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Four new companies in the GCX - 06.03.2013

With effect from 15 March 2013, four new companies will move up into the Global Challenges Index (GCX) sustainability. The first of these is the Italian gas company Snam. One of Snam‘s stand-out features is its group-wide climate protection strategy. High sustainabile building standards are what mark out the British construction group Berkely. The company was recently awarded a prize as Britain’s most sustainable construction company. The US-based software company CA Inc. has, among its products, developed a specific program for corporate sustainability management as well as one for recording consumption and emissions data – CA, will also feature in the GCX in future. The fourth company to be included in the index is the Italian traffic technology manufacturer Ansaldo STS, which offers solutions in the field of public transport and renewable energies.

The companies which will be removed from the Global Challenges Index on 15 March are the solar energy company Conergy, the Japanese automotive supplier Denso, the Swedish real estate company JM and the Norwegian insurance group Storebrand.

The reason for their replacement is the regular rebalancing of the sustainability index. The composition of the GCX is reviewed half-yearly. If certain securities no longer meet the stringent selection criteria of the index providers, new companies are included in the index in their place.


Pennon Group accepted into Global Challenges Index - 08.02.2013

Stocks of the UK-based Pennon Group have moved up into the Global Challenges Index (GCX), with effect from 12 February 2013. The company provides water and sewage management, waste disposal and recycling services, and is also a supplier of alternative energies. The Pennon Group meets the high criteria in terms of sustainability management required for acceptance into the GCX. Its particular strengths include good measures for ensuring sustainable water abstraction and its programmes for supporting socially disadvantaged customers. The Pennon Group is replacing the Dutch financial group SNS REAAL, which is to be nationalised in the wake of a decision by the Dutch government.


Interface accepted into Global Challenges Index - 13.09.2012

The US carpet manufacturer Interface has achieved promotion to the Global Challenges Index (GCX). On 21 September 2012, the company replaced the Germany solar energy company Q-Cells, which no longer meets the GCX market capitalisation requirements.

Interface develops and manufactures carpets, and from the sustainability point of view is one of the frontrunners in its sector. “The company uses an impressively high proportion of recycled materials and has made extensive efforts to create closed product loops,” says Dr. Sandra Lüth, manager of the Hanover Stock Exchange. For example, as part of its ReEntry programme, old carpets are recycled into new carpets. In its product design, the carpet manufacturer uses environmental impact studies to reduce the environmental footprint of its products. In addition, Interface has taken appropriate steps to reduce the amount of controversial substances in textile floorings. The company’s production sites have environmental management systems certified to ISO 14001 in place.


Munich Re removed from Global Challenges Index - 08.03.2012

The construction of the Belo Monte dam in the Amazon region of Brazil has come under heavy criticism because of the impact the dam may have on the environment and local residents. Experts anticipate that it will have adverse effects on the Amazon rainforest, particularly on species diversity, and hence also on the livelihoods of the indigenous inhabitants. Due to its involvement in this project, Munich Re has been excluded from the Global Challenges Index (GCX). By agreeing to provide cover for the construction phase of the project, the reinsurer violated the GCX’s strict environmental regulations.

The UK retailer J Sainsbury has taken Munich Re’s place in the index. The retailer’s impressive credentials include a good system for ensuring compliance with social standards in the supply chain. It promotes the sale of products which meet particular social or environmental requirements, such as fair trade products, and has implemented comprehensive measures to improve transport efficiency and thereby cut CO2 emissions. Another company promoted to the index is the US food producer Hain Celestial. The company generates the bulk of its turnover from the production and sale of organic foodstuffs. Hain Celestial replaces the US technology company Energy Conversion Devices, which no longer meets the GCX’s market capitalisation requirements.


Canadian National Railway included in GCX - 16.02.2010

Shares in the rail logistics company Canadian National Railway (ISIN CA1363751027) will in future be included in the Hannover Stock Exchange’s Global Challenges Index (GCX). The company, based in Montreal, was unexpectedly promoted to the sustainability index after former GCX member Burlington Northern Santa Fe was taken over by the US investor Warren Buffett and ceased to be listed on the stock exchange.


