Stockland managing director and chief executive Mark Steinert

16 September 2013 — Stockland has been named 2013-14 industry group leader for real estate in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices.

The DJSI, a collaboration between S&P Dow Jones Indices and sustainable investment specialist RobeccoSAM, are the first global indices to track the financial performance of sustainability-driven companies worldwide.

Stockland received the top scores in economic, social and environmental performance among its industry peers, with an overall score of 89 out of 100. The average for the property industry was 59.

Assessment categories include corporate governance, risk management, climate change strategy, environmental management, human capital development and stakeholder engagement.

“Stockland has been a member of the DJSI World for the past six years,” said Stockland managing director and chief executive Mark Steinert.

“Recognition of Stockland as a global leader reflects our commitment to embedding sustainability into our everyday business practices.

“There is inherent value creation that includes, but also goes far beyond, monetary measures and we place a strong emphasis on our environmental performance, social inclusion and diversity in everything we do.”

Following a restructure this year, Stockland slashed its dedicated sustainability team by more than half, though told The Fifth Estate sustainability remained “an integral part” of the business.

See our article Stockland: the danger of cool bricks and mortar, and an opening at the top

All eyes will be on the performance of the company in next year’s DJSI report to see whether the company can uphold its industry leading reputation.

The DJSI report stated that Stockland had strived to achieve balanced performance on all three dimension of sustainable development.

“Stockland’s sustainability performance report identifies issues material to the company’s business by following three steps: issue capture, issue prioritisation and response,” the report stated.

“These material sustainability indicators are reviewed annually with respect to four priority areas: customer engagement (including satisfaction, demographic shifts and social integration issues), community development partnerships (for example, the creation of social hubs), energy and climate change (internal and external engagement), and natural resources. The successful translation of these issues into opportunities is visible through the development of revenue-generating activities, such as on-site electricity generation and increased sales of residential property.”

Other Australian companies that led sustainability in their field included ANZ as the top bank, Tabcorp as the top consumer services company and Woolworths as the top food and staples retailer.

“The market upheavals and high debt levels of the last few years should remind investors that a long-term view of the world and the markets is essential, said David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the S&P Dow Jones Index Committee.

“The Dow Jones Sustainability Indices combine that kind of long run focus on sustainability with index investing to empower investors.”