Can the Dow Jones Sustainable Index be useful for evaluating Dow Jones Islamic Market companies?

  • Maura Campra Department of Economics and Business Studies, University of Piemonte Orientale “Amedeo Avogadro”, Novara, Italy
  • Sabrina Pucci School of Economics and Business Studies, University of Roma Tre, Rome, Italy
  • Valerio Brescia Department of Management University of Turin https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7919-5370
Keywords: Sustainability, finance, Dow Jones Islamic Market, Dow Jones Sustainable Index, social indicators

Abstract

In recent years, the focus on sustainability and social impact has increased, companies through environmental programs and social practices have also begun to change their model in response to the demands of stakeholders and the market. A more sustainable approach is also driven by the 17 goals defined by UNESCO in the Sustainable Development Goals. The idea of sustainability derives directly from the concept of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), a real way of doing business in a strategic way, which consists in acting responsibly from a social and environmental point of view and in building solid and long-term relationships between companies and stakeholders, from the supplier to the final consumer. The "Mediterranean Commission for Sustainable Development" (MCSD) established in 1995 started the project "Sustainable development indicators" (SDI), which aims to develop indicators of progress towards sustainable development in the countries of Europe, Africa and Asia that face the Mediterranean, offering the great opportunity to compare developments in the process of integrating the environment into profoundly different national reality policies. Currently, the most widespread worldwide of all the SDI indicators is the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), established in 1999. The index is the first to assess the financial performance of global companies that follow sustainable principles. Unfortunately, all the studies conducted through the use of DJSI to evaluate the main sustainable firms do not consider the Sharia compliant market but are based only on the Dow Jones market. Therefore, there is no sustainability model that takes into account the companies that have had access to the Dow Jones Islamic Market. This Gap in literature and in practice does not allow us to confirm or contribute further to the use of the sustainability indicator with models that are particularly sensitive to the sharia compliant criteria. The statistical analysis has verified a difference between companies belonging to the Dow Jones Market and the Dow Jones Islamic Market model. This difference confirms the interest in testing the behaviour of the social and environmental sustainability index as well as the economic one even in companies belonging to the sharia-compliant market. The qualitative analysis of the models allows a possible future adoption in these markets based on scientific and literary evidence.

Author Biographies

Maura Campra, Department of Economics and Business Studies, University of Piemonte Orientale “Amedeo Avogadro”, Novara, Italy
Full professor
Sabrina Pucci, School of Economics and Business Studies, University of Roma Tre, Rome, Italy
Full professor

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Published
2020-03-16