Reed Elsevier listed in GCX - 05.11.2009

Friends Provident is being removed from the GCX on account of the company’s takeover by Resolution. Its place will be taken by Reed Elsevier. In a cross-sectoral comparison, the British media company stood out due to the particularly ambitious nature of its climate protection measures. These include appropriate management structures and clearly defined responsibilities, the introduction of a climate protection strategy, a voluntary commitment to reducing climate impacts and specific measures for achieving this goal, e.g. by purchasing green electricity and by offsetting its greenhouse gas emissions. The company has adopted various measures to improve the traceability of origin of the paper used in its media production. These measures are designed to ensure that only paper from legal sources is used.


Warmer World May Mean Less Fish - 18.03.2008

Climate change is emerging as the latest threat to the world's dwindling fish stocks a new report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) suggests. At least three quarters of the globe's key fishing grounds may become seriously impacted by changes in circulation as a result of the ocean's natural pumping systems fading and falling they suggest. These natural pumps, dotted at sites across the world including the Arctic and the Mediterranean, bring nutrients to fisheries and keep them healthy by flushing out wastes and pollution.

Meanwhile there is growing concern that carbon dioxide emissions will increase the acidity of seas and oceans. This in turn may impact calcium and shell-forming marine life including corals but also tiny ones such as planktonic organisms at the base of the food chain.

"The worst concentration of cumulative impacts of climate change with existing pressures of over-harvest, bottom trawling, invasive species infestations, coastal development and pollution appear to be concentrated in 10-15 per cent of the oceans," says the report. This 10-15 per cent of the oceans is far higher than had previously been supposed and is "concurrent with today's most important fishing grounds" including the estimated 7.5 per cent deemed to be the most economically valuable fishing areas of the world, it adds.

"We are getting more and more alarming signals of dramatic changes in the oceans. It is like turning a big tanker around. Our ability to change course and reduce emissions in the near future will be paramount to success", said Dr. Nellemann, lead author of the UNEP report.

The report “In Dead Water” is available at http://unep.org/pdf/InDeadWater_LR.pdf


Global Risks 2008 - 03.03.2008

The World Economic Forum released the Global Risks 2008, which highlights the need for new thinking and concerted action on a number of problems. The report expresses fears that the current liquidity crunch will spark a US recession in the next 12 months and calls for new thinking on systemic financial risk in response to the revolution in financial markets over the last two decades. 

It also recommends a set of principles for country risk management and examines how the financial sector might take on an increasingly important role in risk transfer in the future.

The report also warns that food security will become an increasingly complex political and economic problem over the next few years, with issues of equity and trade-offs between security and other issues making the design of global policy both difficult and necessary. Greater cooperation on managing vulnerabilities associated with cross-border supply chains and concentrations of production may also be needed. Finally, with the dollar price of oil at record highs, the report recommends an improved approach to securing viable energy supplies in the years ahead.

The study is available for download at www.weforum.org/pdf/globalrisk/report2008.pdf


econsense: interactive world climate policy map - 06.02.2008

The world climate policy map is a new online tool, provided by the German business association “econsense”, which makes climate policy correlations more transparent and provides climate
policy information that transcends national boundaries. Its “Map Creator” tool allows you to create interactive world climate policy maps using combinations of data and indicators for
14 countries and regions of the world, covering amongst other things climate policy instruments, greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption and biofuel production. Each individually compiled world map, as well as the underlying data, can be downloaded free of charge. Supplementary “fact sheets” offer a range of information on climate policy by country or specific issue.

For further information see: www.weltkarte-klimapolitik.de


Hanover Stock Exchange launches Global Challenges Index - 03.09.2007

The Global Challenges Index has trendsetting sustainable corporations in Focus – Orientation on seven action areas – The first Index products from NORD/LB and NORDCON

Hamburg, September 3rd, 2007 – The Hanover Stock Exchange and oekom research are presenting the Global Challenges Index today. This index focuses on seven global challenges of this millennium, which confront politics, society and business: climatic changes, poverty, drinking water shortages, sustainable forestry, biodiversity, population increase and Good Governance. “The Global Challenges Index is an Innovation on the Financial market. Through its orientation toward concrete action areas, the topic of sustainability will be tangible for investors”, says Prof. Dr. Hans Heinrich Peters, Chairman of the stock exchange AG Hamburg and Hanover.

