New York Stock Exchange group launches range of ESG indices to meet demand

Exchange operator in partnership with France’s Vigeo

NYSE Euronext, the global exchange operator, has teamed up with France-based consulting firm Vigeo to launch a range of environmental, social and governance (ESG) indices.

NYSE, which runs the New York Stock Exchange and the pan-European Euronext bourse, said the move was a response to “rising demand” for responsible investment.

The new indices will cover global stocks as well as Europe, France and the UK – with the US and Benelux coming by the end of June.

The indices will comprise companies that Vigeo, founded in 2002 by Nicole Notat, ranks the highest for corporate responsibility and contribution to sustainable development, based on 38 criteria.

These include: environment, human rights, stakeholder relations, corporate governance and ethics, integrity/corruption, supply chain.

“NYSE Euronext is introducing this new range of indices in response to rising demand for responsible investment,” said Fabrice Rahmouni, who is responsible for market indices at NYSE Euronext.“Investors seeking long-term profits built on sustainable development are convinced that incorporating extra-financial criteria into research gives a better global view of company risk.”

The range is designed as a benchmark for fund managers and companies interested in “communicating their commitment to responsible behaviour to employees, shareholders, business partners and customers”.

The launch comes as NYSE is in the process of being acquired by IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) in an $8.2bn deal announced in December.

The initial indices are:

Euronext Vigeo World 120
Euronext Vigeo Europe 120
Euronext Vigeo France 20
Euronext Vigeo United Kingdom 20