Today, the ability to advance sustainable development is an integral part of many businesses’ corporate missions, as well as addressing the social, environment and financial impacts of their enterprises.
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) this week launched the Corporate Sustainability Index (IndexAmericas), designed to help gauge corporate sustainability efforts in Latin America and the Caribbean, with the College of Business serving as IndexAmerica’s academic partner.
The College of Business will do research and education around the index. College of Business faculty, and its Capital Markets Lab, will put together regional workshops and forums designed to help companies improve their corporate sustainability performance based on the index.
IndexAmericas measures companies acting in Latin America and the Caribbean based on their performance in environmental, social and governance dimensions, as well as on a development component added by IDB-IIC. S-Network Global Indexes and Thomson Reuters are in charge of data collection and analysis.
“We wholly support IndexAmericas because it aligns with the College of Business’ mission and vision,” said José Aldrich, acting dean of the College of Business. “We are proud to have been invited by the IDB-CII to be part of this project.”
Attention to corporate social responsibility intensifies
Since the peak of the recession in 2009, interest in corporate social responsibility has increased significantly, with business’ behavior monitored closely by investors, shareholders and consumers.
The practice of Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) is booming as investors look for more than mere financial returns. According to the US SIF Foundation 2016 as of year-end 2015, more than $1 out of every $5 under professional management in the United States—$8.72 trillion or more—was invested according to SRI strategies. And initiatives like IndexAmericas are expected to play a critical role in helping guide SRI decision strategies for the region.
IndexAmericas seeks to show businesses they have a responsibility to actively guide the development of markets in Latin America and the Caribbean. “IndexAmericas recognizes the leading companies in Latin America and the Caribbean for their efforts in the field of sustainability,” the IDB said in a statement. “It is the first initiative of its kind led by the largest multilateral agency for economic and social development in Latin America and the Caribbean.”