The Global Challenges Index encompasses 50 corporations who take active responsibility for the future global development by making substantial and trendsetting contributions to the handling of these global challenges. “The companies listed in the Global Challenges Index are attractive from an investment perspective because they ensure their chances of business development while simultaneously reducing hidden risks,” explains Peters.
The results of the performance backtesting confirm this: Since the beginning of 2002, the Global Challenges Index has surpassed the worldwide Stock Index MSCI World. by 15 percentage points.

“Our criteria for choosing the corporations for the Global Challenges Index were especially strict, ” emphasizes Robert Haßler, Chairman of the sustainability rating agency oekom research: “A two-level selection process assures the admission to the index of only those companies, which firstly have anchored the topic of sustainability extensively in their business processes and secondly, have contributed substantially in their activities to meeting the global challenges.”
Companies actively involved in such business areas as atomic energy, biocide, chlorochemistry, green genetic technology or armaments are excluded from selection. Violations of human rights and working norms, as well as involvement in corruption and falsification of financial statements also result principally in exclusion.

With the selection process, the Global Challenges Index achieved a mixture of internationally active large corporations such as BT Group, Ricoh, and Unilever, as well as small and medium companies, such Evergreen Solar, BWT and Vestas Windsysteme. Titles from Europe and the G7 States are included. The weighting of the corporation is made in accordance with the market capitalization, whereby individual values are weighted with a maximum of 10 percent.
The following German companies are represented in the index: Conergy, Henkel, Münchener Rück, Nordex, Q-Cells, SAP, Solarworld und Vossloh.
oekom research inspects the make-up of the Global Challenges Index twice yearly. “Companies not sufficiently meeting our defined requirements will be removed from the index at the end of March and the end of September of each year,” explains Hassler.
A prominent engaged advisor actively accompanied the development of the concept. Dr. Rolf Kraemer of the Evangelical-Lutheren Regional Church of Hanover: “The Global Challenges Index ideally combines sustainable businesses and innovative design with the expectation of equitable earnings. The churches view this index as a guideline for ethical investment decisions which aim toward a more equitable world and the protection of creation.” 
Dr. Hermann Falk of the Federal Association of German Foundations has positive comments: “The Global Challenges Index is especially valuable because the criteria are action-accentuated – Only those companies showing specific activities toward the positive shaping of the global challenges will be awarded with inclusion in this index. Passive disaster profiteers should no longer be worthy of investments.”
Uwe Bergmann, Director of Sustainability Issue Management at Henkel: “We welcome the attempt of the Global Challenges Index to combine the future ecological and social challenges with the responsibility of corporations in their core businesses.  Inclusion in this index confirms to us that our strategy of the sustainable and socially responsible business will also be understood externally. Evaluations such as these show us that we are on the right track and provide us with feedback for improvement opportunities."

With the launch of the Global Challenges Index NORD/LB and NORDCON Investment Management AG have already introduced corresponding products: NORD/LB is launching the “NORD/LB Global Challenges Index Endless Certificate”, NORDCON AG is currently offering “NORDCON Global Challenges Index-Funds” for institutional investors.

Listed Corporations at the Launch of the Global Challanges Index:

Advanced Micro Devices, Atlas Copco, Aviva, Benesse Group, British Land, BT Group, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, BWT, Clipper Windpower, Coloplast, Conergy, CSX, Dassault Systemes, Denso, East Japan Railway, Electrolux, Energy Conversion Devices, Evergreen Solar, Friends Provident, Gamesa, Groupe Danone, Henkel, Kurita Water Industries, Liberty International, Lloyds TSB Group, Mayr-Melnhof, Michelin, Münchener Rück, Nordex, Northern Rock, Ormat Technologies, Q-Cells, Renault, Renewable Energy, Ricoh, SAP, Shimano, SKF, Smith & Nephew, SNS REAAL, Solarworld, Sompo Japan Insurance, STMicroelectronics, Storebrand, SunPower, Svenska Cellulosa, Unilever N.V., Union Pacific, Vestas Wind Systems, Vossloh