How to Score More with DJSI

SOURCE: SiMPACT Strategy Group


Has your company been invited to participate in one of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI)?

Do you want to ensure that the value of community investment is represented effectively in your response?

Every September, 2,500 of the world’s largest companies are chosen to be benchmarked based on an analysis of economic, environmental and social performance. In addition to ongoing monitoring of media, stakeholder commentaries and other publicly available information, an annual survey is completed by the companies during April to June. This helps to assess management practices for each corporation’s governance, risk management, branding, climate change mitigation, supply chain standards and philanthropic practices.

Crafting the most effective response to questions within the philanthropy section of the DJSI survey is a science in itself. Companies often lose credibility (and thus valuable points) when they do not use hard data and specific insights from an annual review of their community investment portfolio.  Using compelling language along with specific, audited numbers will emphasize the strength of your management practices. Other points to be highlighted in your responses include:

Provide details on all of your key focus areas – Tell the DJSI team how these pillars align with your business goals as well as your community goals. When possible, expand upon who was involved in defining those pillars (i.e. employees, customers, other key stakeholders)

Quote specific studies along with audited totals where possible – It is all too easy to use the phrase “studies show….” If your organization has conducted specific studies, or has based the development of its strategy in any way on specific studies, mentioning this will provide more weight to the statement and demonstrate understanding of the issue.

Include more specifics on leveraged contributions – Leverage contributions are an excellent way to demonstrate stakeholder engagement with the community investment strategy. If you have the ability to quote statistics regarding how your level of leveraging strategy compared to others in your sector, even better.

Highlight employee support for volunteering – Companies often forget the significant value that employee volunteering and giving (EV&G) programs bring to a company. From enhancing reputation to engaging key talent, your EV&G program needs to be highlighted as an important piece of your overall community investment strategy.

Explaining the motivations behind your community investment portfolio is a key section in the DJSI survey. Why you give helps define the performance metrics you need to track in order to show results. In conjunction with a review of your detailed investment data, time needs to be spent in aligning key performance indicators (KPIs) with your motivations. Completing a Social Return on Investment (SROI) analysis on one of your flagship investments is another option to show even greater understanding of the impact of your portfolio. These two actions will ensure that the DJSI team understands your commitment to excellence in measuring impact.

SiMPACT Strategy Group is the facilitator of LBG Canada, a group of companies committed to best practices in community investment. Being a member of the LBG Canada group lends significant credibility to your DJSI and Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) involvement. SiMPACT can assist with the analysis of your community investment data, provide benchmarking to peers in your sector and help to highlight insights into how your company aligns with best practices across Canada. SiMPACT looks forward to supporting you in demonstrating the value of your work!

Tweet me: Your company invited to participate in one of the #DJSI? @SiMPACTStrat discusses how to score more

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KEYWORDS: Finance & Investment, People, Social Action & Community Engagement, Reporting, Ratings & Rankings, csr, DJSI, Dow Jones, Dow Jones Sustainability Index, sustainability, Community Investment, EVG, sroi, Triple Bottom Line

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