come as US and global investors aim to further align their sustainability goals with more mainstream investments.

"S&P Dow Jones Indices is proud to be at the forefront of cutting-edge ESG indexing and benchmarking," S&P DJI chief executive Dan Draper said.

"As a pioneer in this space for more than two decades, we create independent, transparent and trusted ESG indices that enable investors to support more sustainable economies."

Draper said the indices will utilise various filters in their eligibility criteria. The indices will exclude companies with specific fossil fuel reserves, those involved in thermal coal extraction and power generation, oil sands extraction, and energy exploration and production.

In addition, the indices exclude companies that are involved in controversial weapons, small arms, and tobacco.

In addition, BlackRock's iShares selected and licensed the indices to deliver sustainable investing alternatives for its exchange-traded funds in the US.

iShares global head of product at BlackRock Carolyn Weinberg said  she was excited to launch iShares ETFs with the newly created sustainability screened versions of S&P's flagship indices.

"These flagship indices are core portfolio building blocks and the new screened versions will provide more choices for sustainable investing," she said.

"We welcome adding a new suite with S&P's global brand and ESG capabilities to iShares sustainable platform."

Read more: SustainabilityESGS&P Dow Jones IndicesS&P DJIBlackRockCarolyn WeinbergDan Draper
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